College think tanks see decline in support, but is there more on the way?
- Inside Higher Ed reports on the increasing interest of colleges in realigning their strategies on building campus-based think tanks while support for these projects seems to be on the decline.
- These policy incubators and research centers, which frequently help to establish public branding for institutions, seemingly are being plagued by dramatic changes in policies they were established to research, turnover in leadership and trouble in managing spending.
- Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the University of North Carolina Charlotte's Urban Education Collaborative are examples of self-sustaining research centers which operate as a vibrant part of the university's public branding strategy.
Institutions with large endowments and invested wealthy donors have the luxury of starting and stopping efforts to build public policy research centers. But smaller institutions which need them most have to be more creative about establishing them, and working to promote their objectives to larger public audiences.
Many institutions build similar capacity with lecture series and endowed professorships, but should consider investing resources or focusing donor outreach on centers which can research and can generate support for ideas of vast public interest, like workforce development, race or public health.
- Inside Higher Ed Think tank trouble?
- Education Dive Are think tanks key to academic influence on policy?