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Panel: Challenges of the Past Year and Perspectives about the Future of Higher Education

Panel: Challenges of the Past Year and Perspectives about the Future of Higher Education

Panel Description

This panel will examine the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for institutions and administrators over the past 14 months including how the pandemic impacted pre-existing issues higher education has been facing.  In addition, the panel will discuss campus reopenings, projections for the return to campus in the Fall, and the future of higher education structures, funding, and functions.

Panelists Bios

Dr. Daniel Greenstein became the fifth chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education on September 4, 2018. In that role, he serves as chief executive officer of the state’s system of 14 public universities, serving more than 90,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs. Chancellor Greenstein is leading a system-wide redesign effort focused on increasing opportunities for students—including those in underserved populations—while enhancing the financial sustainability of the universities. Greenstein previously led the Postsecondary Success strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked with other higher education leaders across the country on initiatives designed to raise educational-attainment levels and to promote economic mobility, especially among low-income and minority students. He developed and implemented a national strategy for increasing the number of degrees awarded and for reducing the attainment gaps among majority and non-majority students at U.S. colleges and universities.  Before joining the foundation, Greenstein was Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Programs for the University of California (UC) system. In that role, he oversaw system-wide academic planning and programs, including the University of California Press; the California Digital Library; the UC system’s Education Abroad Program; internship programs in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento; and UC Online Education.  Greenstein has created and led several internet-based academic information services in the United States and the United Kingdom, and served on boards and acted in strategic consulting roles for educational, cultural heritage, and information organizations. He began his academic career as a senior lecturer in Modern History at Glasgow University in Scotland.  He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. An enthusiastic cyclist, Dan and his wife, Melissa, have two children.

Dr. Susan Poser is currently the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). On August 1, 2021, she will become the 9th President of Hofstra University. At UIC, Dr. Poser is responsible for the university’s academic enterprise, including the planning, implementation, and assessment of UIC’s academic programs. Individuals and units reporting to Dr. Poser include the Deans of ten colleges, schools and the university libraries, the Director of the UIC Innovation Center, the Director of the UIC Social Justice Initiative, as well as the Vice Provosts for Faculty Affairs, Undergraduate Affairs & Academic Programs, Global Engagement, Diversity, and Academic and Enrollment Services. Dr. Poser served as the lead negotiator for UIC during the 2018-19 contract negotiations with the UIC United Faculty – the union representing the tenure system and non-tenure system faculty at UIC. During her tenure at UIC, Poser has initiated many programs for faculty and students, particularly in the areas of diversity, faculty development, and student academic support. She led the three-year effort that in 2019 resulted in UIC’s acquisition of Chicago’s John Marshall Law School, which is now the UIC John Marshall Law School, the first and only public law school in Chicago. Dr. Poser is the Principal Investigator on a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the Engaged Humanities Initiative at UIC.  Dr. Poser received her bachelor’s degree with honors in Ancient Greek and Political Science from Swarthmore College, and her J.D. and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school, she served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and then briefly practiced law in Philadelphia before moving into academia. Prior to UIC, Poser’s academic career was at the University of Nebraska, where she was a faculty member and later Dean of the College of Law from 2010-2016. Over the six years of her deanship, the College of Law moved up more than 35 points in the US News & World Report rankings. Dr. Poser has served as a member of the board of several non-profits, including ACLU National Board of Directors, and in volunteer leadership positions at the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Dr. Mildred García assumed the presidency of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on January 22, 2018.  As AASCU’s president, Dr. García is an advocate for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of nearly 400 member colleges and universities; serving as a resource to presidents and chancellors as they address state policy and emerging campus issues; developing collaborative partnerships and initiatives that advance public higher education; directing a strategic agenda that focuses on public college and university leadership for the 21st century; and providing professional development opportunities for presidents, chancellors, and their spouses. She is the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C.   Prior to joining AASCU, Dr. García served as the president of two Minority Serving Institutions: California State University (CSU), Fullerton—a nationally ranked university for its full range of academic offerings and research, the largest university in the CSU, and the third‐largest university in the state—and at CSU Dominguez Hills, where she was the first Latina president in the largest system of public higher education in the country.  Under her leadership at CSU Fullerton, the university saw a 30 percent improvement in six‐year graduation rates and a 65 percent improvement in four‐year graduation rates for first‐time freshmen—both university records; the achievement gap was eliminated for transfer students and cut in half for first‐ time freshmen; and annual gift commitments nearly tripled (from $8.5 million to $22 million).  In 2016, for the first time in history, U.S. News & World Report heralded the institution as a top “national university.” In addition, during her tenure as president, the institution was ranked number one in California and second in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics, as well as sixth in the nation in graduating students of color.  At CSU Dominguez Hills, she eliminated a structural deficit of $2.8 million; increased media placement by 192 percent; received the highest reaccreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; exceeded enrollment targets not met previously for eight years; increased donor giving by 140 percent; and increased retention rates for first‐time full‐time freshmen by 10 percent.  Before her arrival in the CSU, Dr. García served as the CEO of Berkeley College, where she was the first system‐wide president for all six campuses.  She has held both academic and senior‐level positions at Arizona State University; Montclair State University; Pennsylvania State University; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the Hostos, LaGuardia, and City Colleges of the City University of New York. Dr. García is also a much sought‐after speaker at national and international conferences and has published extensively in academic journals and contributed to multiple books related to student success, leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion. Her most recent publications are featured in Latinx/a/os in Higher Education: Exploring Identity, Pathways, and Success (NASPA, 2018) and Leading Colleges and Universities (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018).  A recipient of myriad honors and awards—from Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics in 2007 to The Washingtonian’s Most Influential People in Washington in 2021—Dr. García was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the U.S. Secretary of Defense to serve on Air University’s Board of Visitors, and the U.S. Secretary of Education to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success. She presently sits on the boards of ETS, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE), and American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI). In addition, she serves as the co‐chair for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Value Commission.  A first‐generation college student, Dr. García earned a Doctor of Education and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University; an M.A. in Business Education/Higher Education from New York University; a B.S. in Business Education from Baruch College, City University of New York; and an A.A.S. from New York City Community College.

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.