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Fall 2011 - 61046 - PA680PA - Policy Research Project

Higher Education Productivity

Instructor(s): Keller, Harrison
Unique Number: 61046
Day & Time: W 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Room: SZB 376
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Section Description


Policymakers and the public are increasingly aware that the economic vitality and competitive position of our communities, states, and nation depend significantly on getting more Americans into and through higher education.  We cannot compete merely in terms of the numbers of qualifications awarded, however.  We must compete in terms of the quality of those qualifications, to ensure that Texas and the United States will have the engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovative leaders we need to navigate complex challenges.  As the demand for postsecondary education continues to increase, however, we must recognize that large infusions of public funds into American colleges and universities are unlikely for the foreseeable future.  Federal spending has become a significant public concern, and every state faces long-term structural deficits.  A number of policy options have recently been proposed to raise college attainment rates while improving the return on existing investments.  Can the costs of higher education be contained without sacrificing program quality?
In this policy research project, students will have the opportunity to contribute to institutional, state, and national policy deliberations pertaining to higher education productivity.  In the first part of the project, students will gain an overview of recent policy developments and the theoretical and empirical literature regarding higher education efficiency and productivity.  In particular, we will examine intersections between the financing of higher education and the educational goals of institutions, states, and nations.  We will also consider ways in which institutional, state, and federal policy can facilitate or impede student success.  In the second part of the course, students will engage in intensive study of selected policy issues and will develop reports to inform current policy deliberations at UT Austin, among Texas institutional and system leaders, or among leaders of leading public research universities.
This policy research project and the associated seminar are designed for Master's and doctoral students in public policy, law, or educational policy and planning. It is cross-listed with PA 388K #61240, EDA 395 #10020, and Law 379M #29390.