SUNY Critical Issues Series, Volume 2
Higher Education Systems 3.0:
Harnessing Systemness, Delivering Performance
Jason E. Lane, Rockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany, State University of New York
D. Bruce Johnstone, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Higher Education Systems 3.0 focuses on the remaking of higher education coordination in era of increased accountability, greater calls for productivity, and intensifying fiscal austerity. Higher education systems were first created as means for facilitating state oversight of vastly decentralized public higher education sectors. In the 1960s and 70s, systems began to focus also on ensuring effective use of state resources, controlling the duplication of academic programs, for example. More recently, however, there has been a concerted effort by system heads to identify ways to harness the collective contributions of their various institutions to benefit the students, communities, and other stakeholders that they serve. Higher Education Systems 3.0 explores the recent dynamics of higher education systems, focusing particularly on how systems are now working to improve their effectiveness in educating students and improving our communities; while also identifying new means for operating more efficiently.
This enhanced collaboration, or systemness, is the key aspect of version 3.0. In moving toward systemness, higher education systems need to find ways to 1) promote the vibrancy of individual institutions, by supporting their unique missions; 2) focus on smart growth by coordinating the work of each institutions to improve access, control costs, and enhance productivity across the system; and 3) leverage the collective strengths of institutions to benefit communities served by the system.
However, systems also face several challenges to harnessing "systemness". Tensions often exist between "flagships" and other institutions. Systems need to balance the needs of disparate institutional types and geographically dispersed campuses. Governing boards are charged with "protecting the interests of the state" and ensuring the financial stability and academic quality of the institutions in their care. Finally, the Great Recession has forced systems reo reconsider a host of operational issues as they have sought to address issues of access, cost, and productivity.
This volume brings together scholars and system leaders to analyze and discuss the nature of higher education systems 3.0, including both the opportunities and challenges associated with it. The book is intended to be thought provoking, analyzing some of the most pressing and complex issues now facing higher education systems and society. The authors, though their scholarly and practical insights, frame these issues for a national discussion.
SUNY Critical Issues Series, Volume 1
UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES AS ECONOMIC DRIVERS
Measuring Higher Education’s Role in Economic Development
Jason E. Lane and D. Bruce Johnstone, editors*
Comprehensive examination of the relationship between higher education, state government, and economic development.
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*Jason E. Lane and D. Bruce Johnstone will
be signing copies at the conference
Friday, November 9th from 8:00am - 9:00am in the Tiffany Lobby, Hudson Theatre.