Edited remarks by Marlene Kim from an address given at UMB on October 4, 2018
Public higher education serves the public good: it benefits more than just the college graduate. Because it helps the larger community, we should subsidize higher education more than we do so today.
How does it benefit others? Wages increase from college educations: college graduates earn millions more during their lifetime compared to non-college graduates. They pay higher taxes as a result to their state and to the federal government. Crime is reduced because college graduates are more likely to be employed and are less likely to commit crimes. In college, we teach people how to think critically, so we produce informed citizens who can make important decisions at the ballot box. College education increases productivity. It’s no wonder that the post World War II boom was in part due to the GI bill that gave free college educations to war veterans. Thus, public higher education is an economic development model for Boston, which is why federal and state money should fund public higher education.
The state and federal government especially should fund UMass Boston. UMass Boston is unique. We are a majority minority campus. We serve English as a Second Language learners, low-income students, and first generation students. We serve the underserved.