Governors Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt Open the Future of State Universities Conference Tony Blair, John Howard, and Other National and International Leaders Join State University Heads to Discuss the Most Pressing Issues Facing Higher Education Today

DALLAS, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Governors Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt today opened the Future of State Universities conference, the first-of-its-kind, two-day event bringing national and international leaders together with more than 200 state university heads from across the United States.  The conference will focus on how the nation's four-year state institutions can not only survive, but thrive, in the years to come, even in the wake of mounting financial challenges and shifting student demographics. 

Speaking to more than 200 state university presidents, provosts, chancellors, and deans, Governor Bush said, "State universities must adopt new and sustainable models with new revenue sources, new delivery systems and a new emphasis on access."

Sponsored by Academic Partnerships, the conference will address a variety of approaches for continuing the growth and success of state institutions in a rapidly changing environment, including the increased utilization of technology and online learning.

The discussion will include topics such as shifting student demographics, college readiness, the future role of accreditation, internationalization, and the need for innovation in higher education—issues that make this conference both timely and topical.

"Public universities are caught in a perfect storm," Governor Hunt said.  "A new and sustainable model must be found, and the Future of State Universities conference will not only focus on the issues our universities face, but on some real solutions, including an increased focus on technology and online education, that will allow them to flourish in the future."  

The first day of the conference will include remarks by Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Dr. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, Dr. Steve Murdock, professor at Rice University and former director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Arne Duncan, secretary of education, Dr. Martha Kanter, under secretary of education, Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, Dr. Dick Ferguson, former chairman and CEO of ACT, Dr. Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, and Dr. Michael Wesch, professor at Kansas State University.

The second day of the conference will include remarks by Jim Hunt, conference co-host and former governor of North Carolina, John Howard, former prime minister of Australia, Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, Dr. Ralph Wolff, president of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Dr. Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas system.

About the Future of State Universities Conference

The Future of State Universities conference is a first-of-its-kind, two-day conference bringing national and international leaders together with the leadership of state universities across the United States to discuss the emergence of sustainable new models for transforming the nation's four-year state institutions.  The conference, hosted by Governors Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt and sponsored by Academic Partnerships, will be held on October 6 and 7 in Dallas.  For more information, visit

About Academic Partnerships

Academic Partnerships (AP) is a higher education service provider that works exclusively with state universities to convert their traditional degree programs to online delivery and to recruit and retain qualified students.  AP helps university faculty transfer their high quality courses into an engaging and individualized online learning experience for students that results in high completion rates and outstanding student performance.  For more information about Academic Partnerships, visit

Jaquelyn M. Scharnick, Brunswick Group
+ 1 214-459-8181

SOURCE Academic Partnerships


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