Public Investment in Higher Education: Research, Strategies, and Policy Implications Webinar Series

SHEEO will be kicking off an eight-week webinar series called “Public Investment in Higher Education: Research, Strategies, and Policy Implications.” Beginning on February 11, every Thursday, from 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET, SHEEO will host a webinar where researchers will present new original research related to public investment in higher education. Each session will feature several papers and a discussant who will reflect on the papers and their implications for policy and research.

Past Webinars

February 11: Establishing the Value of State Appropriations and Financial Aid


Investigating the Impacts of State Higher Education Appropriations and Financial Aid

  • Kristen Cummings, doctoral student/intern, University of Michigan/SHEEO
  • Sophia Laderman, senior policy analyst, SHEEO
  • Jason Lee, senior policy analyst, SHEEO
  • David Tandberg, senior vice president of policy research and strategic initiatives, SHEEO
  • Dustin Weeden, senior policy analyst, SHEEO


Nicholas Hillman, associate professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Carlos E. Santiago, commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

February 18: Funding Decisions in Troubled Economic Times

Paper 1:

State Funding Volatility and the Growth of Online Programs at Public Four-Year Institutions

  • Alisa Fryar, associate professor, University of Oklahoma
  • Kevin McClure, assistant professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Paper 2:

Funding Virginia Community Colleges During a Recessionary Period: Impact of Utilizing an Outcomes-Based Funding Model

  • Cathleen Cogdill, associate dean & professor, Northern Virginia Community College

Paper 3:

Equity in Appropriations: A Framework for Harm Reduction During Economic Downturns

  • Mike Abrahamson, policy manager, Partnership for College Completion
  • Kyle Westbrook, founding executive director, Partnership for College Completion


Angela Bell, vice chancellor of research and policy analysis, University System of Georgia

February 25: Funding Strategies and Student Outcomes

Paper 1:

The Effect of State and Local Appropriations on College Graduation Rates for Diverse Students

  • Aaron Horn, associate vice president of research, Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  • Olena Horner, research associate, assistant director of SERU survey design, SERU Research Consortium
  • David Tandberg, senior vice president of policy research and strategic initiatives, SHEEO
  • Robert Toutkoushian, professor, University of Georgia
  • Shaun Williams-Wyche, associate director of research and data analysis, Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Paper 2:

How Public Funding Shapes Access at Access-Oriented State Comprehensive Universities Across South Carolina

  • Colby King, assistant professor, University of South Carolina Upstate
  • Christopher Robinson, senior data & research analyst, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education


Aaron Thompson, president, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

March 4: Impacts of State Financial Aid

Paper 1:

Equity and Allocation of Financial Aid for New Jersey

  • Drew Anderson, associate economist/professor, The RAND Corporation/Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Melanie Zaber, associate economist, The RAND Corporation

Paper 2:

Race, Income, and Institutional Heterogeneity in the Effects of State Merit Aid Loss

  • Kristen Cummings, doctoral student, University of Michigan
  • KC Deane, doctoral candidate, University of Michigan
  • Amanda Klafehn, senior director, Tennessee Higher Education Commission


Dominique J. Baker, assistant professor, Southern Methodist University

March 11: Strategic Finance for Higher Education

Paper 1:

Considering a Standard Approach to Institutional Adequacy

  • Brian Prescott, vice president, NCHEMS

Paper 2:

Are State Financial Supports Lost in the Iron Triangle? A Longitudinal Analysis of Quality, Access and Affordability of Higher Education

  • Jeongeun Kim, assistant professor, Arizona State University

Paper 3:

SNAP Participation Among College Students: Unclaimed Benefits and the Role of State Investment

  • Peter Granville, senior policy associate, The Century Foundation
  • Jen Mishory, senior fellow and senior policy advisor, The Century Foundation


Ben Cannon, executive director, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission

March 18: Can Performance-Based Funding Be Equitable?

Paper 1:

An Equity Analysis of Outcomes-Based Funding Policies

  • Kayla Elliott, assistant director for higher education policy, The Education Trust
  • Lawrence Haynes, higher education policy analyst, The Education Trust
  • Tiffany Jones, deputy director of measurement, learning and evaluation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Paper 2:

Incentivizing Equity? The Effects of Performance-Based Funding Equity Provisions on Reducing Disparities in College Persistence and Completion

  • Monnica Chan, doctoral candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Zachary Mabel, associate policy research scientist, College Board
  • Preeya Pandya Mbekeani, associate program officer, Spencer Foundation

Paper 3:

From Desegregation to Today: Conceptualizing an Equitable Framework for Public Funding for HBCUs

  • Sosanya Jones, assistant professor, Howard University
  • Brittany Mosby, director of HBCU Success, Tennessee Higher Education Commission


Denisa Gandara, assistant professor, Southern Methodist University

March 25: Free College: Factors to Consider

Paper 1:

Examining Free College in Tennessee: A Student-Level Analysis

  • Kate Callahan, chief research officer, Research for Action
  • Daniel Kent, research analyst, Research for Action
  • Lindsey Liu, senior research analyst, Research for Action

Paper 2:

The Irish Experience with No Tuition Fees – A Case Study

  • Jason Delisle, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Art Hauptman, public policy consultant

Paper 3:

Free College and Academic Standards: Implications of 30-Credit-Completion-Requirement for Lower Income Students

  • Takeshi Yanagiura, University of Tskuba, Division of Research in Higher Education


Steven Gentile, chief policy officer, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

April 1: Political Determinants of State Funding

Paper 1:

Shaping Preferences for State Support for Higher Education: The Roles of the Median Voter, Income Inequality, and Social Mobility

  • Jennifer Delaney, associate professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Paper 2:

What is the Effect of Political Party on State Education Finance?

  • Mark Chin, doctoral candidate, Harvard University
  • Lena Shi, doctoral student, Harvard University

Paper 3:

Where the Balance-Wheel Hypothesis Falls Short: Examining State Policymakers’ Decisions to Fund Higher Education Amidst an Impending Recession

  • Meredith Billings, assistant professor, Sam Houston State University
  • Denisa Gandara, assistant professor, Southern Methodist University
  • Lindsey Hammond, postdoctoral career & technical education research fellow, NC State University
  • Paul Rubin, assistant professor, The University of Utah


Will Doyle, professor, Vanderbilt University