April 4, 2016
This is the fifth and final report of "The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education", an initiative of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since it began its work in January 2013, the Lincoln Project has examined the causes and results of reduced state investment in public research universities. A distinguished and diverse project committee met frequently over the past three years to discuss the challenges and opportunities for these important institutions, which educate millions of students, support the cultural and economic vitality of their states, and generate research that creates new knowledge and technology. Project leaders also convened regional forums in Charlottesville, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; New York, New York; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to share ideas with leaders from academia, business, philanthropy, government, and the media. This publication is the culmination of the Lincoln Project committee's work. It draws from previous publications and presents new recommendations for stabilizing and strengthening public research universities at an inflection point in their history. This report calls on the federal government, state governments, corporations, foundations, philanthropists, and, of course, public research universities to come together -- to share responsibility for maintaining these institutions so that they continue to serve their states and the nation for generations to come.