Back to School: Higher-Education Experts

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Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus ISDN line and ready access to a satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability.



Academic governance, institutional mission

Dr. Matt Hartley is an expert in academic governance, civic engagement and the democratic purposes of higher education.  His research examines how institutions of higher learning strive to accomplish their educational missions and the civic purposes of higher education, including the responsibilities of colleges and universities in a democracy.


Diversity on campus

Dr. Shaun Harper can discuss diversity and racial climates on college campuses, as well as gender disparities between college men and women.  As the director for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, he can discuss why fewer men, especially those from racial and ethnic minorities, are enrolling in college and also the nine themes he’s found in studying college campuses across the U.S. Dr. Harper has recently completed a study for the Congressional Black Caucus, grading four-year public universities in all 50 states.


Historically black colleges and universities

Dr. Marybeth Gasman is an expert in historically black colleges and universities, diversity and higher education, minority-serving institutions, racial bias in standardized testing, and African-American educational leadership, fundraising and philanthropy.


Public finance, accountability

Dr. Joni Finney, the creator and author of “Measuring Up,” the nation’s state-by-state report card on higher education, is an expert in the public finance of higher education, statewide governance, access and completion and accountability.  She’s the director of the Institute for Research in Higher Education at Penn and for more than 20 years, she’s worked with state leaders to improve the public policies governing higher education.


Student loans, access and equity in higher education

Dr. Laura Perna is an expert in college affordability and choice, access to and equity in higher education and federal involvement in pre-college education.  She studies how individual characteristics, social structures and public policies enable or restrict women, racial/ethnic minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status.  Her recent research includes examining how prepared today’s students are for tomorrow’s metropolitan jobs.



Media contact:

            Jill DiSanto-Haines at 215-898-4820 or