Willie J. Hagan
Interim President Willie J. Hagan opening the President’s Symposium on the challenges facing public higher education. Photos: Matt Gush Download Photo

President’s Symposium Appraises the Future of Higher Ed

Some of the most pressing issues facing higher education were discussed Feb. 22 at Cal State Fullerton’s first President’s Symposium, “Appraising the Future, Understanding Costs: Envisioning the New Normal in Higher Education.”

Speakers included some of the nation’s leading voices on education and public policy. They addressed state and national goals for degree attainment, cost analyses of higher education, e-learning and challenges to current educational models, as well as the political landscape for higher education.

The speakers included Jeffrey Selingo, vice president and editorial director of the Chronicle of Higher Education; Robert Shireman, chief consultant of California Competes and former deputy undersecretary of education in President Barack Obama’s administration; William Tierney, USC’s director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis; Jane Wellman, executive director of the National Association of System Heads and founding director of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability; F. King Alexander, president of Cal State Long Beach; Keith O. Boyum, CSUF interim executive assistant to the president and emeritus professor of politics, administration and justice; Willie J. Hagan, CSUF interim president; Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State Los Angeles; and Stephen Stambough, CSUF associate professor of political science and chair of the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice.

“What does this mean for Cal State Fullerton?” Hagan asked at the conclusion of his symposium. “Based on what I've heard here, it is clear that we are going to be held more accountable. We're going to be expected to do more with less. We're going to have to deal with increased competition. For us, I think we have an idea of what the future will look like. We also know it will be a team effort, and our faculty will play a key role.”