The Future of Higher Education In America

This past fall a report on The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America was authored by a Commission within the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Commission was tasked with projecting the short-term and long-term educational needs of the nation and offering recommendations to strengthen all aspects of undergraduate education.

One of the strengths of this report is its comprehensive discussion of the entire higher education landscape, including both public and private institutions as well as licensing, two-year and four-year programs. The intent of the report is to develop a national strategy to improve quality, affordability and access. The report includes recommendations for higher education institutions, government policy-makers, business leaders, and philanthropists.

I had the honor of serving as a member of the Commission that produced this report. As a result, I’m partnering with colleagues at the Academy to host an event this spring at UW–Madison, inviting individuals who represent the spectrum of higher education in our state, as well as government and business leaders, to have a conversation about the findings within the report, and to talk candidly about the challenges that currently shape the landscape of higher education in Wisconsin.

I hope that you will join us for this important discussion.

Chancellor Rebecca M. Blank

Event Details

Hotel Room Blocks at the State ($99/night) and Government Rate ($122/night) are available at the Hampton Inn, located 2 blocks from the Fluno Center.  Please contact Carrie Olson to secure a room.

A Hotel Room Block is also available at the Fluno Center, rates are $149/night, please contact Carrie Olson to secure a room.

* Registration required of all participants.

Howard Auditorium
Fluno Center
601 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53715

Get Directions


Thursday, May 31, 2018
2:30-5:30 p.m. with Reception to Follow
Howard Auditorium, Fluno Center at UW-Madison
601 University Ave., Madison, WI 53715


2:30–2:40 p.m.

Welcome and introductions
Rebecca Blank, commission member and chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Madison

2:40–3 p.m.

Highlights from the report
Michael McPherson, co-chair of the commission and president emeritus, Spencer Foundation

3–3:45 p.m.

Panel Discussion #1
What are the important takeaways from this report for an institution like mine?
Facilitator: Michael McPherson, co-chair of the commission and president emeritus, Spencer Foundation
James Schmidt, chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
Scott Flanagan, president, Edgewood College
Susan May, president, Fox Valley Technical College
Representative Dave Murphy (R–Greenville), chair, Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities

3:45–4 p.m.


4–4:40 p.m.

Panel discussion #2
What are the two or three things we as a higher education community in Wisconsin most need to do to address the very unequal likelihood of attendance and completion among lower-income students?
Facilitator: Diana Hess, dean of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Dennis Shields, chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Platteville
Andrea Lee, president, Alverno College
Vicki Martin, president, Milwaukee Area Technical College

4:40–5:20 p.m.

Panel discussion #3
Higher education has faced a barrage of criticism in recent years. Why is this? In what ways is and isn’t it justified? What should we be doing as a higher education community in response?
Facilitator: Sandy Baum, senior fellow, Urban Institute
Mark Mone, chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Scott Bierman, president, Beloit College
Jack Daniels III, president, Madison College
Senator Luther Olsen (R–Ripon), chair, Senate Committee on Education

5:20–5:30 p.m.

Closing thoughts from facilitators and Chancellor Blank
Adjourn to reception, Skyview Room, 8th Floor

Print Agenda

Registration is required for all attendees. Please Register by May 25.