Regarding your recent editorial on higher education, while the University System of Maryland has long been at the forefront of innovation, increased operational efficiency and improved student learning, it is Gov.Martin O'Malley's leadership and support in this area that has made college more affordable today than ever before ("The Maryland model," July 2).
Despite much easier economic times, budgets and tuitions ballooned under the previous administration. Students at our state's colleges and universities saw tuition increase of more than 40 percent over four years, and the College Board ranked Maryland as having the seventh highest average tuition in the nation.
Today, due in large part to a four-year tuition freeze championed by Governor O'Malley, Maryland has had the smallest percentage increase in tuition of any state in the nation over the last five years. When the College Board compared our average tuition to those of other states recently we had dropped from seventh highest to 23rd highest — smack in the middle of the pack.
Our state's colleges and universities continue to be recognized as some of the best in the country, and more of our state's children are able to achieve the dream of an affordable college education.
The investments in education made by Governor O'Malley will help ensure not only an accessible and affordable education for today's students, but also a world-class, highly-trained workforce for tomorrow's economy.
The writer is Maryland secretary of higher education.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun