Nicholas Zeppos, chancellor of Vanderbilt University, questions the way America's four-year colleges and universities deliver the undergraduate experience in this opinion piece published by CNN.com.
"Acceleration, or decreasing the amount of time it takes to get an undergraduate degree, is a trend in higher education nationwide," he wrote. "Some universities are compressing bachelor's degrees to three years or less.
"The assumption seems to be that what matters is the amount of content delivered, not the quantity of time invested."
Zeppos argued that "our job as educators is not to merely disgorge information and dispense degrees."
"We should also help shape young people as the citizens, leaders, parents, and neighbors they are going to become. Intellectual development and skills training are part of that," he argued. "But so are emotional and spiritual development. Ethical development. And civic development. All of which take time."
Higher Education can get the time it needs by doing more to make a four-year college experience affordable, and providing time and space for learning and growth beyond the classroom.
"Rather than make college a "grab and go" experience, let's give students the ingredients and time to allow new ideas and perspectives to simmer, blend and marinate," Zeppos wrote. "We need to nurture intentional learning communities. Our country will be better for it."