St. Mary's is no 'cautionary tale'

June 03, 2013

Anne Neal's recent commentary ("Cautionary campus tale," May 30) seeks to conflate two separate issues into a unified insight about the pending collapse of America's higher education system. Her effort merits a failing grade.

Yes, St. Mary's College of Maryland has suffered an "off" admission year, yielding fewer students than expected and budgeted for, but to argue that the shortfall is the result of admissions prospects rejecting the college's curriculum as having, in her words, "dubious educational value" is a stretch too far. While I sympathize with some perspectives espoused by her organization, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, it is disingenuous to exploit an institution's temporary setback as an opportunity to advance the council's agenda.

Contrary to her assertion that students at St. Mary's receive little in return for their tuition, St. Mary's provides what Milton termed "a generous education."

Kevin M. O'Keefe, Baltimore

The writer is a former chairman of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

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