New Boyer Commission Report Emphasizes Equity

Lisa R. Parker

A comprehensive new report by the Boyer 2030 Commission, an accomplished group of research university presidents and higher education leaders, argues that research universities must make equity as central to undergraduate education as excellence.

Titled “The Equity-Excellence Imperative: A 2030 Blueprint for Undergraduate Education at U.S. Research Universities,” the report notes that “excellence and equity are inextricably entwined, such that excellence without equity (privilege reproducing privilege) is not true excellence, and equity (mere access) without excellence is unfulfilled promise.”

It is a follow-up to the 1998 Boyer Commission Report, “Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities.”

Among other things, the new report focuses on increasing access and affordability, leveraging digital technology, facilitating clearer and faster degree pathways, and broadening participation in “high-impact educational experiences,” including research, internships and study abroad.

“The college-going population has changed dramatically since the original Boyer report was issued in 1998, reflecting critical gains in college access,” said Peter McPherson, co-chair of the Boyer 2030 Commission and president emeritus of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. “But we know institutions have to adapt to better meet a diverse set of needs for these students. Fortunately, we have a growing body of evidence around data-informed approaches to improving equity and excellence in American higher education.”

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