Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, together with co-sponsors President Marc Yudof, University of California, and President Michael Crow, Arizona State University, convened in November the second national “Summit on Public Higher Education,” where leaders of many of the nation’s major public universities discussed reimagining public higher education and innovative strategies to cope with the fiscal challenges confronting all large systems in the states.
The conference, took place at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Participants included the leaders of systems from Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, as well as Florida International, SUNY and CUNY. Board Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Graduate Center President William Kelly were participants. Many of the leaders served as chancellors in other states, bringing vast experience to the discussion.
Combating the national erosion of financial support for public universities topped the agenda. Since 2008, at least 43 states have cut assistance to public colleges and universities and/or levied large tuition increases, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The educational leaders discussed ways to streamline their business operations, increase the use of academic technology, obtain greater use of federal incentives such as “Build America Bonds” to augment faculty housing, and ramping up private fund-raising. Chancellor Goldstein initiated the first summit in October 2008.