- University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks says public flagship institutions remain the most vital element to states providing for the public good.
- Research from public institutions spurs state development in the sciences, liberal arts and economics, with investment returns which may be long-term, but immeasurably valuable to public growth and productivity.
- The public mission of granting college access to a broad range of students represents the best of what states can do to eliminate disparities among varying socioeconomic groups of people.
Flagship public institutions are typically one of the major employers in any given state, offering economic development to cities which surround them, civic pride by way of athletics, and research to suit states’ economic imperatives.
But these schools continue to face financial uncertainty, even with the improvement of the national economy. Health care costs for states and higher education cuts will continue to demand new business approaches for public institutions, and with pressure from the federal government to diversify revenue streams, colleges will need to maintain close ties with legislative and corporate allies to ensure that academic contributions to the public good remain compatible with building the workforce and improving communities.