In October 2005, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings established the National Commission on the Future of Higher Education to lead a national debate on issues of access, affordability, quality, and accountability. Nineteen Commission members from higher education, business, and not-for-profit organizations, together with ad hoc member from a number of federal agencies, will address questions such as: How can we ensure that college is affordable and accessible? How well are institutions of higher education preparing our students to compete in the new global economy?
In describing the need for national leadership on these issues, Secretary Spellings has noted that the federal government is a big investor in higher education, but we do not ask many questions about what the country wants or gets from this investment. The Commission will begin a national discussion on how the country can ensure that its system of higher education remains the best in the world and provides more opportunity for all Americans.
Commission meetings will take place in October, December, February, April, and May. The Commission is soliciting white papers and testimony on key issues. The University of Texas System has submitted papers on the labor economics and on accountability in higher education, and will present testimony on accountability at the December meeting of the Commission. Please click on the links below to view these papers:
- "Four Questions on the Labor Economics of Higher Education," Daniel Hamermesh, Edward Everett Hale Professor of Economics, The University of Texas at Austin; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; and Program Director, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit
- "Creating a Higher Education Accountability System: The Texas Experience," Geri H. Malandra, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Management, The University of Texas System
- "Eliminating Complexity and Inconsistency in Federal Financial Aid Programs for Higher Education Students: Towards a More Strategic Approach," Barry D. Burgdorf, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, and Kent Kostka, Attorney, The University of Texas System
- "Student Learning Assessment in Higher Education," Pedro Reyes, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning and Assessment, The University of Texas System
The Commission submitted its final report in September 2006 with specific findings and recommendations.
For meeting schedules, agendas, and more information on the work of the Commission, see the Commission Website.
From the Commission Website
Press Release: Secretary Spellings Announces New Commission on the Future of Higher Education - September 19, 2005
Final Report: A Test of Leadership, Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education