Miller Center

Media Contact: Kristy Schantz, 202-758-3918

Front and Center: Conference Video

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Opening Plenary

Richard D. Legon, President, Association of Governing Boards
Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director, Miller Center; Former Governor of Virginia

The June 2008 collaboration between the Miller Center and AGB resulted in a call for higher education leaders to address a public agenda containing several societal challenges. The need for higher levels of degree attainment served as a backdrop to our discussions. The imperatives of a public agenda of student access, success, research and innovation must continue to advance in spite of long-term fiscal constraints and significant changes in gubernatorial leadership. For this to occur, state and higher education leaders must find ways to collaborate on developing new policy responses to fiscal and demographic realities.

Session 1: A New Funding Paradigm for Higher Education

Corina Eckl, Fiscal Program Director, National Conference of State Legislators
Scott Pattison, Executive Director, National Association of State Budget Officers

State and higher education leaders must recognize a mutual problem –limited state revenues, several competing priorities, sharply increasing tuition levels, increasing levels of student debt, federal mandates, and a large portion of the state budget which is non-discretionary. How bad is it, how much worse might it get, how long will it last, and is there any way out of this? 

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Session II: Defining Attainment and Policy Responses to Improve Performance

Dennis Jones, President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems

Despite recent reductions, state general funds are the single largest revenue source for most public colleges and universities and states are rightly asking serious questions about outcomes related to public priorities. States will need to be clear about the expectations for certificate and degree completion and provide policy support for institutions to improve performance. What attainment levels are necessary to meet state and national workforce needs? What policies should be in place to drive
completion in higher education?

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Governor's Address

Governor David Heineman, Governor, Nebraska

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Session III:Improving Cost-Effectiveness: Leadership Challenges for Public Higher Education

Jane Wellman, Executive Director at Delta Cost Project 
Ellen Chaffee, Senior Fellow, Association of Governing Boards

Metrics for Efficiency and Effectiveness in Higher Education: Completing the Completion Agenda

William Massy, President, The Jackson Hole Higher Education Group 

Both states and higher education need to think creatively about ways to better use the money currently available. States will need to rethink the policy tools at their disposal to leverage institutional change. To reduce costs and enhance productivity, colleges and universities may have to fundamentally restructure how they deliver educational services and conduct daily business operations while sustaining or increasing quality. How do we best define productivity in higher education? How do higher education metrics differ from or relate to productivity in other sectors? What are some of the more promising developments occurring in institutions and states to improve productivity? What policy tools (e.g.,
monetary incentives, greater flexibility) will lead to innovation and productivity gains? 

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Session IV: Bringing it Together

Gordon Davies, former Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and former President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

We will discuss the strategies for developing and mobilizing a state public agenda, particularly one focused on improving retention and degree completion and enhanced educational quality in a time of fewer public resources.

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