“Investing in the Future: Sharing Responsibility for Higher Education Attainment” New Report

Final report of the National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education national-com-fin-he-21st-centreleased
[download full report (PDF) ] [download Executive Summary only (PDF) ]

The Report is the work of the 14-member National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education led by two former governors and includes two state legislators, five university presidents and five private sector CEOs.

The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy and political history and strives to apply the lessons of history to the nation’s most pressing contemporary governance challenges.

The project director is Raymond Scheppach, Economic Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The commission produced ten white papers and a final report with recommendations. The Ten Reports Include:

“Crowded Out: The Outlook for State Higher Education Spending” (PDF) by Dan White and Sarah Crane, Moody’s Analytics

“Transformations Affecting Postsecondary Education” (PDF) by Jeffrey J. Selingo, author and columnist

“State Higher Education Finance: Best Practices” (PDF) by Martha Snyder, Brian Fox, and Cristen Moore, HCM Strategists

“Financing American Higher Education in the 21st Century: What Can the United States Learn From Other Countries?” (PDF) by D. Bruce Johnstone, professor, Higher and Comparative Education, University at Buffalo

“State Strategies for Leveraging Employer Investments in Postsecondary Education” (PDF) by Robert Sheets and Stephen Crawford, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, The George Washington University

“Understanding State and Local Higher Education Resources” (PDF) by Sandy Baum and Kim S. Rueben, Urban Institute

“New Directions in Private Financing” (PDF) by Andrew P. Kelly, American Enterprise Institute

“Higher Education: Social Impact Bonds and Income Share Agreements” (PDF) by Carlo Salerno, higher education economist and analyst

“State Support for Higher Education: How Changing the Distribution of Funds Could Improve College Completion Rates” (PDF) by Bridget Terry Long, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“The Federal Role in Financing 21st-Century Higher Education: Effectiveness, Issues, and Alternatives” (PDF) by Gabriel R. Serna, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The Future of Japanese Higher Education 2014


In preparing for a client engagement we assembled three required reads for our team. Our interest is in the future of higher education as it is evolving around the globe. We are also keenly interested in the policy backdrop that shapes a nation’s higher education system. That said this post provides a contemporary context by leading with Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to strengthen the economic outlook through long term higher education initiative. It ends with a perspective from India commenting on Japans strategic position in higher education in Asia.

Abeducation – A new push for higher education internationalization

by Suvendrini Kakuchi, Univeristy World News 27 June 2013 Issue No:278

Following the much-touted “Abenomics” floated by the administration of Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revive the country’s stagnant economy, Tokyo last week unveiled “Abeducation” to promote the internationalisation of the country’s higher education.
Abeducation, Abe’s growth strategy for education to develop human resources that can “prevail on the world stage”, is the latest official bid to reconstruct Japan. This is in line with new economic policies such as injecting new funds into the economy and other initiatives to resurrect Japan`s sagging clout in the world.
“Abeducation aims to enhance the globalisation of our higher education institutions that have fallen in international university rankings. It is time to transform Japanese universities to world universities so they can be placed within the top ranking,” Minister of Education Hakubun Shimomura said at a press conference last Tuesday.

Globalization and Higher Education Reforms in Japan: The Obstacles to Greater International Competitiveness

Japan’s universities have experienced a huge number of systemic and organizational reforms over the last 20 years. Amano Ikuo, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, looks back on the origins of the reforms as a response to globalization and ahead to the problems that still need to be addressed.— Amano Ikuo March 11, 2014

Another Perspective: Japan continues to be Asian giant in higher education, China closing in

Manash Pratim Gohain, The Times of India Jun 19, 2014.

NEW DELHI: Japan continues it’s dominance in Asian higher education by holding the top position yet again in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014, released a few hours ago on Thursday. The country has 20 representatives in the Top 100 table. But breathing down its neck is mainland China, which made significant stride registering 18 of its universities in the list, an increase of three since last rankings.

Look for more Future of Higher Education synopsis posted here. Guest Blog posts on the outlook or future of higher education are welcome.

Wanetka by K.A. Dolence

I am very excited to announce the release of my daughters new book.


