Skip to Main Content

Topic: Governance

Blog Post
October 15, 2019

Prisons, the Higher Ed Market, and Second Chance Pell

Both houses of Congress are debating a set of bills to update portions of the Higher Education Act, the key federal postsecondary education law. The long-overdue refresh has been held up by disagreements over levels of funding, accountability, and how to handle sex discrimination under Title IX, among other issues.  Whenever the HEA finally does come up for reauthorization, the move to restore Pell grants to the incarcerated is expected to make the final draft. Legislators who care about improving…
Blog Post
October 2, 2019

An Interview with Dr. Dominique Baker

The Strategic Alignment of State Appropriations, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and an Associate at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Baker is an expert in financial aid policies and student debt, and examines the equity implications of higher education policies. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Baker for sharing her thoughts on the strategic alignment of state higher education finance policies. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. With limited funding, where…
Issue Brief
October 2, 2019

The Strategic Alignment of State Appropriations, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies

In response to the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, states reduced their expenditures on many public services and goods, including substantial cuts to higher education spending. Despite a strong economic recovery since the Great Recession and significant increases in student enrollment, most states’ spending on higher education has not returned to pre-recession levels. Reductions in state spending and rising costs have led a number of public colleges and universities to increase tuition, making college less affordable for many students…
Blog Post
September 12, 2019

How Can Academic Libraries and University Museums Effectively Collaborate?

Ithaka S+R is conducting a study on the relationship between academic libraries and campus museums, looking specifically at how they are governed and structured. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are in the process of inviting forty universities to participate, and over the Fall will interview the directors of both their museum and library in order to learn more about how these campus units operate in relation to the university and to one another.  …
Blog Post
June 12, 2019

An Interview with Dr. David Tandberg

“North Star” Attainment Goals

David Tandberg is the Vice President for Policy Research and Strategic Initiatives at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). Dr. Tandberg is a leading expert on state higher education policy. He currently leads SHEEO in its work to connect empirical research with state policy to improve higher education opportunities for students. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Tandberg for sharing his thoughts regarding state “north star” attainment goals. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. How…
Issue Brief
June 12, 2019

Setting a North Star

Motivations, Implications, and Approaches to State Postsecondary Attainment Goals

Higher education attainment goals can serve as a “north star” to guide states’ postsecondary policies, investments, and agendas. The extent to which state attainment goals lead to substantive improvements in college-going rates, college graduation rates, postsecondary credential attainment rates, and reductions in labor market skills gaps is as yet unclear. Further, the likelihood a state will meet its attainment goals varies by state and depends on contextual factors that are within and outside the purview of the education sector. In…
Blog Post
May 22, 2018

Taking a Closer Look at College and University Endowments: New Report

A new report from Sandy Baum, Cappy Hill, and myself, out today, provides an overview of college and university endowments. We seek to inform the public policy debate by exploring how endowments are structured and used, and discussing the extent to which the favorable tax policy for higher education institutions serves the public interest. We find that the distribution of endowment assets is highly skewed across institutions. The median endowment per student for all postsecondary institutions is $12,600, while…
Research Report
May 22, 2018

College and University Endowments

In the Public Interest?

The fact that a handful of colleges and universities control billions of dollars in endowment funds has captured the attention of Congress and the public. Is it in the public interest for these institutions to continue to receive the full exemption from income taxation for the donations to and income from endowments?[1] The passage of the recent federal tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which imposes an excise tax of 1.4 percent on the net investment…
Past Event
May 31, 2018

Martin Kurzweil at The New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum

Big Data: Managing Risks and Seizing Opportunities

On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Martin Kurzweil will serve as a discussion leader on “Big Data: Managing Risks and Seizing Opportunities” at The New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum. The session will run from 12:30 – 2:00 pm. The event is being held in TheTimesCenter in New York City. For more information, please see the event website. About the forum: For the presidents, chancellors and provosts of our nation’s colleges and universities, issues on campus grow more urgent…
Blog Post
February 28, 2018

Insights from the William G. Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

Last November, we held the inaugural William G. Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership. Named for our late, founding board chair and president emeritus of Princeton University and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the event brought together 50 higher education leaders and experts to discuss several contemporary challenges including diversity and inclusiveness, free speech and student activism, and the role of technology in higher education. Today, Kevin Guthrie, Cappy Hill, and I are publishing three papers…
Research Report
February 28, 2018

