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Campus forum to look at public universities' role in educational equity

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor

Released 1/16/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Are public research universities still serving the public interest? Are low-income and minority students losing access? What are the consequences as these schools become more selective and competitive?

Those are among the questions Pennsylvania State University professor Don Heller will be addressing as the featured speaker at the annual Hardie Forum on Jan. 24 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The forum, titled “College Access and Public Research Universities: Does ‘Public’ Still Apply?” will be from 2-4 p.m. in the General Lounge (Room 210) of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. A panel discussion involving members of the College of Education faculty will take place afterward.

The event is free and open to the public.

Heller is a professor and senior research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State. His research interests include higher education economics, financing and public policy, with a focus on issues of college access and choice for low-income and minority students. His work has been honored by prominent higher education research associations and been cited numerous times in the national media.

As part of the forum, Heller and the panelists will respond to a recent report from The Education Trust: “Engines of Inequity: Diminishing Equity in the Nation’s Premier Public Universities.”

The event is sponsored by the Charles D. Hardie Forum on Democratic Educational Aims and Evaluation, in collaboration with the Forum for the Future of Public Education, both based in the College of Education.