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IRHE’s research works to inform a public policy dialogue on the future of American higher education. Dr. Finney and her colleagues tackle critical questions to engage the nation’s educational policy leaders. They ask:

  • How much education does the country need? 
  • Who should pay for that education? 
  • How should colleges and universities be accountable for addressing the public interest? 
  • How should public higher education be governed?

California Case Study 2020

California’s 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education helped create a national model for how public colleges and universities could operate, and set California up for its success in the second half of the 20th century. However, the plan codified policies that had the effect of limiting the options for minority students, discouraging institutional collaboration, and ignoring modern workforce needs. Sixty years later, the realities of college, students, and financing have changed radically, but these limiting policies remain in place.

This case study points to the faultlines shaping higher education policy in California and opportunity in the state.

Press Release

Policy report from Penn GSE lays out challenges and recommendations for California’s higher education system

Executive Summary

A Case Study of "Faultlines" Shaping Higher Education Policy and Opportunity in California: Executive Summary

Full Report

A Case Study of "Faultlines" Shaping Higher Education Policy and Opportunity in California