Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

U.S. Senator promotes education equivalent of fuel-efficient car


If cars can be fuel-efficient, why can’t education be time-efficient?

That’s the premise that Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is promoting.

Alexander served as U.S. education secretary in the administration of the first President George Bush and also as president of the University of Tennessee.

Speaking at the Reuters Washington Summit, Alexander suggested that more colleges take a look at allowing at least some students to obtain an undergraduate degree in three years rather than the normal four. “It’s one way to attract students,” he said.

How does he expect colleges to respond? “Skeptically,” Alexander said. “Colleges don’t change easily.”