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Mission of Higher Education Deliberation Series

Initiative Description

In partnership with National Issues Forums and American Commonwealth Partnership, this series of deliberations was launched at a National Press Club event on September 4, 2012, with Undersecretary Martha Kanter and higher education and civic leaders including David Mathews, president of Kettering Foundation, Muriel Howard, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Scott Peters, Co-director of Imagining America, Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University, and others.

For this two-year process, UHD CPD engaged hundreds of students, staff, faculty, administrators and community members in a two major deliberations. Two forums series were held as part of this initiative:

  •   From 2012 – 2014, CPD organized multiple forums entitled Shaping Our Future: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?
    • Featuring UHD students, faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • In 2014, CPD organized multiple forums entitled “The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask of Higher Education.

Initiative Goals

  • Explore the gap between the way those outside the policymaking are thinking and talk about higher education and the already well-developed debate now underway among elected official and other national, state and local leaders.
  • Broaden discussions to ensure that the ideas and concerns of both leaders and those outside policymaking circle an equate hearing in the debate on the future of higher education

Initiative Outcomes

  • CPD joined with others across to convene more than 150 forums, bringing together college students, parents, faculty, employers, retirees, policy makers, and others to deliberate about the purpose of higher education and its roles in the society.
  • A national report was compiled on the findings, results and outcomes.
  • CPD Director, Windy Lawrence served as lead author on the article, Stewards of Place: The Role of Dialogue and Deliberation in Strengthening Our Universities and Colleges, a collaborative piece published in eJournal of Public Affairs about this Achieving the Dream initiative, our findings, and the critical role of democratic dialogue and deliberation for colleges and universities and its relationship to student retention, minority engagement, and university recognition. Contact Dr. Windy Lawrence for a copy of this article.

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