Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mesa's bid for higher education

Mayor Smith is leading the charge to attract more colleges to Mesa. He pointed to several smaller cities such as Pittsburgh which boast a significant number of universities. Although Mesa Public Schools has been a leader in producing outstanding graduates, there are not many opportunities to keep these bright students in Mesa.

Not only do these students need to leave town to get a quality education, they often have to leave the state. Our state universities have done a great job providing higher education, but they have been able to exist within a vacuum. As we have said before, a little competition would do some good, especially to ASU.

Not only should Mesa look to land a low cost university, but they should look to attract private universities and a medical school as well. In addition, perhaps the time has really come to spin off Poly to allow ASU to focus on their core missions in Tempe and downtown.

The biggest thing to remember is that this drive for higher education will not happen overnight. It will take some time, but Mesa is doing the right thing to cultivate these opportunities, even if they are faced with some skepticism. Mesa continues to strive to define itself instead of allowing the naysayers to do it.

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