About Us

overton_betty_sm_1Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Thank you for visiting our website which describes the current activities of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good.

Welcome to the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. Thanks for visiting our website which describes the exciting research and activities we are undertaking. We invite you to join us through regular visits to the website for updates, through participating in announced programs, downloading and reading our material, and sending us your questions and comments. And yes, when you are in Ann Arbor, please visit us at the University of Michigan, School of Education, 610 E. University. Room 2018.
The National Forum which celebrated thirteen years of service in 2014, continues its affiliation with the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.

Our Mission

The National Forum exists to support higher education’s role as a public good.
In this pursuit, the Forum utilizes research and other tools to create and disseminate knowledge that addresses higher education issues of public importance.

This mission is expressed in a wide range of programs and activities that focus on increasing opportunities for students to access and be successful in college, college’s responsibility to engage with and serve their communities, institutional leadership roles and practices in promoting responsive policies and practices to address the student success and community engagement.

The Work

Forum webpage welcome

  • We provide leadership in the sophisticated use of deliberative forums to frame and examine educational issues in the public sphere. Our designation by the Kettering Foundation as one of their Center for Public Life continues our longstanding focus the role of public dialogue in engaging various publics in a shared democratic process of learning together.
  • We produce highly respected research analyses used by policy makers to guide decisions. See our Recommendations for Admissions and Financial Aid Administrators on Working with Undocumented Students.
  • We do original investigations on issues that shape the ways colleges and universities relate to their communities. Our recent work in Detroit with Hope Village funded by Graham Institute at the University of Michigan provides a research-focused effort to understand community perspective on educational needs.
  • We set the stage for large scale changes in student access policies by working through partnerships across higher education. See our recent work on educational opportunity for immigrant and undocumented students by joining us on the uLEAD website.


Our Outcome Goals

Our goals are to increase awareness, understanding, commitment, and action relative to the public services role of higher education.


At the core of our work is a desire to make a difference in our society through impacting the way higher education responds to its role to serve the public good.  We are happy you have chosen to learn more about us by visiting this website.  You can learn more about our values, work, and our people by navigating the links to the right.  Please join us in our work!

On behalf of all us,

Betty Overton-Adkins