Monday, September 24, 2007

Giuliani's Tough-Guy Record on Higher Education

Rudolph W. Giuliani hasn’t said much yet about his campaign plans for higher education, but the Republican does have a controversial record on the issue.

In the first of our series of profiles of the leading presidential candidates, The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at Mr. Giuliani’s higher-education record as mayor. We also highlight his undergraduate experiences (he wrote political columns that, among other things, criticized Barry Goldwater) and summarize his platform positions that do mention postsecondary education.

As mayor, Mr. Giuliani worked to end open enrollment and raise admissions standards at New York City’s public university system, the City University of New York. To his supporters, his actions represented a bold move that has improved CUNY’s rigor. To his critics, Mr. Giuliani’s approach was bullheaded and threatened to undermine the urban university’s historic mission to educate all New Yorkers.

Both his supporters and his critics say Mr. Giuliani’s record on CUNY shows how he aggressively pursues his convictions, often without regard for public opinion, and illustrates the kind of leadership style — and heated debate — that Mr. Giuliani might bring to the White House if he were elected.

On another front, John Edwards released a plan on Friday to reform elementary and secondary education. It included a proposal to create a "West Point for teachers."

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