This week we attended the Association of American Universities’ annual conference of the Public Affairs Network. This group, which includes the leaders of communications and public affairs from 62 leading research universities, frequently discusses the best ways to communicate about university research and higher education more broadly.
The dialogue is particularly urgent this year in light of recent attacks on science, efforts to close off international exchange, and proposals to sharply cut federal funding for agencies that support science and medical research.
Lisa and I wrote an essay together following the conference, and it is published in Inside Higher Ed today. Our hope is that we will see the current climate as a call to action to marshal our best arguments and our most effective allies, in business and in public life, to make the strongest possible case for public investment in research.
The Atlantic magazine ran a piece on March 2 with this provocative title: “Being Quiet Is Part of Being a Good CEO.” The story was about research by Hal Gregersen, executive director of MIT’s Leadership Center, who interviewed more than 200 senior business leaders to find out what makes them successful at transformational change.
Gregersen notes that leaders become increasingly isolated as they rise higher in the food chain. “The challenge becomes that once people move into leadership roles, they often spend too much time in offices and too little time out on the edge of their organizations where people are voicing legitimate, honest concerns about what’s working and what isn’t,” he said. “We fail to ask new questions when we stop being in different places around different people. When that stops happening, we’re crippled by lack of information.” Continue reading →
Campus leaders are grappling with the effects of Trump’s immigration ban. Many are warning their students, staff and faculty about foreign travel and reinforcing their commitment to a global community of scholars. Here is a sampling of statements from higher education leaders: Continue reading →
January is the time when we say good-bye to the previous 12 months and look ahead to the next ones. It’s clear that 2016 was an especially turbulent year for higher education. What’s on tap for 2017? Read our essay in Inside Higher Education on the top trends that college and university leaders should be prepared for in 2017.
This week a group of 30 selective American colleges and universities, together with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, announced a collaborative effort to expand access for low-income students. This effort—dubbed the American Talent Initiative—is part of a suite of initiatives that are attempting to help academically qualified students from lower-income families get improved access to elite universities.
The problem has been a stubborn one to solve, and has persisted despite numerous, well-meaning efforts. This is because high school grades and standardized test scores, which factor heavily into selective university admissions, are closely correlated with affluence. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation noted in a report earlier this year that the 193 universities with the most competitive admissions have made only 1 percentage point of progress in enrolling Pell recipients in more than a decade: from 16 percent of first-time, full-time students in 2000 to 17 percent in at 2013. The foundation called for a “poverty preference” in selective university admissions. Continue reading →