Higher Education in a Global Society (2008)

TIAA-CREF Headquarters
New York, New York

November 2008 |

Globalization was the central theme of the 2008 TIAA-CREF Institute Higher Education Leadership Conference. "Higher Education in a Global Society" focused on the critical role of higher education in creating cross-cultural understanding, strengthening worldwide economies, building global collaborations, and meeting workforce development needs around the world.

The conference brought together presidents, chancellors, other senior campus officials, higher education researchers and thought leaders, and the senior management of TIAA-CREF to share institutional and global perspectives relative to the role of education in a global society and discuss the importance of prioritizing institutional globalization activities within and among America’s colleges and universities. The conference featured keynote addresses by Fareed Zakaria, CNN Host and Editor of Newsweek International and Roger J. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF. You can play video clips from the keynote addresses below.

An Institute publication based on Fareed Zakaria's keynote address can be accessed here.

In addition to our keynote presenters, speakers included:

Claude Canizares, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Capaldi, Provost, Arizona State University
Molly Corbett Broad, President, American Council on Education
Ronald Crutcher, President, Wheaton College
William Destler, President, Rochester Institute of Technology
Daniel Guaglianone, Executive Director of Corporate Staffing, Merck, Inc.
Devesh Kapur, Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania
Bob Kerrey, President, The New School
Leo Lambert, President, Elon University
Zhang Li, Director - General, National Center for Education Development Research, People’s Republic of China
James McGill, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Johns Hopkins University
Peter McPherson, President, NASULGC
Constantine Papadakis, President, Drexel University
Andrew Sorensen, Distinguished Professor of the University and Distinguished President Emeritus, University of South Carolina
Garrick Utley, President, The SUNY Levin Institute
Kathleen Waldron, President, Baruch College, CUNY
Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, President, Kalamazoo College
Mark Wrighton, Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis
Mark Yudof, President, University of California

Several common themes emerged from the presentations and dialogue:

  • Students need an international experience to be effective citizens and workers in the emerging global order.But there are multiple means for colleges and universities to provide such experience.
  • Challenges facing the world call for international research collaborations.But such collaborations need to be entered into with due diligence by institutions and then be led by the academics rather than administrators.
  • Higher education in the rest of the world is catching up to the standard set by the U.S. system.But to U.S. institutions that think strategically, the focus on higher education abroad presents genuine opportunities to better fulfill their missions and to do so on a global scale.It will be imperative for higher education to clearly articulate to domestic constituencies the benefits for students and society at large of investments in global initiatives.

Conference discussions are summarized in a December 2008 issue of the TIAA-CREF Institute’s Advancing Higher Education periodical.

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