For Immediate Release
October 14, 2016
Karen Garrett
Chief of Communications & Marketing
(202) 585-4313

Washington, D.C. – Eight prominent researchers and college administrators joined for an Oct. 4 panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., discussing public administration perspectives on the future of higher education. Jointly sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration, Public Administration Review (PAR) and Arizona State University (ASU), the event drew more than 65 observers, all of whom had a strong interest in various facets of higher education.

Panelists discussed both research and hands-on elements of what makes higher education institutions—both for-profit and privately funded—successful including metrics, long-term public value goals, funding sources and alumni impact.

“It is so difficult to measure outcomes in education,” observed panelist Bob Shireman of the Century Foundation. “Most metrics have different impacts and the answers aren’t always clear.”

“Public value means forming young people holistically for a participatory adult life and opening them to learning throughout life. That’s how we’ve defined success,” stated Jane McAuliffe of the Library of Congress, formerly president of Bryn Mawr College. She later added, “Our students are connected to the community, embedded in it and responsible for it.”

Panelists also discussed possibilities for the future from both financial and public values perspectives.

“I anticipate lots of change,” Ann Khademian of Virginia Tech predicted. “We’ll see lots of innovation in [financial] models and more savvy consumers in education. They need to know what they’re getting. It will take experimentation.”

“Public values successes must be inclusive of socio-economic diversity in your region,” said Michael Crow of Arizona State University. “Our current student make-up includes 20 percent at or below the poverty line. We need to be of greater value to this population.”

The eight panelists for the event included Michael Crow (ASU), Derrick Anderson (ASU), Geoff Cox (Stanford University), H. George Frederickson (University of Kansas), Ann Khademian (Virginia Tech), Jane McAuliffe (Library of Congress), James Perry (PAR) and Bob Shireman (The Century Foundation).

A number of panelists had also contributed to a recent PAR symposium producing research articles and editorials tackling this subject from a variety of angles including for-profit institutions’ philosophies, financial models, design science and public values. These panels provided those authors with an opportunity to share their thoughts with a broader audience.

“I have a background in student affairs and there were some really great points about for-profit education in these discussions,” noted one of the event attendees. “This is on the rise and it’s a huge conversation. For-profits are not a great place for students to be going, but we haven’t made a place for those students in other academic communities.”

“This event proved what a critical discussion this is and that we need to keep having it,” noted ASPA Immediate Past President Maria Aristigueta. “How we educate our students and the environment we provide for them, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is critical to what they learn, the public values they absorb and the contributions they will make going forward.”

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