The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) announced on Monday the creation of the Lincoln Project, a public higher education advocacy effort. The endeavor will be led by University of California Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau when he steps down from his post on June 1.
The three-year project recognizes that public higher education is facing massive challenges — decreased state support, competition from for-profit and online colleges and universities, and new technology and methods of delivery (MOOC’s). The Lincoln Project will examine the issues facing public higher education and develop recommendations on how to succeed amid such challenges.
Chancellor Birgeneau spoke about the crisis facing public higher education at an Academy symposium yesterday:
“Public disinvestment and escalating costs are increasingly threatening our vaunted system of public higher education. Without bold steps to stabilize the financial model of our public universities, hundreds of thousands of deserving students will be denied access to a better life and the country’s ability to innovate, create jobs, and support a strong economy will be severely compromised.”
The effort intends to bring together members of government, education, business, and philanthropy and will eventually reach out to the general public through a series of national conferences.