October 26, 2016

UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1957 as an Organized Research Unit (ORU), and the first research institute in the world devoted to the study of systems, institutions, and processes of higher education.  CSHE is now part of the campus’ Goldman School of Public Policy, in part reflecting the Center’s long history of interdisciplinary and policy relevant research. Previously, CSHE reported directly to the UC Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

Michael Nacht, Interim Director of CSHE, affirms that the “Center for Studies in Higher Education is delighted to be part of the Goldman School of Public Policy, which is a natural fit for the Center’s long-standing commitment to the study of key policy issues in higher education. This organizational change will strengthen the Center’s link to distinguished faculty, and will enable the Center to take advantage of the School’s excellent administrative resources.”

Henry Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, concurs: “Higher education is at the center of public policy debates with major changes in funding for public universities, with changes in teaching and learning technologies, and with concerns about student debt and access to higher education.  The Goldman School of Public Policy has a number of scholars who are deeply concerned about the future of higher education, and CSHE is an exciting partner for GSPP as we develop new public policies for the 21st century." 

The Center has had a major impact on the study of higher education since its founding under a proposal developed by Clark Kerr, Robert Gordon Sproul, T.R. McConnell (the Center’s first Director), and John Gardner – then president of the Carnegie Corporation. Its focus and mission will remain devoted to multi-disciplinary research, supporting comparative studies across the nation and internationally, acting as a University of California-wide resource for faculty and senior administrators, and providing a neutral forum for discussion among university leaders and government officials.

Current research conducted at the Center includes the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium– a group of top-tier universities that conduct survey research on undergraduates and graduate students and share data and best practices with global academic and institutional partners, a major study of pension reform in higher education, and the Research Universities Going Global Project that is studying why and how universities are pursuing greater international engagement.

The Center also offers a Visiting Scholars program, the Gardner Seminar for graduate students at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses writing dissertations on higher education,  an ongoing Colloquium Series that sponsors more than a dozen presentations each academic year addressing research in higher education and contemporary policy issues, the Research and Occasional Paper Series, co-publication with UC Press of the Clark Kerr Lecture Series, and a number of other book projects. The latest Clark Kerr Lecture is by Simon Marginson, The Dream Is Over: The Crisis of Clark Kerr’s California Idea of Higher Education.

CSHE will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017 as a leading research center on higher education, with numerous special events and publications to come.

Contact: 510-642-7703 or cshe@berkeley.edu for further information on the Center’s programs and events.