19 Apr 2016 - 05 Mar 2021
All Blogs
Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Facing Higher Education
New Issue Brief from William G. Bowen
April 13, 2016
Deanna Marcum
Rutgers University is marking its 250th anniversary this year with, among other activities, a series of lectures on the future of higher education. Opening the series on April 7, William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University and president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon foundation, and now valued advisor to ITHAKA, delivered a lecture on “Issues Facing Major Research Universities at a Time of Stress AND Opportunity.”  Drawing from his recently published Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education, co-authored with Michael S. McPherson, Bowen identified the primary sources of stress for public institutions: shrinking resources, especially when measured on a per student basis, and rising expectations from the public that universities will solve pressing national needs. These expectations include higher completion rates for undergraduates coupled with shorter time-to-degree; a marked reduction in disparities in educational outcomes associated with socioeconomic status; and greater success in controlling increases in costs while maintaining the quality of education. In addition, the country looks to leading graduate programs to continue to provide a fresh generation of intellectual leadership.
Amid these stresses, Bowen points out that there are also enormous opportunities for public universities, as they have a singular capacity to meet many societal needs. This paper provides a high-level view of how public universities can deliver on their promise, despite the hurdles they must overcome. Please take a closer look, and we invite your comments here. Ithaka S+R is also co-hosting an event with the Urban Institute in Washington DC on April 21, where Lesson Plan co-author McPherson and a panel of experts will discuss a related set of issues. We hope to see you there.
Email Updates
Sign-up and we’ll send you updates about our news and publications.
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Name *
Email *
Access to higher education
Higher education costs
Student learning and outcomes
Teaching with technology
Lesson Plan
Deanna Marcum
Managing Director

Educational Transformation
Issue Brief
Issues Facing Major Research Universities at a Time of Stress AND Opportunity
April 12, 2016
William G. Bowen
Ithaka S+R
Related Publication
Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs
William G. Bowen
October 13, 2014
Related Publication
Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities
William G. Bowen, Kelly A. Lack, Matthew Chingos, Thomas I. Nygren
May 22, 2012
Related Publication
Technology-Enhanced Education at Public Flagship Universities
Deanna Marcum, Christine Mulhern, Clara Samayoa
December 11, 2014
Related Publication
Technology to the Rescue
Deanna Marcum
April 14, 2014
Related Publication
MOOCs in the Classroom?
Rebecca J. Griffiths
October 28, 2013
Related Blog Posts
Harnessing the Power of Technology at Public Research Universities
Deanna Marcum
December 11, 2014
Improving Instruction at Scale
Martin Kurzweil
August 26, 2015
Cause and Effect in Virginia Higher Education
D. Derek Wu
May 5, 2015
Higher Education’s Free Agent Future
Jeffrey J. Selingo
March 18, 2015
Unbundling Higher Education
Jeffrey J. Selingo
May 12, 2015
Work With Us
Email Updates
Sign-up and we’ll send you updates about our news and publications.
Photo Credits | Privacy policy
©2004-2016 ITHAKA
Ithaka S+R is a not-for-profit service that helps the academic community navigate economic and technological change. We deliver strategic guidance, research, and publications through two program areas: Educational Transformation and Libraries & Scholarly Communication.
2 Rector Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10006
212.500.2355 info@sr.ithaka.org
Ithaka S+R is part of ITHAKA.
Email UpdatesCommunityContactAboutIthaka S+R HomePublicationsWork With UsPeopleEventsBlogAboutContactCommunityEmail Updates