Free Speech, Student Activism, and Social Media

Reflections from the Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

“We don’t invite people here [to speak] because we agree with them. The right question, well phrased, can be far more effective than preventing people from speaking.” —William G. Bowen, quoted in Priscilla Van Tassel, “Bowen Reviews His Years at Princeton,” The New York Times, November 29, 1987…
Research Report
February 28, 2018

Technology in Higher Education

Reflections from the Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

“Properly conceived, information technology will enhance, but not replace, traditional modes of teaching and learning. It will also permit the delivery of educational content to a wider variety of others interested in subjects that lend themselves to distance learning – at home and at odd hours.” —William G. Bowen, “At a Slight Angle to the Universe: The University in a Digitized, Commercialized Age,” Romanes Lecture, Oxford University, October 17, 2000.
Research Report
February 28, 2018

Postsecondary Access and Diversity

Reflections from the Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

“[T]he twin problems before us are, first, an unacceptably stagnant level of overall educational attainment in spite of historically high returns to degree completion and, second, persistent disparities in BA completion rates by socio-economic status. The two are, as it were, linked at the hip because we can’t achieve significant increases in the overall level of educational attainment unless we do a better job of graduating students from poor families and from Hispanic and African American populations.” —William G. Bowen,…
Past Event
January 30, 2018

What Is the New Normal for Accreditation and What Should It Be?

Martin Kurzweil Speaks at CHEA Annual Conference Plenary Session

On Tuesday, January 30, Martin Kurzweil is speaking at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Annual Conference on “What Is the New Normal for Accreditation and What Should It Be?” Barbara Brittingham, president of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges is moderating the panel which also includes Ed Klonoski, president of Charter Oak State College. This plenary session will run from 10 – 11:00 am. The CHEA Annual Conference is being…
Blog Post
January 10, 2018

Research Infrastructure and the Strategic Decisions of Universities

For the past several years, I have been writing about the turn to research workflow tools. These tools reach deeply into the laboratory and are increasingly important to scientists and other scholars, and they impact the university research office and scholarly communications programs. Scholars need seamless end-to-end research solutions. Major publishers are making substantial investments in this area as they seek to pivot their businesses beyond content licensing. The strategic choices that universities make today…
Issue Brief
January 4, 2018

Big Deal: Should Universities Outsource More Core Research Infrastructure?

Research universities have developed in symbiosis with a robust set of commercial providers that serve their needs. From food service providers to run dining halls to private equity firms to manage parts of the endowment, outsourcing has allowed universities to remain more focused on their core educational and research functions. But universities have also at times elected to outsource academic infrastructure. Commercial firms have developed a major role in several significant university functions, including scientific publishing, library management systems, and…
Blog Post
December 20, 2017

Endowment Tax Provision: Counting Students Is No Easy Feat

After the House of Representatives and Senate passed two versions of a GOP bill to overhaul the tax code, a conference committee released a near-final version last Friday that was passed by the House on Tuesday. The Senate then passed a bill with slight tweaks on Wednesday, necessitating a House re-vote. The House is expected to pass the bill midday Wednesday and the President is expected to sign within the coming days. While some of the controversial measures…
Blog Post
October 25, 2017

Why We Need a Salary Survey

The View from Auburn University

Like many academic libraries, Auburn University participated in the 2016 Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion survey conducted by Ithaka S+R with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Due to particular circumstances, I ended up being the lead person to gather and compile the data for my library, rather than our Library HR manager.  It consumed a few hours of a dean’s time, but provided me a front seat to interact with colleagues working at all levels of my library who…
Past Event
November 9, 2017

Martin Kurzweil Speaks on Quality Assurance in U.S. Higher Education

At University of Pennsylvania School of Law

On Thursday, November 9, Martin Kurzweil and Wendell Pritchett, Provost and Presidential Professor of Law and Education at the University of Pennsylvania, are speaking on “Quality Assurance in U.S. Higher Education: The Current Landscape and Principles for Reform.” The talk will be held in the Bernard Segal Moot Court Room at Penn Law at noon. From the event website: The U.S. system of higher education continues to be vital to our country, but over the last decade it has come under increasing…
Blog Post
October 11, 2017

The Preservation of Government Publications

Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond

I was honored to be asked to testify before the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration, as part of a hearing on “Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond.” The hearing also included testimony from Robin Dale of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and R. Eric Petersen of the Congressional Research Service. A video of the hearing is included below along with the written testimony I submitted to the committee. Written Testimony Chairman Harper, Ranking Member Brady, and…