Last updated on: 8/1/2017 | Author:

Joseph E. Aoun, PhD Biography

President of Northeastern University
Pro to the question "Is a College Education Worth It?"

“In boom times and recession, labor market figures consistently show that college graduates have a much lower unemployment rate than their less-educated peers. In May [2011], for example, the government reported that 95.5% of college graduates 25 and older were employed, compared with 90.3% of high school graduates and 85.4% of those without a high school diploma.

In addition, a new Georgetown University study that analyzed the earning outcomes of 171 types of college degrees found that every single one generates a positive return — even after college costs and foregone earnings are taken into account. It found that, overall, college graduates make 84% more over a lifetime than their high school-educated counterparts…

[P]reparing students for careers is just one important part of what colleges do. For example, in a recent national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than 90% of college graduates reported that college helped them grow intellectually and mature as individuals. College expands students’ horizons, exposes them to ideas and fields of study they might not encounter otherwise and fosters relationships with diverse peers. It prepares people to become engaged citizens in ways that few other experiences can…

Time and again, countries have relied on colleges and universities as the surefire way to expand their economies and promote social mobility. In the 1950s, the dramatic expansion of higher education in the United States helped create the American middle class. In one generation, South Korea propelled itself from the ranks of the world’s poorest nations to among the world’s richest, in large part by emphasizing higher education.”

“A College Education Is Your Best Bet,”, June 9, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • President, Northeastern University, Aug. 15, 2006-present
  • Fellow, Linguistic Society of America, 2011
  • Recipient, MIT Robert A. Muh Alumni Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, 2011
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2010
  • Recipient, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, American College of Thessaloniki, 2009
  • Recipient, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, Hebrew Union College, 2007
  • Recipient, Chevalier de L’ordre des Palmes Academiques (Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms), French Government, 2006
  • Former Dean, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, University of Southern California
  • Former Endowed Chair, Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California
  • Former Faculty Member, Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California
  • Recipient, USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship, 1997
  • Recipient, USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, Award for The Syntax of Scope, 1993
  • Recipient, USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award for A Grammar of Anaphora, 1988
  • Former Head, Academic Senate, University of Southern California
  • PhD, Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981
  • Diploma of Advanced Studies, General and Theoretical Linguistics, University of Paris VIII, 1977
  • MA, Oriental Languages and Literature, Université Saint-Joseph (Beirut, Lebanon), 1975
  • None found
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Pro & Con Quotes: Is a College Education Worth It?