Higher ed leaders on "The evolving bargain between research universities and society"

June 27, 2017

Yesterday’s bicentennial colloquium on “The Evolving Bargain between Research Universities and Society”--organized by Paul Courant and Sue Alcock as part of the University of Michigan’s bicentennial celebrations--engaged the leaders of nine prestigious national and international universities in a topical conversation about the role of research universities now, and in the future, as servants and critics of society.

The panelists--including Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge; Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University; Louise Richardson, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford, and others--are all members of the board of the Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Together, they gathered to discuss timely challenges facing distinguished research universities. Among them, how today's research universities protect and foster free and open discourse, how they communicate their value to an increasingly skeptical and critical society, and how they work to serve as engines of social mobility.

The colloquium is featured in a number of news stories today, including:

In an on-air interview with Cynthia Canty of Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” program, Interim Provost and Ford School Professor Paul Courant said, “There are some people who think that research universities are great – I’m one of those people – some people who think that research universities are not delivering what it is that society really needs." The colloquium, he explained, was designed to explore "how the research university can serve society and society, in turn, [can] appreciate and support what the research university is doing.”