This case study examines innovative programs at different universities and university systems around the country tackling the very problems that are facing the University of Missouri today: namely, how do we make college more affordable, relevant, and rigorous?

We travel from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where President Mitch Daniels has embarked on an ambitious program to keep costs down and design new majors and programs that allow students to progress at their own pace, to Texas, where then-Governor Rick Perry’s call to create a $10,000 degree spurred innovation statewide. Finally, we conclude at one of the finest universities in our nation, the University of Chicago, to show what it means to have a commitment to free speech and the open exchange of ideas.

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About the Author

Michael McShane

Mike McShane is the Director of Education Policy for the Show-Me Institute. He is a former high school teacher and earned his PhD in Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. Before coming to the Show-Me Institute, Mike worked at the American Enterprise Institute as a research fellow.

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Michael Highsmith

Michael is a policy researcher at the Show-Me Institute. A native of Saint Louis, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with emphasis in economics at Saint Louis University. Michael is researching budget and tax policy with the Show-Me Institute.