Private liberal arts colleges and universities continue to educate a significant percentage of American students, in spite of the recent growth in public higher education--and to sustain for the whole academic community the tradition of preserving boundaries between government and academia. Now the survival of these instiitutions is threatened by economic factors beyond their control. In 1974 the Task Force of the National Council of Independent Colleges and Universities sought means of reducing tuition costs to students in the private sector and of thus ensuring the vitality of a pluralistic system of higher education in the United States. The following article is a discussion of the public-private dialogue in the light of Task Force recommendations. It has been adapted from an address delivered by Steven Muller (a member of the Task Force) at the Southern Regional Education Board meeting in 1975, as first published in the 1975 SREB series "Financing Higher Education", No. 26. Dr. Muller, president of the Johns Hopkins University, was selected chairman of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, formed earlier this year.
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