Conference On The Future of Diversity In Higher Education


National Forum from Dec. 3-5 at Rutgers University
Press contact: Erin St. John Kelly [email protected]

Office: 212-854-1787 Cell: 646-646-284-8549 Public Affairs: 212-854-2650

November 3, 2008 (NEW YORK) – A three-day conference on December 3-5, 2008, will bring university presidents, provosts, foundation leaders and academic innovators together with researchers, policymakers and advocates to share the successful new ways that institutions and foundations are closing the opportunity gap in higher education.
The conference, “The Future of Diversity and Opportunity in Higher Education: A National Forum on Innovation and Collaboration,” will focus on how to build the architecture to sustain institutional change, develop institutional collaborations, and leverage new networks across disciplines, fields and institutions.
Speakers will include the presidents of universities, leaders of educational initiatives, foundation representatives and researchers. The forum is a collaborative effort among the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School; Columbia University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and The College Board.

WHAT: The Future of Diversity and Opportunity in Higher Education: A National Forum on Innovation and Collaboration

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, through Friday, December 5, 2008

WHERE: Opening Plenaries: "Setting the Stage," with Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University and Richard L. McCormick, President, Rutgers University and  "Meeting the Challenges: The Role of Transformative Leadership," with Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Syracuse University; Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County;' Anthony Marx, President, Amherst College; and Susan Sturm, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia Law School, at The Heldrich Hotel, 10 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Conference:  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, N.J.

SPEAKERS: Speakers include Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University; Richard L. McCormick, President of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University; Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Anthony Marx, President of Amherst College; Colin Diver, President of Reed College; Gaston Caperton, President of The College Board and Lani Guinier, Harvard Law School professor and civil rights scholar.

 For details about the conference and the panels and for biographies of the speakers, click here.

Journalists wishing to attend the forum should contact Erin Kelly at 212-854-1787 or [email protected].

 Panels will focus on success stories, including programs at Rutgers University such as the Future Scholars Program; programs at Columbia University’s Dental School and School of Social Work; programs at Clark University in Massachusetts and Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities in Tennessee; the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and the work of such nonprofits as the Posse Foundation.

Panel topics will include:

  • the role of transformative leadership
  • navigating innovation and change in the current legal and political environment
  • reconnecting merit and the mission of higher education
  • changing classroom and curriculum to engage a diverse student body
  • building effective relationships between elementary and secondary educational institutions with higher education and the community
  • faculty as agents for institutional transformation
  • immigration and educational access
  • corporate collaboration to advance diversity in higher education.
Founded in 2007, the Center for Institutional and Social Change has become a facilitator of innovation and collaboration for scholars, practitioners and students striving to address structural inequality through institutional transformation. Housed at Columbia Law School and begun as a pilot collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the overarching goal of the Center is to develop new frameworks, strategies, roles and institutions for effective institutional and social change directed at addressing structural inequality and achieving inclusive institutions.

Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers offers more than 280 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs. The university is home to 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, and more than 150 specialized centers and institutes. Rutgers-Newark has been recognized by U.S. News as having the most diverse student population of any institution in the nation. In addition, Rutgers was recently ranked by DiversityInc magazine as one of the nation’s Top Five universities for commitment to diversity.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,400 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment and teaching and learning.

Columbia University is a leading academic and research university. Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University in the City of New York, it is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in International and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.