There once was a little girl with a problem.
A curiosity problem.
You might be friends if you knew her.
You might even be best friends.
She didn’t have a lot of friends.
But that was ok.
She was busy.
Busy exploring.
Busy discovering.
Busy being curious.
She did after all have a curiosity problem.
One day the curiosity got the better of her.
Or maybe she got the better of the curiosity.
She couldn’t help it really.
The butterfly was that beautiful.
That peculiar.
That different.
You see it wasn’t actually the butterfly that was the problem.
It was the following the butterfly that was the problem.
The curiosity.
She was lost before she knew it.
In a forest.
It was possibly a magical forest.
Or it was possibly just an enchanted forest.
The little girl knew there was a difference between the two.
You probably know of the difference too.
Still she was lost.
Or maybe she wasn’t.
Maybe she was right where she was supposed to be.
She couldn’t decide.
She couldn’t tell which it was.
Lost or found.
It’s a good thing then that she was curious.





Merging Public Colleges in Georgia

HuckabyHank Huckaby was appointed Chancellor of University System of Georgia  in May 2011. In October of that same year he launched a consolidation initiative. The Board of Regents approved four consolidations in January 2012, just under four months from the imitative being launched. In November 2013, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to approve merging Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University in Phase II of planned consolidations. Consolidations are not new to Georgia. Between July 2009 and June 2010 thirteen technical colleges were consolidated into six.

“We must ensure that our system has the appropriate number of campuses around the state,” Huckaby said. “We in the university system should be the first to ask questions of ourselves to make sure we are serving the state in the best way.”

Phase I

Phase I consolidations reduced the number of colleges in the system from 35 to 31. The new schools are:

  • Georgia Regents University, a merger of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities. Ricardo Azziz is president.
  • Middle Georgia State College, a merger of Macon State and Middle Georgia College. John Black is interim president.
  • South Georgia State College, a merger of Waycross and South Georgia College. Virginia Carson is president.
  • University of North Georgia, a merger of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University. Bonita Jacobs is president.

None of the campuses will close. The consolidations will result in approximately $6 million in operations through reduced administrative costs the savings to be reinvested in curriculum.

Controlling for change: A consolidation case study, May 20, 2013, Beth Brigdon, VP for Institutional Effectiveness, Georgia Regents University provides an overview.

Work Plan

An aggressive schedule was established and a daunting work plan (below) developed.


  • Coordinate with SACS
  • Coordinate with program-based accreditation (business, education, etc.)
  • Consolidate colleges – address departments in different colleges
  • Address program/curriculum differences
  • Streamline program offerings
  • Statutes and Bylaws (faculty senate, committees)
  • Faculty and Staff Handbooks
  • Update faculty contracts
  • Consolidate tenure and promotion processes and standards
  • Address consolidation of “centers”


  • Combine Athletic Programs
  • Determine tuition strategy/approach
  • Merge information systems – address data governance and management
  • Coordinate with federal DOE for implementation of financial aid system
  • Revise Student Handbooks and Judiciary
  • Revise Bylaws (student government, student fee committee)


  • Legislative relationships/support
  • Name of institution
  • Address Foundation and Alumni Group Issues
  • Address any endowment restrictions
  • Branding (mascots, school colors)
  • Messaging


  • Merge financial systems including payroll
  • Update contractual and rental agreements
  • Analyze impact on bonds
  • Ensure effective implementation of controls (flowchart, KPI, segregation of duties)
  • Coordinate with State Auditor
  • Ensure adequate internal audit coverage
  • Consolidate risk management operations
  • Consolidate ethics hotline
  • Transition legal agreements
  • Transition IT security
  • Identify all reporting requirements; develop plan to ensure compliance

Phase II

In November 2013, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to approve Phase II the consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University. Phase II of planned consolidations was put on an aggressive schedule.

Major Planned Milestones

  • BOR considers recommendation to consolidate SPSU and KSU November 2013.
  • Prospectus developed and submitted to SACS October 2014
  • SACS considers approval of prospectus December 2014
  • BOR considers approval of newly created Kennesaw State University January 2015
  • First cohort of students attend the new university in fall 2015

2014 State of the University Address, Kennesaw State University, by President Daniel S. Papp, delivered May 7, 2014, 11 AM, and May 8, 2013, 11 AM, 2014. President Papp’s address weaves a campus historical and operational context of implementing a consolidation.

The Polybloggin website run by the Southern Polytechnic State University Undergraduate Admissions office provides a student services view.

Money Measures a new publication of the Kennesaw State University Associate Vice President for Operations shares financial contexts surrounding the consolidation.

