Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Upcoming Event: Restoring the Promise of Higher Education

Join us on Thursday, March 5, for two public events that are part of the 2015 Cline Symposium, “Restoring the Promise of Higher Education. The Cline Symposium is a major campus-wide event that draws an audience of nearly 200 students, faculty, and distinguished alumni from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to discuss significant issues affecting the governance and welfare of democratic societies. The Cline Symposium is made possible by a gift from Richard G. and Carole J. Cline and is one of the most visible annual events on the University of Illinois campus.  Since its inception in 1995 it has attracted a number of world-renowned speakers and some of the most distinguished alumni and friends of UIUC’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  

This year’s focus is the current state of higher education in the United States. Earning a college diploma was once heralded as the key to upward mobility and greater economic opportunities for many Americans. But the U.S. system of higher education that used to help level the playing field now exacerbates social and political inequalities. Today, despite the fact that many more people are attempting to go to college than in the past, there are some indicators that access to a 4-year degree for lower-income individuals is no longer expanding. A series of political and public policy changes have transformed the higher education system from a vital pathway of opportunity to a major source of social stratification. The Spring 2015 Cline Symposium aims to understand why these changes have occurred, and explore ways to promote equal opportunity while maintaining high academic quality at all institutions.

This year’s symposium features two public events that are open to all interested students, faculty, and community members. We would like to invite you to attend both of them, and to pass word along to anyone else who might be interested in attending:

Roundtable Discussion and Public Forum“Is Higher Education Still The Great Equalizer?”
3:00-4:30pm     Illini Union – Room 314A

Professor Scott Althaus (Chair), Depts. of Political Science and Communication, UIUC
Professor Suzanne Mettler, Dept. of Government, Cornell University
Professor Denice Hood, Dept. of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, UIUC
Professor Christopher Lubienski, Dept. of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, UIUC
Professor Lorenzo Baber, Dept. of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, UIUC
Mr. Ryan Croke, Former Chief of Staff to Governor Quinn
Keynote Address“How the Politics of Higher Education Is Undermining the American Dream”
7:30-9:00pm     Illini Union – Room 314A

Suzanne Mettler, Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University.

Professor Mettler’s research and teaching interests include public policy (including social welfare, tax, health, and education policies), American political development, political behaviorcivic engagement, and inequality.Copies of her book Degrees of Inequality: How Higher Education Politics Sabotaged the American Dreamwill be available for purchase at this event and there will be a book signing after the keynote.

More details on these events can be found in the attached flyer and athttp://www.clinecenter.illinois.edu/news/events/cline/2015ClineSymposium/default.aspx. I hope you will be able to join us on March 5.