In a global economy that requires both an educated citizenry and a robust national
research enterprise, public higher education is not a luxury: it is the foundation
of our competitiveness. Yet in the current political climate of fiscal constraint,
public higher education has emerged a ready target for reduced state investment,
forcing campuses across the country to make difficult and consequential choices
about institutional spending and resource allocation.
The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education is considering
the implications of reduced state investment in public higher education; assessing
the role of the federal government in funding our great public research universities;
and developing recommendations for ensuring that public universities continue to
serve the nation as engines of economic development and opportunity for Americans
from all backgrounds. Ultimately, the project will encourage the development of
new federal, corporate, and philanthropic sources of support to sustain public higher
education in every state.
The Lincoln Project is named for President Abraham Lincoln to commemorate his role
in signing the Morrill Act of 1862, which laid the groundwork for the United States’
unparalleled public university system.
In regional meetings held around the country, the Lincoln Project has brought together
local leaders representing public higher education, government, policy, business,
and philanthropy to identify common concerns and advance innovative initiatives.
Current areas of focus include:
- How public universities can address financial challenges while fulfilling their
commitment to providing an accessible and affordable undergraduate education;
- How public universities can devise financial strategies that enable them to compete
effectively with their counterparts in private higher education;
- How public universities can better measure and communicate the payoffs for all residents
– in terms of quality of life, cultural infrastructure, and direct economic
benefits – of state investment in higher education; and
- What role the federal government, the business sector, and philanthropy should play
in sustaining the excellence of America’s public research universities.
The Lincoln Project has held five regional forums to date:
- October 26, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- March 26, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
- April 2, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.
- April 6, 2015 in New York City.
- May 7, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
In addition to the regional forums, the Lincoln Project has reached out to 145 public
research universities to introduce the initiative and request data. This is truly
a joint partnership with these universities.
Public Research Universities: Why They Matter, the project will
release a series of five publications that present key facts about public research
universities; examine the challenges facing higher education funding at the state
level; discuss current and changing financial models of public research universities;
and consider the myriad impacts of the research conducted at these institutions.
The Lincoln Project will offer substantive policy recommendations for sustaining
these institutions and advancing their growth for the benefit of the states they
serve and the nation as a whole in its final report.
- Robert J. Birgeneau
University of California, Berkeley
- Mary Sue Coleman
University of Michigan
- Lawrence S. Bacow
- Gene D. Block
University of California, Los Angeles;
APLU Board of Directors
- Henry E. Brady
University of California, Berkeley
- Philip Bredesen Jr.
former Governor of Tennessee
- Nancy Cantor
- John T. Casteen III
University of Virginia
- Jonathan R. Cole
- Gray Davis
former Governor of California
- J. Patrick Doyle
Domino's Pizza, Inc.
- David B. Frohnmayer †
University of Oregon
- E. Gordon Gee
West Virginia University
- Matthew Goldstein
The City University of New York
- Donald Graham
Graham Holdings Company
- Carl Guardino
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
- Robert D. Haas
Levi Strauss & Co.
- Jim Hackett
- Ann Weaver Hart
University of Arizona
- Michael Hout
New York University
- Kay Bailey Hutchison
former United States Senator, Texas
- Jim Leach
University of Iowa
- Earl Lewis
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- George Miller
Former United States Representative, California
- Ann Marie Lipinski
Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
- William Powers, Jr.
University of Texas at Austin
- John Rogers
- Thomas Siebel
C3; First Virtual Group
- Shirley M. Tilghman
- Phyllis M. Wise
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Frank Yeary
CamberView Partners LLC;
formerly, University of California, Berkeley
- Pauline Yu
American Council of Learned Societies
- Samantha Carney
- Eliza Berg
- † Deceased