The Future of Public Colleges
by Daniel Luzer
The outgoing chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, Robert Birgeneau, will apparently head a new commission to study the future of public higher education. According to an article by Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times:
Birgeneau, a physicist, is to lead the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ new initiative that will propose ways for the federal government, private industry and foundations to better aid state institutions, along with developing reforms the schools could undertake. It is being called “The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education” — named for President Lincoln, who in 1862 signed the Morrill Act granting federal lands for the establishment of public universities.
Birgeneau, who is 70 and has led UC Berkeley since 2004, said he wanted to help develop “workable plans that will help reverse the progressive disinvestment we have seen in public higher education across the country.”
He has apparently ruled out just requiring states to sufficiently fund their public colleges in the future, though he did explain that it was too early to discuss specific strategies.