And of course there is conflict in any such move. The Sentinel from KSU published its take under the banner Consolidation Conflict.

Lessons and Beyond

ChangeIsAProcessThree Lessons in Benefits Consolidation (from consolidation of institutions in Georgia) by Missy Kline,  June 17, 2014

To shed a little light on just how complicated such a consolidation is  take a few moments and peruse the agenda for the Georgia 2014 Conference for College and University Auditors held May 12-13, 2014.

Looking forward a new initiative has been established called Invent Beyond and the process has been opened up for participation using a MOOC style process. The online collaboration is open to anyone who attends, works in or works with higher education in the United States. The “Invent the Beyond” online collaboration will use crowd-sourcing to develop future scenarios and to explore and describe the factors critical to the success of student, faculty and postsecondary institutions in 2030.

Consolidations and mergers are not new to American Higher Education.

In 1995, Minnesota merged the states community and technical college systems. Prior to 1995, Minnesota had four systems of public higher education: the University of Minnesota, community colleges, technical colleges, and state universities. Each system had its own governance structure and mission. Governance of the technical college system was shared by a state board and local school districts; faculty were employed by school districts and belonged to 18 different local unions. Technical colleges focused on vocational and occupational education and only a limited number were accredited. Community colleges had a strong central office system that was directly involved with campus-level administrative decisions and provided services to the campuses. Community colleges focused on two-year academic and occupational programs. State universities were governed by a state board but were allowed considerable independence in administrating their academic programs.

In 1998, Kentucky merged its technical and community college systems. June 30, 2013 Rutgers University in New Jersey absorbed ‘most of’ the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey brining it to 65,000 students enrolled in 33 schools and colleges across New Jersey operated with a $4 billion dollar budget.

Consolidations are not new to global dispersed institutions. The largest University for Women, Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia consolidated several smaller women’s institutions to open with an enrollment of over 20,000 students and growing to 60,000 in just a couple years.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities on Charting the Future for a Prosperous Minnesota

charting_the_future_buttonMinnesota State Colleges & Universities have established a major Campaign for the future titled Charting the Future for a Prosperous Minnesota.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 community and technical colleges and seven state universities, operating on 54 campuses in 47 communities enrolling 400,000 plus students annually and employing more than 10,000 faculty and 7,600 staff.

In addition to the report a website has been established as a hub for the campaign.

The campaign is shaped around six primary recommendations:

  1. Dramatically increase the success of all learners, especially those in diverse populations traditionally underserved by higher education.
  2. Develop a collaborative and coordinated academic planning process that advances affordability, transferability, and access to our programs and services across the state.
  3. Certify student competencies and capabilities, expand pathways to accelerate degree completion through credit for prior learning, and foster the award of competency-based credit and degrees.
  4. Expand the innovative use of technology to deliver high quality online courses, strengthen classroom instruction and student services, and provide more individualized learning and advising.
  5. Work together under new models to be the preferred provider of comprehensive workplace solutions through programs and services that build employee skills and solve real-world problems for communities and businesses across the state.
  6. Redesign our financial and administrative models to reward collaboration, drive efficiencies, and strengthen our ability to provide access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Releases 2014 Data for Education

Education at a Glance 2014

OECD Education at a Glance 2014

Annual Comparative International Data on Education

OECD released their annual data report September 9, 2014. It is the leading international compendium of comparable national statistics measuring the state of education worldwide. This year’s report includes new indicators that provide further evidence of the critical role that education and skills play in fostering social progress. These include the links between education levels and employment; educational attainment and social mobility; and trend data and analysis for all the key indicators.

The report also addresses: public and private spending on education; its social and economic benefits for people and economies; tuition fees; the outcomes of education based on an analysis of tertiary completion rates; and class sizes, teacher salaries and instruction times.

The report analyses the education systems of the 34 OECD member countries, as well as Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

The OECD Annual Release is a much anticipated event around international educational policy arenas. The amount of data is enormous and a bit daunting for those new to the organizations fundamental activities and purpose.  The chart below illustrates the type of data comparisons available from OECD and is the latest comparative data available. (as with any massive international data set they tend to be lagging a few years)

Chart B3.2. Distribution of public and private expenditure on educational institutions (2011 Data)


OECD 2014 Funding Share Distribution


About The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 34 democracies with market economies work with each other, as well as with more than 70 non-member economies to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development. OECD member countries account for 59 percent of world GDP, three-quarters of world trade, 95 percent of world official development assistance, over half of the world’s energy consumption, and 18 percent of the world’s population. Together with its sister agencies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the OECD helps countries – both members and non-members – reap the benefits and confront the challenges of a global economy by promoting economic growth, free markets, efficient use of resources, and energy security.

