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William Zumeta Discusses State Support for Higher Education

Posted: 7/21/2018 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliate William Zumeta, Professor at the Evans School, researches the factors that shape state support for higher education. This summer, he presented on both the structural and political factors that impact financial support for higher education – and how they have changed over time.

In June, Zumeta was the keynote speaker at “Volatility in State Spending for Higher Education,” an AERA-sponsored conference held at the University of Illinois. In this address, he explained the structural and political factors behind both the volatility and the long-term decline in state support for higher education. He also assessed the merits and drawbacks of various proposals to mitigate volatility. In the end, dynamic political factors limit the extent to which volatility can be reduced.

In July, Zumeta and  Dr. Alicia Kinne-Clawson coauthored “The State Higher Education Executive Officer and Higher Education Finance and Policy: Structure, Policy Orientation and Relationships Matter,” in a just-published book entitled The State Higher Education Officer and the Public Good: Developing New Leadership for Improved Policy, Practice and Research. The chapter reviews the recent empirical literature on the relationship between state higher education governance structural factors and financial support of higher education. Then, they provide case studies of State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) influence in Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Maryland. Their conclusion: that SHEOOS’ relationships with their governors are a critical factor in effectiveness.