Lecture | October 22 | 10:30-11:30am | YouTube
California has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession, and the nation’s racial reckoning – and higher education is at the center of it all. College campuses have become sites of super-spreader events. Colleges and universities are spending significant resources because of the pandemic, but the state’s budget is too strained to be of much help. And student groups – long a harbinger of social change – are demanding that colleges and universities confront systemic racism and champion equity. Join George Blumenthal in conversation with Lande Ajose, Higher Education Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Gavin Newsom, as they discuss these issues and what the trio of crises means for the future of California higher education.
Moderator: George Blumenthal
Dr. Lande Ajose is the Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education for Governor Gavin Newsom. She is responsible for developing and shaping the Governor’s higher education policy agenda, which is focused on protecting college affordability, preserving college access, and increasing system efficiency in order to meet the state’s need for a skilled and educated workforce. Prior to this appointment, she served as executive director of California Competes, a nonpartisan, nonprofit project that develops and advocates on behalf of policies to equitably boost California’s postsecondary degree attainment. Her experience in higher education spans college admissions at Vassar College, education and workforce development funding at the James Irvine Foundation, and research and evaluation at MDRC, where she managed a comprehensive evaluation of the Achieving the Dream Initiative. An ardent advocate for college affordability, in 2014 she was appointed to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) by Governor Jerry Brown and served as chair for two years until her resignation in May 2019. She has served on boards of the Institute of College Access and Success (TICAS), the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and, until her appointment to the Governor’s office, she was a WASC Senior College and University Commissioner. She currently serves on the advisory committee for the Higher Education Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California and on the Board of Trustees at Occidental College. A graduate of Occidental, she earned her master’s degree from the School of Public Affairs at UCLA and holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater.