Land Grant Challenges

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The land grant universities in the United States have a rich history of public service, practical research, teaching and outreaching for ordinary citizens. The success in this system over decades working hard to meet the communities’ needs in the United States and the world at large did not help to avoid some challenges. The land grant universities are facing many challenges and these challenges will continue within the next five to twenty five years, such as the climate changing and its impact on agricultural productivity, the engagement with the community, and the increase of professors and undergraduate students’ ages in the land grant universities. One of the most important challenges that faced land grant universities is that the global…show more content…
These issues effect land grant universities through many ways, and these ways are: increasing undergraduate students’ ages and increasing the average age of professors. The first issue is that increasing graduate and undergraduate ages in the institutions in the United States. It started to show some evidences of this issue. In 2013, the full time undergraduate students at public institutions were 16 percent with ages between 25 to 34, and 11 percent were age 35 and older. At private nonprofit institutions, 23 percent were ages 25–34, and 16 percent were age 35 and older. The private for-profit institutions the percentage was 32 percent with ages 25–34, and 21 percent were age 35 and older (NCES, (n.d.)). Similarly, the percentage of young professors in the modern universities decreased. This decrease is obvious in the land grant universities nowadays. The percentage of professors 34 years old or younger dropped by 50% from 1975 to 1984 (De Francesco & Rhoades, 1987). King (2008), stated that the age of professors 44 years old or younger in the colleges and universities are only 15 percent of the total professors in the four year institutions, and only 11% in the community colleges. Most of the faculty members nationwide is in their mid-fifties, within approximately 10 years of retirement. These two issues are connecting with each other because increasing the age of undergraduate students will lead to increase professors’ ages in the future because student today will be professors tomorrow. I think the solution for this issue is offering more help for the high school students to enroll in the universities after graduating. In addition, starting programs to provide funds for students to start their own jobs with low interest to improve their standards of
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