In the July 19th, 2013 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, there is a special report on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's efforts to change how higher education is delivered, financed, and regulated in the United States. The grantmaker has already spent $472 million since 2006 on this issue—with $343 million awarded since Gates announced in January 2008 of its new focus on helping low-income young people earn their degrees.
Below are abstracts of four articles that appeared in the report. You may read the articles from the print Chronicle at the New York and Washington, DC libraries, but I included links to two of the articles that are available for free online.
"The Gates Effect" by Marc Parry, Kelly Field, and Beckie Supiano (p. A18-23)
This article examines the Gates Foundation's overhaul of higher education. It looks at the roots of the foundation's efforts, provides an in-depth discussion of its current programs, and outlines its collaboration with the federal government and the Lumina Foundation.
"How Gates Shapes State Higher-Education Policy" by Katherine Mangan (p. A24-5)
Looks at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's higher education efforts aimed at pushing more students, more quickly, toward graduation. Explains that Gates grantees have been urging state lawmakers to pass laws restricting remedial college courses and tying appropriations to graduation rates. However, some experts object to the influence of a private entity on state education policy.
"Strategic Philanthropy Comes to Higher Education" by Ben Gose (p. A26-7)
Gose provides an historical look at higher education philanthropy, and how the Gates Foundation is reshaping it today. The foundation's approach calls for defining strategic goals from the outset, working closely with grantees, and expecting measurable results from investments. Includes reflections by program officers, professors, and other scholars on the current and past impact of philanthropy in academe.
"'Next Generation' Grant Program Reveals Hands-On, Corporate Approach" by Goldie Blumenstyk (p. A27-8)
Article offers a profile of Next Generation Learning Challenges, a grantmaker created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in association with Educause. The model for this funder is unusual because it stays highly involved even after the money is awarded, and funds for-profits as well as nonprofits. Includes a flow chart describing the grantmaking process, which has been described as "very entrepreneurial."
The Foundation Center