Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton is part of a coalition of national leaders hailing from higher education, government, business, the nonprofit sector, and the military announcing the formation of the Council on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset (HESA).
Over the next year, HESA will develop recommendations for ensuring that higher education institutions can deliver the workforce and educated citizenry necessary to address the United States’ most critical national priorities. They will propose new models for higher education policy, funding, and collaboration.
Hinton is among the organization’s Council Commissioners, national thought leaders who share an interest in advancing the mission of the Council and who can amplify and expand the reach of its work.
“Technology and global interconnectivity are fundamentally uprooting workforce priorities,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and a co-chair of HESA. “The United States is falling behind its vision for higher education, which is already endangering our security and competitiveness. We must act swiftly to reimagine collaborative approaches for higher education policy and funding that reflect changing economic realities.”
Historically, higher education has been central to national prosperity and security, especially during periods of intense industrial and technological progress. According to the National Governors Association, the United States has more than 10 million job openings, but only 5.7 million unemployed workers are actively looking for work. Many of these open positions, including in crucial areas such as health care, cybersecurity, and more, require specific skills and specialized education that higher education institutions can provide.
As other nations readily embrace higher education as a strategic asset, the United States must develop new approaches at speed and scale to ensure it remains competitive. HESA’s goal is to maximize the impact of higher education on global competitiveness, national security, democratic strength, and economic prosperity.
HESA’s first convening will take place on June 6, 2023. The organization plans to deliver its recommendations to the president of the United States and targeted members of the administration, select members of the U.S. Congress, state governors and legislators, and higher education governing boards and chief executive officers by June 2024.