CSHE PRESS RELEASE: 9/8 Seminar on the Lincoln Project, with Robert Birgeneau and Henry Brady

September 1, 2016


Center for Studies in Higher Education

University of California, Berkeley


(510) 642-7703

Public Research Universities:

Recommitting to Lincoln’s Vision - An Educational Compact for the 21st Century

Berkeley, CA– On September 8th, Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor Emeritus of UC Berkeley, and Henry Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, will elaborate on the findings of the Lincoln Project, a comprehensive study that explores the impact of reduced state investment in public higher education, and strategies for the United States to retain the global status of its public research universities. The seminar is sponsored by the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley, and will take place in the Academic Innovation Studio, located in Dwinelle 117, from 12:00pm to 1:00 pm.

In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences established a Committee to carry out an in depth study of public higher education in the United States; it was titled "The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education.” The Committee is co-chaired by Robert Birgeneau and Mary Sue Coleman, former President of the University of Michigan, and composed of former politicians such as Kay Bailey Hutchison and George Miller, business leaders such as Bob Haas, Tom Siebel, and Patrick Doyle, former public and private university presidents and chancellors, data and educational experts, and led by Henry Brady.

The study has pointed to a number of dramatic conclusions including the fact that state disinvestment in public higher education is a national phenomenon, and probably irreversible due to forces beyond the control of state legislators. 

In order to guarantee that the United States will continue to have world-leading public research universities, which are accessible to the entire population and not just to students from privileged backgrounds, a new compact for the support of public higher education is required.  This compact will involve symbiotic partnerships between the federal and state governments, corporations, foundations and philanthropists, the universities and their students.

Robert Birgeneau and Henry Brady will discuss specialized actions by each of these sectors and specific state and federal government legislation, which will enable our public universities both to excel and to continue to retain their public character.

Michael Nacht, Interim Director at Center for Studies in Higher Education, will moderate the discussion.


Robert J Birgeneau received his Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University in 1966. He was on the faculty of Yale for one year and then spent one year at Oxford University. He was at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1975, and then went to MIT in September 1975 as Professor of Physics. In 1988 he became head of the department, and in 1991 he became Dean of Science at MIT. In 2000, he became President of the University of Toronto. In 2004 he became UC Berkeley’s Chancellor and joined the Physics faculty. He concluded his service as Chancellor at the end of May 2013 and is now the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Public Policy.

Henry Brady is Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Economics and Political Science from MIT in 1980. He has written on electoral politics and political participation, social welfare policy, political polling, and statistical methodology, and has worked for the federal Office of Management and Budget and other organizations in Washington, D.C. He is the past president of the American Political Science Association, past president of the Political Methodology Society of the American Political Science Association, and director of the University of California’s Survey Research Center from 1998 to 2009.

Michael Nacht is the Interim Director for the Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley. He holds the Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public policy.   Prior to joining the Goldman School, he held faculty positions and served as Dean of the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland, and served as Associate Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1956 and was the first research institute in the United States devoted to the study of systems, institutions, and processes of higher education.  The Center’s mission is to produce and support multi-disciplinary scholarly perspectives on strategic issues in higher education, to conduct relevant policy research, to promote the development of a community of scholars and policymakers engaged in policy-oriented discussion, and to serve the public as a resource on higher education.  http://cshe.berkeley.edu