On Thursday, November 30, 2017, Deborah Loewenberg Ball joined Mitchell Daniels, president of Purdue University, John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, Jonathan Fanton, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA, and Michael McPherson, former president of the Spencer Foundation, in a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for the release of the final report from the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education (CFUE). The commission was appointed two years ago by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, with funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The charge to the commission was to assess the state of undergraduate education and make recommendations for a more equitable future with better institutions and better-positioned graduates.
In the panel discussion, Ball emphasized the importance of quality teaching to address inequities in the quality of undergraduates’ experiences on campuses, and how these relate to their success and completion rates. Urging colleges and universities to do more to support quality teaching at the postsecondary level, she called on higher education leaders to communicate to doctoral students and early career faculty members that, in addition to their scholarship and research, “a central part of what they are setting out to do is to become educators.” Ball also highlighted the need for a more diverse professoriate and the importance of supporting faculty members and leaders to learn ways of meeting the challenges of diversity in their classes and on campus. She signaled the importance of professional learning and of aligning the incentive and reward systems to value teaching.
The CFUE’s final report, The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America, is available here.
A story about the report from Inside Higher Ed is available here.