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Precipice or Crossroads: A Symposium on the Future of Public Research Universities Precipice or Crossroads Banner
Panel 3 | Precipice or Crossroads: A Symposium on the Future of Public Research Universities

Panel 3: Costs, Strategic Resource Investment, Finance, and Governance

  • Many believe the current paradigm for the support of public research universities is broken beyond repair. Is it? If so, what will be the primarily sources of support for the multiple roles of these institutions in the years ahead? The states? The federal government through financial aid and research support? Families? Students themselves through loans incurring debt or income contingent repayment? National service?
  • Is the politically determined lay governing board characterizing most public research universities an obsolete concept? How should boards be restructured to achieve the best practices of corporate governance (e.g., fiduciary responsibility, board expertise and competence, accountability and liability)? How could such governing board reform be achieved?
  • How can governing boards best balance their need to ensure compliance, oversight, and accountability (negatively exemplified by the Penn State debacle) without encroaching on the appropriate management and leadership roles of presidents and chancellors and without affronting the shared governance culture of the academy (exemplified by the recent governance crisis at UVA)?
  • What have been the major drivers of the increased cost of attendance borne by students and families since 1985? How much of this increase can be attributed to the increase in the cost of higher education, and how much to a shifting of cost from public budgets to students and families? Is there a need to reduce the cost of higher education significantly and, if so, what are the most promising and least damaging strategies to do so?
  • Many public research universities subsidize graduate education through reallocation of revenues generated by undergraduate education. Is this funding model viable in the future, when the tuition share of costs for undergraduates may now be greater than what is being spent on many of them?

Last modified November 15 2012 05:40 PM

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