Institutions of higher education will play a central role in addressing the challenges of the 21st Century. They are crucial for the development of knowledge-based economies and for thriving civil societies. Their roles in leadership training and in educating growing proportions of the population in the skills needed for complex, modern societies are essential. They provide research and analysis for addressing problems and opportunities in both the private and public sectors. In the cross currents of globalization, they are one of the most important points of contact between the national and the international environments. Their global networks establish a platform for cooperation among nations and their citizens. The existence of viable institutions of higher education is a requirement of any modern democratic society.
Yet, higher education faces significant challenges throughout the world. Among the most universal and complex are those related to ensuring equitable access for the rapidly growing number of individuals seeking education at the postsecondary level. Meeting the burgeoning demand for higher education and developing policies and resources that provide the benefit of higher education to diverse populations of students will require national commitment and international cooperation. In today's global, knowledge-based economy, the economic growth and social well being of nations around the world are increasingly dependent on a well-educated workforce and individual access to quality education. Understanding the principal components of this challenge and the relationship between cultural norms, social and political policies and the development of higher education will require deeper understanding in order to realize the goals to expand access and equity.
Dr. Bruce Johnstone is Distinguished Service Professor of Higher and Comparative Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he specializes in higher education finance, governance, and policy formation, and in international comparative higher education. He is director of the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education, and of the International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project, a multi-year, foundation-supported examination into the worldwide shift of higher education costs from governments and taxpayers to parents and students.
In a 25-year administrative career, Dr. Johnstone has held posts of vice president for administration at the University of Pennsylvania, president of the State University College of Buffalo, and chancellor of the State University of New York system, the latter from 1988 through 1994.
He has written or edited some 100 books, monographs, articles, book chapters, and book reviews. He is best known for his works on the financial condition of higher education, the concept of learning productivity, student financial assistance policy, system governance, and international comparative higher education finance.
Johnstone has served as a director of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the American Council on Education, the Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Association of System Heads (president 1992-1994), and the College Board (chairman, 1992-1994). He is a trustee of D'Youville College, and has served on the boards of numerous organizations in Buffalo.
He holds a B.A. in economics from Harvard, an MAT from Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Minnesota. He has honorary doctorates from California State University San Diego, Towson State University, and D'Youville College.