The "Cost Disease" in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer? Part I

This event is organized and hosted by Stanford University.

This event is free and open to the public.

Today's event is part one of this year's Tanner Lectures featuring:


William G. Bowen (President Emeritus, Princeton University and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

Lecture I: October 10

"The Productivity Problem in Higher Education"

5:30-7:00pm / Cemex Auditorium, Knight Management Center

About William G. Bowen:


William G. Bowen, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from[masked], was President of Princeton University from[masked], where he also served as Professor of Economics and Public Affairs.  A graduate of Denison University (AB 1955) and Princeton University (PhD 1958), he joined the Princeton faculty in 1958 (specializing in labor economics) and served as Provost there from 1967-72.

Mr. Bowen joined the Foundation in 1988 and his tenure at Mellon was marked by increases in the scale of the Foundation's activities, with annual appropriations reaching $220 million in 2000.  To ensure that Mellon's grant-making activities would be better informed and more effective while also following his interest in studying questions central to higher education and philanthropy, he created an in-house research program to investigate doctoral education, collegiate admissions, independent research libraries, and charitable nonprofits.  Mr. Bowen's special interest in the application of information technology to scholarship led to a range of initiatives including the Foundation-sponsored creation of JSTOR (a searchable electronic archive of the full runs of core journals in many fields), the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive, ARTstor (a repository of high-quality digitized works of art and related materials for teaching and research), and Ithaka Harbors, Inc. (an organization launched to accelerate the adoption of productive and efficient uses of information technology for the benefit of higher education).

Mr. Bowen is the author or co-author of more than 20 books, including most recently,Lessons Learned:  Reflections of a University President (Princeton University Press, 2010), and Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities (Princeton University Press, 2009).  Other books include The Board Book: An Insider's Guide for Trustees and Directors (2008); Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education (2005) with Martin A. Kurzweil and Eugene M. Tobin; Reclaiming the Game:  College Sports and Educational Values (2003) with Sarah A. Levin;The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values(2001) with James Shulman; the Grawemeyer Award-winning The Shape of the River:  Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions (1998) with Derek Bok; The Charitable Nonprofits:  An Analysis of Institutional Dynamics and Characteristics (1994) with Thomas I. Nygren, Sarah E. Turner, and Elizabeth A. Duffy; Inside the Boardroom(1994); and In Pursuit of the PhD (1992) with Neil L. Rudenstine.

Mr. Bowen delivered the Romanes Lecture, "At a Slight Angle to the Universe:  The University in a Digitized, Commercialized Age", at the University of Oxford in October 2000.

Mr. Bowen is founding chairman of Ithaka Harbors, Inc. He serves on the boards of Ithaka/JSTOR and ARTstor, and he is the co-chairman of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. He also is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


History of the Tanner Lectures at Stanford

The Center for Ethics in Society collaborates with The Office of the President to host the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford.

Appointment as a Tanner lecturer is in recognition for uncommon achievement and outstanding abilities in the field of human values. The lecturers themselves come from the fields of philosophy, religion, the humanities, the sciences, the creative arts, and learned professions, or from leadership in public or private affairs. The lectureships are international and intercultural and transcend ethnic, national, religious, and ideological distinctions. Past Tanner lecturers at Stanford include: Jared Diamond, Dorothy Allison, Paul Krugman, Mary Robinson, Harry Frankfurt, Avishai Margalit, David Brion Davis, and Glenn Loury.

The purpose of the Tanner Lectures is to advance and reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values. This intention embraces the entire range of values pertinent to the human condition, interest, behavior, and aspiration. The lectures are published in an annual volume.

The Tanner Lectures were established by the late American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist, Obert Clark Tanner. In creating the lectureships, Tanner said, "I hope these lectures will contribute to the intellectual and moral life of mankind. I see them simply as a search for a better understanding of human behavior and human values. This understanding may be pursued for its own intrinsic worth, but it may also eventually have practical consequences for the quality of personal and social life."

Stanford is proud to be one of the nine distinguished universities to host the Tanner Lectures. The Tanner lectureships, which are comprised of annual lectures and seminars, are held at nine universities including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford, Princeton, The University of California, Utah, Yale, and Stanford.



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