Skip to main content Skip to main content

Davidson’s TEDx talk reimagines the future of higher ed

President makes the case for rethinking old models and reinvesting in public higher education.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 2, 2019

President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., on the TEDx stage.Early in her TEDx MSU Denver talk Sept. 12, President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., shared a powerful statistic: While the baby-boomer generation enjoyed a 90 percent chance of doing better economically than their parents, those odds dropped to 50 percent for Americans born in the 1980s. That data point stems from the issue that has shaped Davidson’s presidency: reversing systematic disinvestment in higher education to support student success.

Speaking to a sold-out crowd, Davidson argued that higher education is necessary for a civil society and challenged the outdated four-year matriculation model. She also highlighted significant decreases in state higher-education funding, which has forced students to pay more out of pocket to earn the degrees that are so critical to their professional success, long-term health and personal development.

“We achieved the American Dream, then turned around and pulled the ladder up on our own kids,” she said.

Taking full advantage of the platform, Davidson boldly urged legislators to reprioritize higher-education funding, returning it to the levels that allowed earlier generations to thrive. She also encouraged employers and partners in the audience to help students along their way through tuition assistance, flexible work schedules or working with higher-education partners to create innovative education and career pathways.

“It’s going to take all of us to ensure that the American Dream isn’t just a dream but that it’s a possibility,” Davidson said in closing. “And that is worth fighting for.”

Topics: Events, President Davidson, TEDxMSU Denver

Edit this page