Issues Facing Major Research Universities at a Time of Stress AND Opportunity

This Issue Brief presents the lightly edited text of William G. Bowen’s keynote address at the Rutgers University 250th Anniversary Presidential Symposium on Higher Education, delivered in New Brunswick, NJ, on April 7, 2016. I would like to begin by acknowledging some of my many debts to Rutgers. My wife and I both have Rutgers degrees, hers an earned Master’s …

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Double Trouble
Sweet Briar College and Cooper Union

Sometimes, large lessons can be learned from the travails of small institutions. This is, we believe, true of the dramatic sagas of two very different private educational institutions: Sweet Briar College in Virginia and The Cooper Union in New York. The near-demise of Sweet Briar (now attempting to renew itself, but with uncertain prospects) and the struggles of Cooper Union …

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Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs

On Monday, October 13, 2014, William G. Bowen delivered the opening address at Rice University's De Lange Conference, "Technology: Its Potential Impact On The National Need To Improve Educational Outcomes And Control Costs." We are pleased to publish it here as an Ithaka S+R issue brief. Bowen, who is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and also president…

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Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities
Evidence from Randomized Trials

Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes. In "Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials," we measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online (ILO) statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses…

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Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education

This Ithaka S+R report is a landscape review of important developments in online learning today. It is the first in a series that will provide leaders in higher education with lessons learned from existing online learning efforts to help accelerate productive use of these systems in the future. The goal of this research was to understand what benefits colleges and…

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