Policy Forum

Ivory Tower Overhaul: How to Fix American Higher Ed

September 27, 2006 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT


Featuring Charles Miller, Chairman, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education; Christopher Nelson, President, St. John’s College; Anya Kamenetz, Author, Generation Debt; Neal McCluskey, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and moderated by Doug Lederman, Editor, Inside Higher Ed.

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Two things everyone seems to know about higher education are that it’s extremely expensive and that it gets more so every year. That, however, is about the extent of our collective certainty, because many critical questions never seem to get answered: Why does tuition rise relentlessly? What are students actually learning? What’s the payoff of higher education? In light of all the open questions, it’s no surprise that Americans are getting increasingly uneasy about the prices that colleges and universities are asking them to pay.

Last year, the U.S. secretary of education established a commission to inspect America’s ivory tower and formulate a “national strategy” for its renovation. With the commission’s final report now out, we invite you to join our diverse panel of experts for a lively debate of higher education’s problems, and the best ways to fix them.