Thursday, December 8, 2011
Session 1 KEYNOTE PANEL: WHAT OUGHT UNIVERSITIES LOOK LIKE IN 20 TO 30 YEARS?
Jamshed Bharucha, President, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Arts
Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor, City University of New York
Neil Grabois, Dean, Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, The New School for Public Engagement; former Provost, Williams College; President Emeritus, Colgate University
Robert Zimmer, President, University of Chicago
Moderator: David Van Zandt, President, The New School
Friday, December 9, 2011
10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (with a break from 11:30–noon)
Session 2 RESTRUCTURING RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
A. REINVENTING THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY TO SERVE A CHANGING WORLD
James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Technology, University of Michigan
The seemingly incompatible imperatives of a changing world–massification (extending college degree attainment), league table rankings (achieving world-class research capacity and quality), exponentiating technologies (cyber-infrastructure, open learning resources, social networking), and shifting public priorities (viewing education as less a public good than a private benefit)–are all posing formidable challenges to higher education. While these are driving many institutional changes at the margin (increasing enrollments, expanding use of part-time faculty, rising tuition levels), recent studies at the international, national, regional, and institutional level suggest that not only is a more fundamental restructuring of higher education necessary, but new paradigms of learning, scholarship, and engagement may be required that will radically change the public purpose, mission, and character of the research university itself.
B. IS THERE A NEW MISSION FOR U.S. RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES?
The traditional tasks of training, research, and credentialing, which heretofore defined the central tasks of universities purposes are now distributed broadly. Are there new tasks? Is the teaching of liberal arts the only task now unique to the university?
Jonathan R. Cole, John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost and Dean of Faculties, Emeritus, Columbia University
I will review a number of current threats to the dominance of the American higher education system. I will spend even more time on what American universities ought to look like 25 or 30 years from now if they are to maintain their preeminence among the greatest seats of higher learning in the world. While the rest of the world is trying to imitate what American universities look like today, we should be making dramatic changes in our institutions of higher learning to adapt to a changing world environment, to the changing needs of our own society, and to changes in our institutional structures that will unleash the extraordinarily constrained forces that govern the growth of knowledge. This paper will describe some of the things we ought to be doing.
C. Outcomes Testing and the Ethics of Reading
Peter Brooks, Professor of Comparative Literature, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, Princeton University
The perception of a crisis in American higher education—proclaimed by numerous books—has led to a call for "outcomes testing," testing of the "value added" by a student's college education. After discussing some examples of such testing (as recommended originally by the 2006 Spellings Commission Report), I ask whether we really want to take such an exclusively instrumental view of knowledge and its uses. The humanities, I believe, do and should promote another kind of knowing that I refer to under the rubric "the ethics of reading."
Moderator: Andrew Delbanco, Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
D. HOW ARE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGIES CHANGING HOW FACULTY TEACH AND STUDENTS LEARN?
Vijay Kumar, Senior Associate Dean and Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E. THE FINANCIAL FUTURE OF RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
Henry S. Bienen, President Emeritus, Northwestern University
This paper examines the revenue streams of research universities: income from their endowments, tuitions, annual and capital giving, direct and indirect government payments, athletics, and unrelated business income. Pressures exist on all these that tend to keep increases of revenues at a low rate. The paper then examines costs—the expenditure side of a research university's ledger, arguing that in most cost areas—building programs, financial aid, research operating costs, faculty and staff salaries, athletics costs, and student life—pressures will work to lower costs or at least to lessen the rate of increase.
Moderator: David Scobey, Executive Dean, The New School for Public Engagement
(Break from 4:00 –4:30 p.m.)
Session 3 ROADMAPPING UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT
What is it that the people responsible for creating or transforming offshore universities want? How are they trying to achieve it? What is the role of U.S. universities in all of this? How does the U.S. involvement in these offshore universities affect U.S. universities? What evidence is there that these new institutions promote free inquiry, academic freedom, and gender equality, all important aspects of a democracy?
John A. Douglass, Senior Research Fellow, Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California at Berkeley
Are research universities simply reflections of the society that gives them life, subject to local cultural and political norms? Or are universities leaders of their society, a place for cutting-edge thought and debate? This is a question that is not openly discussed by ministerial or academic leaders in China. Rather, it is an underlying question that is a source of underlying tension and will likely emerge slowly and more openly as the central government continues its uneven progress toward greater economic liberty. It is also a vital question if China wishes to develop a set of comprehensive research universities that are truly among the top in the world - and not simply good producers of scientific research and patents. The newly released National Outline for Medium and Long Term Educational Reform and Development (otherwise known a the 2020 Blueprint) appears to mark one more step toward supporting a select group of universities to adopt features of some of the world's best and influential universities, including offers of greater autonomy and funds for improving academic management. At the same time, the 2020 Blueprint retains the ethos of central ministerial planning and control and has been presented in an environment in which criticism of societies problems remain constrained. Globalization, including increased interaction with university faculty and leaders in the US, EU and elsewhere, is creating a consensus among China's academic leaders that for their universities to fully mature, they need increased institutional independence, including new levels of academic freedom and improved internally generated quality control. Yet this will be a slow process, shaped by Chinese societal norms and the still dominant hand of the national government.
S. Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute for the Social Sciences
C. SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES: AT THE EPICENTER OF A CAULDRON OF NATIONAL IMAGINATIONS
Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Durban University of Technology in South Africa
South Africa's university system is by far the most developed on the African continent. 17 years after the fall of apartheid we must ask whether there is anything approaching a national consensus about the place of universities in development. This is still an open question. The legacies of apartheid continue to shape debates about how to think about the place of higher education in this society that is at once an exciting new experiment in democracy and the most unequal society in the world. South Africa's flirtations with the knowledge economy have implications for the way in which we think about its universities. Its status as being 123rd in the world in terms of the Human Development Index has other implications for this. In this paper we examine the tensions that undergird the higher education policy debates – that most often reflect conflictual imaginations of the 'new' South Africa.
Moderator: Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University; Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Knowledge; President, PUKAR
(Break 4:00-4:30 p.m.)
D. EUROPE INCHES FORWARD ON HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM: FOCUS GERMANY
Daniel Fallon, advisor to the German government on its excellence initiative for higher education; Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park
As advanced economies make the transition to knowledge-based industries, universities have come under political pressure to increase productivity and efficiency. Although this is a global phenomenon, it poses special challenges for the post-secondary sector in Europe, where universities have for centuries been closely linked to local political culture and simultaneously viewed as guardians of inviolable academic tradition. The tension can be clearly seen in European reform movements like Erasmus and the Bologna Process, which were designed and mandated by politicians charged with cultural oversight and then implemented unevenly by skeptical and sometimes resentful academics. Nonetheless, European universities generally welcome the renewed financial investment and public interest that accompanies the demand for change. Germany is a special case because of the number and significance of its universities, whose Enlightenment era reforms served as an inspiring ideal for the emergence of the United States research university. A national consensus in Germany has judged no German university as capable of competing with world-class universities. In an extraordinary act of national will the federal government, the state governments, and the academic community together developed a plan called the Excellence Initiative, which is investing more than $6.4 billion in supplemental funding over 10 years directed toward structural and qualitative reform of the universities. This presentation describes some of the European initiatives and challenges, using the German Excellence Initiative as a focal point.
E. LATIN AMERICA
Jorge Balán, Senior Research Scholar, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
The main purpose of this paper is to selectively review the prospects for building sustainable, competitive research universities in the current economic and political context in Latin America. Over the last two decades or more, in spite of scattered exceptions and a few reversals, the region has moved forward towards the long aspired, twin goals of establishing working democratic institutions and sustainable economic growth policies. Better positioned in the global economy than in the past, many countries have managed relatively well the worst consequences of the ongoing global financial crisis. As a consequence, investment in education, research, and development continued increasing significantly from the low levels of the 1980s. Yet, major countries within the region still lag behind other emerging global players in supporting higher education and the research infrastructure that would enhance national and regional competitiveness. This paper will selectively explore the major challenges faced in the process of increasing public and private investment in university-based research and development and the policy dilemmas inherent to the building of internationally competitive research universities. The final section will briefly discuss the growing role of regional cooperation, internationalization policies and the enhanced presence of U.S. and European universities.
F. PANDORA'S BOX: THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE ARAB WORLD
Lisa Anderson, President of the American University in Cairo
In examining the landscape of research universities in the Arab world, this paper treats both the relatively well-known weaknesses in higher education in the region, and points to possible sources of measured optimism. It begins by probing the challenges to research universities posed by various kinds of authoritarian political contexts, including the debilitating effects of limitations on academic freedom, underinvestment in public institutions and populist open enrollment policies. In addition it examines the more recent appearance of investment in vanity projects—including branch campuses of US universities--on the part of both governments and private investors, which further complicates the economics of higher education in the region, creating perverse patterns in faculty salaries and student tuitions, and producing very little research of any quality. The paper then examines opportunities for innovation in the Arab world that may become possible in the context of the even moderately more open, accountable and transparent regimes of the Arab spring. This region, with its very high proportion of technologically-savvy young people, may see real creativity and imagination devoted to how high quality education can be delivered, and world class research conducted, in the 21st century world of digital communication, online global classrooms and networked research collaborations. Just as mobile telephony has permitted leapfrogging the industrial world's dependence on the cumbersome physical infrastructure of landlines in much of the region, the new media may allow building research universities less dependent on the bricks and mortar of the now dominant North American and European institutions.
Moderator: Alan Ryan, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Politics James Madison Program and the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University; former Warden of New College, Oxford University