The University Record, September 11, 2000

Panel focuses on future of higher ed

By Amy Reyes
News and Information Services

Three respected leaders of higher education will headline a panel discussion Sept. 15 that will focus on the future of higher education in the United States.

Access to higher education, earning a higher education degree online and funding for higher educational institutions are among the topics that will likely come up during the discussion.

The speakers—all School of Education alumni—include Dolores Cross, president of Morris Brown College in Atlanta; Paul Lingenfelter, executive director of the State Higher Education Executive Office; and Theodore (Ted) Marchese, executive editor of Change, a professional magazine about higher education. Marchese also is former vice president of the American Association for Higher Education.

“Discussing contemporary higher education issues with leaders in the field will allow us to develop new ideas about how to better prepare future researchers and leaders for higher education,” says Sylvia Hurtado, director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) at the School of Education.

CSHPE, the top-ranked higher education program in the country, is organizing the panel discussion, which also will be broadcast on the Web. The panelists earned doctoral degrees from the School of Education.

“Our alumni are making tremendous contributions in the field of education. This event promises to be a stimulating way to begin conversations about extending the impact of our programs even further,” notes Dean Karen Wixson.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Hurtado, who adds that “the panelists have a national perspective on the key challenges higher education faces, and are involved in shaping the national conversations on these issues.”

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Continuing access and equity issues and the future of historically Black colleges or minority-serving institutions.

  • Addressing the question of whether higher education consumers continue to prefer large classrooms, residence halls, and small group seminars if they can get the same degree online. Panelists will discuss the changes they see in traditional (high-priced) institutions and whether institutions are responding by developing parallel delivery systems for courses and degrees.

  • With the decline in national and state spending levels in higher education, the choices that institutions have seem to resemble private higher education in terms of financing and tuition. Is there no longer a distinction between public systems and private higher education? What remains “public” about public higher education?

    The panel discussion, “Higher Education Vistas: Contemporary Challenges and Future Perspectives,” will take place at 4 p.m. Sept. 15 in Schorling Auditorium, School of Education Building.

    Information about logging on for the Webcast is at at www.umich.edu/~cshpe/vistas.html.