2022 Projects, Publications & Meetings of the Academy

Education and the Development of Knowledge

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Happy young woman in hijab at university library looking at camera. Portrait of smiling female student wearing abaya and spectacles feeling confident. Islamic girl studying with multiethnic students.

Projects in Education and the Development of Knowledge examine the vital role that education plays in our nation and the world. Work in this area seeks to inform policy and practice in support of high-quality educational opportunities for all Americans. From advancing equitable educational outcomes to leveraging new developments in the learning sciences and digital technologies to understanding the vital role that public universities play as engines of economic growth, innovation, social mobility, and citizenship, projects in this area draw on scholars and practitioners from diverse fields to provide leadership and actionable solutions to policy-makers, higher education leaders, and philanthropy.

Recent work in Education and the Development of Knowledge includes The Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education (chaired by Roger Ferguson and Michael McPherson) and The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education (chaired by Robert Birgeneau and Mary Sue Coleman), which developed recommendations for ensuring that public universities continue to serve the nation as engines of economic development and opportunity. In addition, the Commission on Language Learning was requested by eight Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and issued recommendations to improve access to as many languages as possible, for people of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré joined the Academy in January 2022 as the new Director of Education and the Development of Knowledge. She previously worked at the American Association of Universities (AAU), where she led their work on racial and gender equity in higher education and oversaw their federal policy research agenda. Additionally, she has held roles on college campuses, in federal and state government, and in student advocacy organizations.



The Forum @ the Academy

Backside of graduation hats during commencement of a university.

The Forum for the Future of Higher Education, a collaboration of higher education leaders and scholars, started in 1984 and has been based at several different institutions in its history, beginning with Columbia University. Over the ensuing decades, the Forum moved to Stanford University and then to Yale University, before moving to its most recent home at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In early 2022, the Forum transitioned to the Academy and officially became “The Higher Education Forum at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.”

The Academy –with its program area on Education and the Development of Knowledge, its extensive programmatic work, and an Affiliates program that counts over seventy institutions of higher education among its network of supporters –provides an ideal home for the Forum and brings a natural audience of deeply invested stakeholders to all its education work. The Forum, in turn, offers the Academy an opportunity to be nimble and innovative in this area.

The flagship event of the Forum was an annual meeting in Aspen, Colorado, that brought together leaders in higher education to discuss pressing issues ranging from higher education finance to innovation in technology to the role of the university in the global economy. The Academy is continuing this tradition. The first meeting of the Academy’s Forum was held in Aspen in June 2022. The meeting centered on democracy and trust, equity and inclusion, and what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant to higher education.

Forum Advisory Committee

Joanne Berger-Sweeney
Trinity College

Mary Schmidt Campbell
Spelman College

Nancy Cantor
Rutgers University–Newark

Sean Decatur
Kenyon College

John DeGioia
Georgetown University

Howard Gardner
Harvard University

Nicholas Lemann
Columbia University

Michael McPherson
formerly, Spencer Foundation

David W. Oxtoby
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Francesca Purcell
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
University of Massachusetts Boston


Forum Staff

Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré
Director of Education



The Higher Education Forum is sponsored by the following organizations and foundations: Bank of America, Barclays, BofA Securities Inc., Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Huron, JP Morgan, Kaplan, Inc., Lumina Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Prager & Company, and United Educators.

Forum Meeting

June 13–16, 2022
Aspen, Colorado
This gathering was an opportunity for over ninety higher education leaders from many of the Academy’s Affiliate institutions to engage in stimulating discussions on issues of democracy and trust, equity and inclusion, and what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant to higher education. In addition to these pressing issues in higher education, experts explored topics that affect everyone, from the health of our democracy to climate change.


Jodie Adams Kirshner
New York University

Rachel Barr
Georgetown University

Joanne Berger-Sweeney
Trinity College

Michelene Chi
Arizona State University

José Luis Cruz Rivera
Northern Arizona University

Wendy Fischman
Harvard University

Wayne Frederick
Howard University

Kimberly Griffin
University of Maryland

Mushtaq Gunja
American Council on Education

Jonathan Holloway
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Lloyd Holmes
De Anza College

Alexandra Hrycak
Reed College

Natasha Kumar Warikoo
Tufts University

Nicholas Lemann
Columbia University

Susanna Loeb
Brown University

Paula McClain
Duke University

Maurie McInnis
Stony Brook University

Jamie Merisotis
Lumina Foundation

Ted Mitchell
American Council on Education

Eduardo Padrón
Miami Dade College

John Palfrey
MacArthur Foundation

Seth Pollak
University of Wisconsin–Madison

OiYan Poon
Spencer Foundation

Mary Schmidt Campbell
Spelman College

Talia Stroud
University of Texas at Austin

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
University of Massachusetts Boston

David Victor
University of California, San Diego

Ruth Watkins
Strada Education Network

Elke Weber
Princeton University

David Wilson
Morgan State University