McBee lecture to focus on expanding access to higher education

McBee lecture to focus on expanding access to higher education

Athens, Ga. – A prominent advocate of expanding access to higher education will be the speaker for the 21st annual Louise McBee Lecture at the University of Georgia on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel.

Jamie P. Merisotis, president and CEO of the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education, will deliver a lecture titled “Three Critical Outcomes: Why Better Preparation for College, Improved Completion Rates, and Increased Higher Education Productivity are Essential to the Nation.” The lecture, sponsored by the UGA Institute of Higher Education, is free and open to the public.

The McBee Lecture honors UGA’s former vice president for academic affairs and former state representative from Athens. Founded in 1989, the annual lecture series is one of the few in the United States that focuses solely on higher education.

Merisotis is leading the Lumina Foundation’s effort to expand access and success in education beyond high school, particularly among adults, first-generation college going students, low-income students and students of color. The Foundation’s single, overarching goal is to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. Currently, 39 percent of American adults hold post-secondary degrees, a figure that has remained steady for 40 years.

Merisotis is recognized as an authority on college and university financing and has published major studies and reports on topics ranging from higher-education rankings to technology-based learning. Before joining Lumina Foundation in 2008, he was founding president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, an independent, nonpartisan organization regarded as one of the world’s premier higher education research and policy centers.

Merisotis’ work has been published extensively in the higher education field. He has written and edited several books and monographs, and he is a frequent contributor to magazines, journals and newspapers. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Higher Education in Europe, The Review of Higher Education and other periodicals.

McBee was at UGA for 25 years, serving in a number of positions including dean of women, dean of students and acting vice president for academic affairs. Following her retirement in 1988, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents named her vice president emerita for academic affairs.

She was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1991 and served six terms before stepping down in 2004. In her last term, she was chair of the House Higher Education Committee.