International Students in Contemporary Context Insight from the U.K.

UK ImmigrationThe British public do not see international students as “immigrants” and are opposed to reducing the number coming here, even if this would make it harder to reduce immigration numbers, according to new research released today by Universities UK and think-tank British Future.

The government should instead remove international students from the net migration target and support and challenge universities to attract more international students to study here, the report argues.

The new research poses a challenge to the government as it seeks to keep its promise to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands”.  International students are the largest group of migrants from outside the EU counted in the government’s net migration figures, representing around a third of all people coming into Britain.

Yet only a fifth (22%) of people think of international students as “immigrants” at all.

Other findings include:

  • When people are told that students are part of the target, “the most common reaction is surprise and even bafflement that international students are classified as immigrants at all,” the report says.
  • New ICM polling conducted for the organisations finds that targeting international students would be unpopular and would fail to address public concerns about immigration. Six out of ten (59%) people say the government should not reduce the number of international students, even if this makes it harder to reduce immigration numbers. Only 22 per cent would support a reduction in international student numbers.
  • Among Conservative voters, the figure was even higher, with two-thirds (66%) of Tories opposed to a reduction in international student numbers, compared to just 23 per cent who would reduce international student numbers so as to get immigration numbers down.
  • The majority of people (75%) are in favour of allowing international students to stay on and work after they finish their degree. Support rises to 81% for Conservative voters.
  • Sixty per cent think international students bring money into the local economy, compared to only 12 per cent who think they are a net drain on the local economy.  Support rises to two-thirds (66%) of people living in university towns and nearly three quarters (72%) of Conservative voters.
  • Sixty-one per cent agree that Britain’s universities would have less funding to invest in top-quality facilities and teaching without the higher fees paid by international students. Only seven per cent disagree.

Download the study here.

New Study pinpoints hands not gaze as the object of parents’ and toddlers’ attention

IU cognitive scientists identify new mechanism at heart of early childhood learning and social behavior. Google Glass-like eye-tracking technology pinpoints hands rather than gaze as the object of parents’ and toddlers’ attention

Previous research involving joint visual attention between parents and toddlers has focused exclusively on the ability of each partner to follow the gaze of the other. In “Joint Attention Without Gaze Following: Human Infants and Their Parents Coordinate Visual Attention to Objects Through Eye-Hand Coordination,” published in the online journal PLOS ONE, the researchers demonstrate how hand-eye coordination is much more common, and the parent and toddler interact as equals, rather than one or the other taking the lead.

Early childhood education: Children can tell when a teacher commits “sins of omission.”

Laura Schulz, a primary investigator in the Early Childhood Cognition Lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT led a series of studies on building trust in early childhood education. She reports,

Children learn a great deal about the world from their own exploration, but they also rely on what adults tell them. Studies have shown that children can figure out when someone is lying to them, but cognitive scientists from MIT recently tackled a subtler question: Can children tell when adults are telling them the truth, but not the whole truth?

In the most recent explorations

“This shows that children are not just sensitive to who’s right or wrong,” Gweon says. “Children can also evaluate others based on who’s providing information that is enough or not enough for accurate inference. They can also adjust how they learn from a teacher in the future, depending on whether the teacher has previously committed a sin of omission or not.”

Melissa Koenig, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Institute of Childhood Development who was not part of the research team, commented

“The study shows yet another set of criteria that children bring to their evaluation of other speakers, beyond things like accuracy, confidence, or knowledgeability,”

Try, try again? Study says no

MIT reports:

In a new study, a team of neuroscientists and psychologists led by Amy Finn, a postdoc at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, has found evidence for another factor that contributes to adults’ language difficulties: When learning certain elements of language, adults’ more highly developed cognitive skills actually get in the way. The researchers discovered that the harder adults tried to learn an artificial language, the worse they were at deciphering the language’s morphology — the structure and deployment of linguistic units such as root words, suffixes, and prefixes.