Policy analysts, college leaders, and government officials gathered in Charlottesville, Va., today to discuss the national purposes of American higher education and to identify ways to overhaul public policy to meet the needs of the nation’s changing population.
The conference was sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. The groups plan to publish a report and recommendations that emerged from the day of conversations. Detailed information about the event, including video, is available here.
Gordon Davies, the former director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the state’s coordinating board, concluded the gathering by saying that the group had reached a broad-based consensus on the key higher-education issues facing the United States this century.
Those issues include the need to improve job training, to enact policies that support and foster lifelong learning as most states’ populations age and grow more diverse, to alter reward systems for institutions and states, to support institutional research that is focused on states’ needs, and to foster institutions’ engagement in their local communities in ways that seek to improve social and economic well being.
Mr. Davies also emphasized that while the group had articulated a set of national purposes for higher education, most solutions for improving policies must be developed locally. —Sara Hebel