Lincoln Project Expected to Spark Conversation about Public Higher Education
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On Monday, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced a new initiative during an event at the University of California, Berkeley called the Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education. The project was developed in recognition of the fact that public institutions currently face a variety of problems – such as low government appropriations, new emerging technologies and changes in student demographics. The project aims to look at these issues in more detail and encourage government and industry leaders to come together to generate solution-driven conversations.

It is expected that the initiative will draw attention from several policymakers, government officials and higher education leaders across the United States and ensure public colleges and universities remain relevant in the industry and vigilant of its rapid changes.

The three-year long project will be led by Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor of UC Berkeley, upon his retirement in June 2013.

“Chancellor Birgeneau is a dynamic and highly respected leader in higher education, having led key public universities – the University of Toronto in Canada and UC Berkeley in the U.S.,” Leslie Berlowitz, American Academy president, announced at the Academy symposium, The Benefit of Public Investment in Higher Education: California and Beyond.

The Academy is expected to arrange multiple conferences across the U.S. to engage federal and state policymakers and higher education industry professionals on the future of public institutions.

“Public disinvestment and escalating costs are increasingly threatening our vaunted system of public higher education,” Birgeneau said at the symposium. “Without bold steps to stabilize the financial model of our public universities, hundreds of thousands of deserving students will be denied access to a better life and the country’s ability to innovate, create jobs and support a strong economy will be severely compromised.”

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