The Society for the Future of Higher Education is committed to advancing integrity, diversity, inclusivity, and civic responsibility within higher education. SFHE will continue its work as an incubator of initiatives to dismantle systems of oppression and achieve social justice for minoritized* populations in higher education.
*The term “minoritized” refers to those who, regardless of numerical status, are disenfranchised, disempowered, or otherwise marginalized by systems of power.
Throughout its nearly century-long tenure, the Society for the Future of Higher Education has initiated several projects and actions to lead higher education to a more inclusive, just, and equitable future. The list below highlights just a few of these tangible actions:
1953: Edward W. Hazen Foundation funds services, to 1962. Revived in 1976 to concentrate on 12 areas not yet addressed by professional organizations in the disciplines, e.g., women’s studies, values issues in academic administration.
1955 – Ohio Wesleyan University
1958, 1960, 1962: sponsored by the Danforth Foundation
1954-1956 “Ethical and Religious Aspects of the Training of Lawyers” (planning sponsored by the Edward W. Hazen Foundation). Harvard Law School faculty/NCRHE consultation.
1966 Study of Campus Governance and Communications (sponsored by the Association for Higher Education, funded by the Kettering Foundation). Study of 18 institutions of higher education patterns of decision-making, influence, communication: among trustees, faculty, students, administrators.
1972 Seeds of Change Projects (funded by Charles Merrill Trust): seed money for promising innovative projects too small to secure major foundation grants awarded to: Bloomfield College, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina/Duke University, St. Olaf College, Livingston College of Rutgers University.
1972-1974 Area Colloquies (sponsored by Charles Merrill Trust). Met monthly, 3-4 sessions on single theme, or extended weekend conferences:
“Crisis of Values in American Society” (MN)
“Authority in Teaching and Learning” (CA)
“Teaching, Learning and Social Policy (PA)
“Terror and Terrorism: Individual and Collective Manifestations” (IN)
“Human Freedom and Control in a Programmed Future” (MN)
1972-1974 Special Projects (funded by Charles Merrill Trust):
Task Force on Black Religion, at Harvard U. (weekend consultation), bibliography in Black religion.
“Direction and Evaluation of Off-Campus Learning” (TN)
“Appalachian Studies,” American Studies Association Meeting (CA)
1978-1982 Institute on Ethical Issues in the Management of Public and Private Institutions, sponsored by SVHE in cooperation with Yale University School of Organization and management and the Business School and Faculty of Social Ethics at the University of Southern California (funded by Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, several corporate foundations). Corporate and government managers, teachers of business, management and ethics. Developing capacity for moral judgment through specific ethical concepts, exercises in normative reasoning.
Publication: Syllabi for the Teaching of Management Ethics (SVHE, 1980).
1983-1986 “Values and Decision-Making in Higher Education” (funded by the Atlantic Richfield Foundation (ARCO), the Lilly Endowment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and participating institutions). National project providing experts on ethics for on-campus consultations at 8 institutions, conferences, publications. With presidents, faculty and administrators utilizing SVHE’s “Values Audit” to improve policies in admissions, tenure and promotion, governance and the allocation of resources. 1986: concluding Lilly conference evaluated the project and collected findings. Publication: Ambitious Dreams (Sheed & Ward, 1990).
1988 “Nurturing Black and Hispanic Scholars for the Future Professoriate” (funded by the Lilly Endowment). Planning conference.
1990-1992 Subsidies for Young Scholars (funded by the Schumann Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation). Assistance grants to graduate students and young faculty in early career, to provide travel, room and board at annual Meeting of Fellows. (Membership not a requirement.)
1994 The South African Experience of Higher Education: symposium held at Emory University during the annual Meeting of Fellows on that campus (funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and SVHE). Two leading South African educators, joined by South African graduate students studying at Michigan State U., met with Atlanta Center Historically Black College and University representatives, to compare and discuss lessons learned from the historically black university experience. Scholars spent one additional week on the campus of their choice after the meeting.
2003 SVHE’s Democracy Project worked with the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good on a Wingspread gathering entitled, Strengthening the Relationship between Higher Education and Society: Public Understanding, Public Policy, and Public Support
2013-2015 Educating for Economic Justice – conference theme focus for two years; debt and income inequality
2012-2018 SWCT in China – a collaboration between teams from SFHE(SVHE) and Chinese Universities to promote intercultural competence, critical and creative thinking, and interactive classrooms.
2014 Symposium on Peace, Islam, and Counter-Narrative brought together academics, practitioners, policy influencers, and Muslim thought leaders to discuss the potential strategic role of Islam in American security policy and initiatives. It focuses on the role of “counter-narratives” or the attempt to respond to the ideology of militant groups, and is especially interested in how this may apply in the war against al-Qaeda.
2014 World Cultural Development Forum held in conjunction with Annual Conference , the Second World Cultural Development Forum hosted scholars from around the to address the theme of ‘‘Economic Inequality and World Justice.’’ The forum is co-organized by the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies of Hubei University (IAHS, China), Society for Values in Higher Education (SVHE, USA), the Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Moral Culture, International Society of Value Inquiry (ISVI), and China National Association For Ethical Studies (CNAES).
2020 Bylaw Changes to Promote Board Diversity: The Board of Directors approved and implemented a proposal to change the organization’s bylaws to allow for the appointment of up to three members of the Board of Directors that could help to diversify the Board.
2022-2025 Three-Year Programming Series on Inclusion, Justice, & Equity: The organization is committed to running a 3-year programming series that focuses on these core elements of the Society’s mission statement.