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Scholars examine state funding and accountability in higher education

October 5, 2007

As state legislatures try to balance funding for higher education with the climbing costs of Medicaid and other services, public universities are compelled to seek alternative revenue sources.

Four experts in higher education will address these ongoing issues on Thursday, Oct. 11 at a forum on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. Using recent research, scholars will explore how states benefit from investing in higher education, how to maximize this investment of tax dollars and how universities can serve the public good and ensure stable state funding.

The free public forum will be held in room 4151 Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Forced to rely increasingly on federal and private grants, alumni funding, tuition and fees and business endeavors, public universities, in turn, face greater expectations and demands from a variety of constituent groups. This further stretches already limited resources and makes it more difficult for these institutions to effectively serve their states.

Presentations include:

  • "What the Government Gets from Investing in College Students," Philip A. Trostel, professor of economics and public policy, Department of Economics, and Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy, University of Maine, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
  • "Funding Higher Education Wisely: Lessons for the Wisconsin Covenant," Edward St. John, Algo D. Henderson Collegiate Professor, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan, 11 a.m.-noon.
  • "What Determines Levels of State Support for Public Higher Education? Twenty Years of Evidence," David Weerts, assistant professor of higher education, Department of Educational Leadership, Florida Atlantic University, 1-2 p.m.
  • "Accountability and the Public Good: Measuring and Financing True Institutional Commitment to Public Needs," F. King Alexander, President, California State University Long Beach, 2:15-3:15 p.m.

This program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), a UW–Madison center that seeks to engage key stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers and practitioners, in an ongoing dialogue in order to improve postsecondary education policy and practice.