NU president joins national coalition to build new vision for higher education

University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter is part of a national coalition announced today that will develop a renewed vision for higher education as a crucial asset in meeting the United States’ urgent workforce, economic and security needs.

The coalition, called the Council on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset, is made up of about 40 leaders in U.S. higher education, government, business, the nonprofit sector and the military. The group will spend the next year developing recommendations for how higher education can best adapt to help states and the country remain competitive.

Ted Carter
Ted Carter

The council’s ultimate goal is to build a plan that maximizes the impact of higher education on global competitiveness, national security and economic prosperity.

“In Nebraska alone, more than 80,000 jobs today are unfilled – and similar challenges exist across our country. Many of these jobs are in health care, science, technology and other highly skilled fields,” Carter said. “America’s great institutions of higher education must lead the way in delivering solutions. A well-educated citizenry is crucial to economic growth, national security, and the well-being of our people and communities.

“It is true that higher education has not always been quick to adapt to changing realities. Given the challenges in front of us, both in Nebraska and nationally, that has to change. I’m honored to have the opportunity to join a team of distinguished colleagues in reimagining higher education for the future. Nebraska has an important leadership voice in this conversation.”

Carter noted that Nebraska has been a leader in expanding affordable access to ensure all have the opportunity to pursue higher education, and is home to nationally recognized research programs in agriculture, national defense, medicine and other areas important to the state’s prosperity. He said he looks forward to sharing ideas on what new strategies are needed to ensure that higher education remains accessible, widely impactful and relevant to the challenges of the day.

Historically, higher education has been central to national prosperity and security, especially during periods of intense industrial and technology progress, according to today’s announcement of the Council on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. With other nations embracing higher education as key to their plans for growth and prosperity, the United States must develop new approaches at speed and scale to remain competitive.

The council will convene for the first time on June 6. The group plans to deliver its recommendations to the president of the United States, members of Congress, state governors and legislatures, and higher education governing boards in 2024.