The Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy is pleased to announce the upcoming public forum


Private Dollars for Public Purposes:
Are Foundations Setting the Agenda for Higher Education Reform?


Patrick M. Callan
Higher Education Policy Institute

Kevin Carey
Director, Education Policy Program
New America Foundation

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
Levy Institute Research Professor, Bard College
Distinguished Fellow, Bard Prison Initiative

Over the past five years, the higher education “reform agenda” has largely coalesced around a few goals: graduating more students, more quickly, and at a lower cost. Philanthropic foundations such as Gates and Lumina have led this strategy, and the federal government and some states have followed their lead in proposing new measures addressing curriculum and student progress.

Some worry about the effects this strategy is having on research, innovation and creative problem-solving. Are the vast resources being poured into these efforts drowning out the voices of researchers, practitioners and higher education leaders who might pursue alternative goals or approaches? Is it appropriate for public institutions to be shaped by the priorities and judgments of philanthropic foundations? And what do these changes mean for the future of higher education's longstanding commitment to faculty and institutional autonomy and the diversity of academic initiatives?

Join us as our discussants explore these important issues from the perspectives of the history of higher education philanthropy, the policy community and the foundations themselves.

View the lecture here:

Private Dollars for Public Purposes: Are Foundations Setting the Agenda for Higher Education Reform? from NYU Steinhardt on Vimeo.


Patrick M. Callan is president of the Higher Education Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which sponsored the California Higher Education Policy Center and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Callan was executive director of state higher education boards and commissions in Montana, Washington and California, Vice President of the Education Commission of the States and staff director of the California Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education. He is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, and Senior Fellow at NYU’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. He recently co-authored Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization.

Kevin Carey is director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. An expert on Pre-K-12 and higher education issues, Carey has published articles on education and other topics in The New York Times, Slate, The New Republic, Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, and Democracy, among others. He writes a monthly column for The Chronicle of Higher Education and edits the annual Washington Monthly College Guide. Carey's research includes higher education reform, improving college graduation rates, online education, community colleges, and the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann was the Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education at Harvard University before joining the Bard faculty. Lagemann is a former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a former president of the Spencer Foundation. She is the author or editor of 11 books as well as numerous articles, reviews, reports, and book chapters. She has been president of the National Academy of Education and of the History of Education Society. She has been a former trustee of the Russell Sage, Greenwall, and Markle Foundations, and a former vice chair of the board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences at Stanford University.

Event Details:

Friday, October 25, 2013 - 9:00am-11:30am 
New York University
Hemmerdinger Hall
102 Silver Center


Coverage of the event in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Summary of the event: PrivateDollarsforPublicPurposes_Event_Summary.pdf