About Us

JCB PortraitDear 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.

The National Forum, which celebrated its twelfth year of service in 2013, is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.  Through our work we want to promote greater awareness, understanding, commitment and action in support of the ways that higher education serves our diverse democracy.  This mission is expressed in a wide range of programs and activities that focus on student opportunity, community engagement, state and federal policy, and the relationship between the public, private and philanthropic sectors in furthering an educated and just society. Our web site, redesigned in 2011, represents an ongoing commitment to using many forms of communication to fulfill our mission.

We continue to provide leadership in the sophisticated use of deliberative forums to frame and examine educational issues in the public sphere:


We continue to produce highly respected research analyses used by policy makers to guide decisions:

          • See our work that resulted in the state of Michigan’s blueprint for higher education.


We do original investigations on issues that shape the ways colleges and universities relate to their communities:

          • See our series of reports, funded by the Kettering Foundation, that describe the formation of community-based coalitions in the Brightmoor and Hope Village neighborhoods of Detroit.


We set the stage for large scale changes in student access policies by working through partnerships across higher education:


At the core of everything we do is a passion for developing human potential and benefiting from the diverse talents and experiences of our partners, our research staff, our students, and those we serve.  We are happy you have chosen to learn more about us by visiting our site and invite you to consider ways in which your own leadership, research, teaching, advocacy or service can contribute to building a better and more just society.

Our mission, The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good will significantly increase awareness, understanding, commitment, and action relative to the public service role of higher education in the United States, continues to inspire us and we believe it offers a compelling vision for the contemporary world.  You can learn more about our values and the models that guide our work, in addition to meeting our very talented team, by navigating the links to the right.  Please join us in our work!

On behalf of all us,


John C. Burkhardt

Founding Director