Media Advisory

All-star panel of university leaders to discuss future of public higher education

Contact: Marie Felde, Media Relations
(510) 642-3734

25 November 2008

ATTENTION: Higher education editors and writers, assignment editors


The future of public of higher education and how it will address difficult challenges ahead will be discussed by an all-star panel of California university leaders in an American Academy of Arts and Sciences-sponsored symposium at the University of California, Berkeley. It is free and open to the public.


Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. For more information, see the campus map at:


  • Robert Birgeneau, chancellor, UC Berkeley
  • Christopher F. Edley, Jr., dean, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Christina Romer, UC Berkeley professor of economics, recently named chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers by President-elect Obama
  • Mark Yudof, president, University of California

The panel will be moderated Jesse Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkeley


Public higher education in America has long been an unrivaled engine of innovation and economic stimulus as well as a pathway to productive careers for millions of young people. Today, these institutions face unprecedented financial pressures, including looming state budget shortfalls, declining endowments, tuition increases and increasing reliance on non-governmental funding. Among the issues expected to be raised at the symposium are challenges to maintaining access and affordability, the impact on U.S. competitiveness if public universities lose ground, what the federal government can and should do, and what should be the role in the future of large public research universities.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences ( is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. Founded in 1780, the academy's work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders from around the world in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs.