Archived Speeches of Former President Levin

2013

Lately It Occurs to Me … : Baccalaureate Address
May 5, 2013

We leave together.  You leave Yale College after four years; I leave the Yale Presidency after twenty.  I find myself thinking about a Grateful Dead song written in 1970, the year I came to Yale as a graduate student. You know the words: “Lately it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it’s been.”  It’s been a long trip, but, for us, more wonderful than strange.

Each of you has had the opportunity to learn from teachers who are among the world’s most brilliant scholars, and to grow in the company of some of the most exceptional young adults to be found anywhere – your classmates.  You have had access to extraordinary research laboratories, libraries, museums, and musical and dramatic performances. You have lived four years in an environment of high energy and high achievement – in the classroom and the newsroom, on the stage and the athletic field, in the concert hall and the art studio, in community service and political debate.  In the course of all this activity, you have come to know yourselves more completely. These pleasures now give way to a new set of challenges and opportunities as you explore the world that is all before you.

Some of you know exactly what you want to do in the years ahead – whether it is medicine, the law, the military, starting a company, or – this year in particular – playing professional hockey.  Congratulations!  We wish you every success.  As for the rest of you who are not so sure, I feel myself, for the first time in twenty years of Baccalaureate Addresses, in true communion.  You, and I, are going to need time to figure out what’s next, time to consider where our true passions lie and how we might give them the fullest expression.

It is not an easy world out there.  We are still suffering from the effects of the most severe recession since the Great Depression, and the American political system – once a global model of effective bipartisan governance – has become so polarized that it is nearly paralyzed.  It seems astonishing, but this spring, in the aftermath of a mass murder at an elementary school just twenty-five miles from here, the U.S. Congress could not manage to restore even the most moderate restrictions on the sale of assault weapons to private citizens. And gun control is just one of many critical issues on which this nation appears to be at an impasse. How about ensuring an adequate K-12 education for all Americans? Or repairing our congested highways, deteriorating bridges, substandard airports, and obsolete passenger railroad services? How about supporting scientific advance and the innovation that flows from it? Or resetting our expectations about entitlement benefits?  And how about concerted action to mitigate the severe economic and ecological consequences of global warming?

Right now, you may not be thinking first and foremost about these issues. You quite properly may be thinking about where you will find an apartment, whether you will find a job, or, if you already have one, whether you will like it.  You may also be thinking about whether and when to apply to graduate or professional school, and, more generally, how these important near term choices might help you build a life that is personally and professionally fulfilling.  Because Yale has encouraged you to think this way, you may also be contemplating how the lives you are starting to create might make a difference to others – to your families and your communities, and how you might be of service, as so many of you have been as students, to causes larger than your own personal fulfillment.

I am thinking about my next steps, too.  And just like you I am hoping to find work that is personally and professionally fulfilling, and that makes a difference in the lives of others. Uncertainty about these matters is a source of anxiety for us all – for you and for me.  But I think we are up to it! You have overcome a lot of challenges as you worked your way through Yale, and so have I. There is plenty of upside ahead, at what we economists call the “micro” level, the immediate personal and professional spheres that we occupy.

But what about the “macro” level?  What about the big picture issues that lately have been so inadequately addressed by our political processes? These may not be at the center of your current plans, but let me suggest that there is plenty of opportunity here, too.  In my explanation, I will focus principally on the United States, but every country in the world faces similar questions about education, infrastructure, innovation, entitlements, and climate change. The answers to these questions are going to have a huge impact on your personal and professional lives – affecting your incomes, your security, your health, and your well-being. Your involvement with these issues can make a difference.

Consider K-12 education.  For more than a century, American primary and secondary education was the envy of the world, producing the world’s most literate labor force and creating a huge competitive advantage for the United States as North America and Europe industrialized.  Today, on the most widely used international test of comparative achievement, the performance of 15-year-old Americans ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math among 34 OECD countries, and almost all OECD countries are far below Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong on all three tests. In a world that rewards skills and requires them for middle class jobs, we need to do better.

We need to invest in infrastructure, or the economy will fail to grow at its potential. We missed our opportunity to shorten the recession four years ago by failing to invest heavily and speedily in transport and communications infrastructure. This would have created millions of jobs in the short term and laid the foundation for future growth in the long term. We still need these investments.

Education and infrastructure are prerequisites for the health and prosperity of any nation, but innovation – the creation of new products and new industries – is the engine that drives economic growth. And innovation depends on the continuing advance of science. The Congressional majority is eager to curb the growth in government spending – and reluctant to recognize that education, infrastructure, and science are investments in our future. Such a Congress risks America’s economic leadership. We need to turn this around.

We also need to take a longer-term perspective on the sustainability of our largest entitlement programs: Medicare and Social Security.  In the current political environment it is almost impossible to have a rational discussion of these subjects. Yet if we fail to curb the growth of these benefits there will be over the next three decades a massive intergenerational transfer of income from your generation to mine, placing your prosperity at risk and penalizing generations to come. We need to restart the conversation, and develop a humane, fair, and sustainable solution.

And while we are talking about penalizing future generations, our insufficiently restrained emission of carbon into the atmosphere is on track to require the relocation of coastal populations around the world and cause severe draughts in once fertile agricultural regions, within your lifetimes. Earlier this month, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in over three million years. This level is more than 40% higher than concentrations prevailing before the Industrial Revolution began in the mid-18th century.  Now is the time for stronger economic incentives, stricter performance standards, and large investment in carbon-free energy technologies. The strategy for such investments should take full account of lessons of the massive 1960s commitment to space and defense technology, which gave us high performance materials, computers, the Internet, and global leadership in science and technology that propelled scores of industries and created millions of jobs.

The theme that unites all the elements of the program I am suggesting to you is this: we need to take the long view. If we fail to invest in education, infrastructure, and innovation, we shortchange the future. If we fail to rationalize entitlements, your generation’s prosperity will be jeopardized. If we fail to address the challenge of global warming, your children and grandchildren will live in a world burdened by the enormous costs of coping with environmental disruption and human dislocation.

In our current polarized political environment, taking action to ensure the future may seem almost impossible. But I believe that you can make a difference. We need fresh voices at the table, and you, the best-educated citizens of your generation, need to be among them. The powerful groups that are currently dictating inaction on government investment, entitlement reform, and global warming are driven by a combination of parochial, short-term self-interest on the one hand, and ideology on the other.  Yet the macro consequence of these micro-motives is that my generation is attempting to privilege itself over yours – kicking the can of long-term investment needs and fiscal and environmental sustainability down the road. No one is openly advocating taxing your generation to support ours. But this will be the consequence of our current political paralysis, should it persist. You need to rise to this challenge, speak for yourselves, and lead your generation to a better life.

It will not be an easy campaign. You will need to confront strongly entrenched interest groups on both sides of every issue, but you will find allies, because your aspirations will resonate with the best instincts of our nation.  America has a history of looking to the future.  Even in the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln opened Western lands for free settlement, established the land grant colleges, authorized the building of the transcontinental railroad, and founded the National Academy of Science.  After the Second World War, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower sent war veterans to college, subsidized home ownership, built the nation’s highways, and invested in science and technology on an unprecedented scale.  What we have done before as a nation we can do again.  We need your engagement, and your leadership, to make it happen.

Women and men of Yale College Class of 2013:  Let us go forth to new challenges, taking with us the best of what your four years, and my twenty, have taught us.  Follow your passions and shape lives of personal fulfillment, but listen carefully to what I say to you tomorrow when you graduate.  I will then “confer upon you the degrees in Yale College as recommended by the dean, and admit you to all their rights and responsibilities.”  Take those responsibilities seriously.  Stand up for your generation and those that follow.  Protect the future from the parochialism, partisanship, and paralysis of the present.  Participate, speak up, and lead this nation and the world to the future you deserve.  I will be working alongside you.

2012

Undergraduate Education and the Research University by President Richard C. Levin
August 25, 2012

I am delighted to join Dean Miller in welcoming you, the Class of 2016, to Yale College.  I want to welcome also the relatives and friends who have accompanied you here, and especially your parents.  As a father of four college graduates, I know how proud you parents are of your children’s achievement, how hopeful you are for their future, and how many concerns – large and small – you have at this moment. 

Let me try to reassure you.  Your children are going to love it here!  And I expect that you are going to enjoy your association with Yale, whether you are a returning graduate or one of the vast majority of parents who never set foot in New Haven until your children started to think about where to go to college.  You may take comfort in learning that surveys have shown that Yale parents are the most satisfied in the Ivy League.  So, welcome to the Yale family!  We are so pleased to have your children with us, and we will do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

And to you, Class of 2016, welcome.  I suspect that you have many reasons for being here.  You may have chosen to attend Yale College because you heard that it was a place that attracted unusually talented and interesting students.  Perhaps you were impressed by the depth and breadth of our 2000 course offerings. You may have been drawn to the idea of residential colleges, communities that are microcosms of the student body and inspire lifelong loyalty.  You may have learned about the diverse array of undergraduate organizations devoted to politics, debate, journalism, and community service – organizations that will give you a chance to develop your skills as leaders and as collaborators.  You may have been drawn by Yale’s superlative undergraduate arts organizations: from chamber orchestras to dramatic societies, from dance ensembles to a cappella singing groups.  You may have been recruited to one of our thirty-five varsity athletic teams, with their outstanding coaches and facilities.  You may have learned about our commitment to sustainability, and been interested in joining one of our environmental groups or working on the Yale Farm.  Or you may have been excited by the extensive array of international experiences open to you as students in Yale College.

All of these are good reasons to find Yale a school worthy of four years of your time.  But I thought that I might focus this morning on an aspect of Yale that you might not have considered: the special advantages of your having chosen to attend a college situated within one of the world’s great research universities.  This distinction means, first, that the faculty who will teach you are leading scholars in their respective fields, and, second, that you will have access to virtually unmatched library and museum resources. 

Consider the extraordinary collections that are available to you in the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.  Dozens of your professors in literature, history, the history of art, anthropology, geology, ecology, and evolutionary biology will make use of these museum resources in your courses, and perhaps some of you will join with other students in curating your own museum exhibit.  Last spring, four undergraduates collaborated with curators and conservators at the Yale Center for British Art to study the materials and techniques used in the creation of early English wood panel paintings.  They created an exhibit that was on display at the Center from April through July.  A year earlier, Yale students collaborated with others at the University of Maryland to create an exhibit on African American art drawn from Yale’s collections that was shown at both at our Art Galley and on the Maryland campus.  Even if you do not engage quite so deeply as to curate an exhibit, I would urge you to visit our museums.  You may discover a love of art or a love of nature that enriches your life.

Our libraries are an endless source of discovery for students who wish to engage in archival research.  You will find materials there that allow you to undertake projects that go far beyond what might be possible elsewhere.  Some years ago, one undergraduate discovered in the un-catalogued papers of a deceased professor that a faculty organization called the Yale Library Project had provided cover for an important World War II intelligence mission.  Just this week, I learned from a high school student working in the archives of the Beinecke Library about his discovery of the methods used by late 19th century railroads to finance their sale of farmland to settlers in the northern plains of the United States.  It turns out that the railroads’ strategies for helping landowners remain on their farms during periods of financial hardship were much more effective than our efforts to protect homeowners from foreclosure during the current recession.

Consider next some examples of the astonishingly creative and original work of the faculty who will be teaching you:

  • Earlier this year, John Lewis Gaddis, a professor of history, won the Pulitzer Prize for his brilliant biography of George Kennan, the diplomat and architect of U.S. strategy in the Cold War.  
  • A group of scientists led by Rick Prum, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was able to deduce from fossils the colors of feathers on a dinosaur.
  • Geologist Zhengrong Wang has demonstrated that carbon can be captured from the atmosphere and sequestered not in gaseous or liquid form beneath the earth’s surface, but in solid form, by catalyzing a reaction to transform subsurface rocks into calcium and magnesium carbonate.  This is one of several technologies that Yale scientists are pursuing in the hope of finding solutions to the problem of global warming.
  • Historian Timothy Snyder has shown in his recent book, Bloodlands, the ideological and practical connections between the Nazi extermination of Jews and other east Europeans and the Soviet extermination of the same populations.
  • In her path-breaking work, The Ornament of the World, Maria Rosa Menocal demonstrated that the Middle Ages in Spain were not a time of darkness and superstition, but a period in which Muslim, Christian, and Jewish literature, philosophy, and architecture flourished and profoundly influenced one another.
  • In the Western desert of Egypt, archaeologist John Darnell has unearthed a lost city – the site of a massive bread-making industry more than 3,500 years ago.
  • And finally, your Dean, Mary Miller, has just given you a glimpse of her immense knowledge of Mesoamerican history, art, and culture.  In her own work of re-discovery, she has employed infrared photography to produce enhanced, high-definition images of the Mayan murals at Bonampak, and used these images as a platform for her seminal reinterpretations of Mayan art, architecture, and civilization.

What is remarkable about studying in Yale College is that you will have direct access to the scholars I have mentioned, among many others.  Distinguished as they are in research, they are also committed to teaching.  You will take their courses, participate in their seminars, and have the opportunity to work as their research assistants or do independent research under their supervision. Most of the projects I just described involved students in some capacity, but here are a few more in which the role of undergraduates is central:

Consider, for example, Professor Scott Strobel’s course in which undergraduates travel over spring break to a tropical rain forest to gather endophytes, microorganisms that are found in abundance on plants.  The students then return to Yale, where they work for the balance of the spring semester and throughout the summer to characterize the organisms that they have found and discover their properties.  On recent rain forest expeditions, students have found several organisms that effectively degrade plastic. One in particular is capable of breaking down polyurethane in the absence of oxygen, holding promise for practical use in the biodegradation of buried trash.

Or perhaps you will be intrigued by the opportunity to hunt for exo-planets – bodies that orbit around stars other than our own sun – under the supervision of Professor Debra Fischer and her colleagues in astronomy.  Professor Fischer helped to launch the online citizen science project called Planet Hunters, which engages 40,000 web users in the search for exo-planets using data gathered from a NASA space mission.  Three Yale College students collaborated on the first published paper from the Planet Hunter project, announcing the discovery of two previously unidentified exo-planets. Two other undergraduates are co-authors on a paper describing another discovery that is soon to be published.  One of the students involved in the first paper is now working on a team that has developed a new device capable of doubling the precision of the Keck Telescope, making the world’s largest telescope even more powerful.

Finally, if you would like to combine an interest in the performing arts with serious study, you might consider participation in the Yale Baroque Opera Project.  Conceived by the eminent musicologist Ellen Rosand, who has made major contributions to our understanding of early music, the Baroque Opera Project introduces students to the historical, aesthetic, and performance issues related to Italian Opera of the 17th and early 18th century in their coursework, and mounts two full-scale productions each year.

These examples illustrate how you might benefit from participating in the work of a university committed to path-breaking research.  I encourage you in the strongest terms to take full advantage of the people and resources available here.  Don’t be shy!  Yale’s faculty, libraries, and museums are here for you.  If you want to get engaged with the amazing research activities that go on here, do not hesitate to ask a professor, a librarian, or a museum curator.  They will welcome your interest.

Let me go one step further.  If you want to get the most from your Yale education, be adventurous.  Do not content yourself with a familiar path.  As you choose your courses, try something different – an expository or creative writing class, statistics instead of more calculus, or a new language, even as you pursue further study of one you already know.  Sign up for courses and projects that will challenge you. You may never again have so much opportunity to explore new ideas, to test out new directions, to pursue different routes to discovering your true passion.  Stretch yourself.

I offer the same advice in connection with your activities outside the classroom, libraries and museums. Seek out the unfamiliar.  If the friends you make here are exclusively those who come from backgrounds just like your own and who went to high schools just like your own, you will have forfeited half the value of a Yale education.  You come from 54 nations, from a wide range of racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.  Each of your residential colleges contains within itself that rich diversity.  Seek out friends with different histories and different interests; you will find that you learn the most from the people least like you.

In the same way, as you choose extracurricular activities, try to move beyond the familiar; try at least one extracurricular activity that is brand new to you. Volunteer for community service and begin to understand how what you have learned here might be of value to others.  Work or study abroad on one of our many summer programs, and see the world from a different perspective.  

Women and men of the Yale College class of 2016:  You may have come here for many different reasons.  But now that you are about to begin your four-year journey of discovery, take note that you have come to one of the world’s great centers of learning. This presents you with very special opportunities.  Learn from your teachers the joy of participating in the advancement of human understanding of nature and culture.  Draw upon the abundant resources of our libraries, museums, and laboratories.  Stretch to your limits intellectually and interpersonally.  Your effort will be richly rewarded.

Statement Regarding Yale-NUS College
July 19, 2012

In a letter to faculty colleagues issued today, Yale-NUS College President Pericles Lewis has clarified the policies of Yale-NUS College regarding freedom of expression, which have been incompletely or incorrectly represented in some recent press accounts.

Yale entered its partnership with the National University of Singapore in full awareness that national laws concerning freedom of expression would place constraints on the civic and political behavior of students and faculty. We negotiated language protecting academic freedom and open inquiry on the Yale-NUS campus, as well as the freedom to publish the results of scholarly inquiry in the academic literature. But we indicated in the Prospectus circulated in September 2010 that freedom of assembly was constrained in Singapore, and that students and faculty would have to observe national laws, as do students and faculty in Yale programs from London to Beijing. These subjects were discussed at the Yale College faculty meetings in March and April of this year. We understand the concerns of those who supported a faculty resolution and we intend to be open and accountable.

We undertook this partnership to advance in Asia both the development of liberal arts curriculum and pedagogy encouraging critical inquiry. These in themselves are objectives worthy of a great American institution of higher learning.  Singapore is a hub with connections throughout South, Southeast, and East Asia – an appropriate location for an institution designed as an example for these regions. We should not expect that our presence in Singapore would instantly transform the nation’s policies or culture. Instead, we have worked in fruitful partnership with colleagues at the National University of Singapore to design what is a thoroughly imaginative and exciting new college. The result will speak for itself.

We have approached our engagement in Singapore in the spirit that has characterized Yale’s many other engagements around the globe: that we have much to learn. Social norms, practices, and values differ widely across nations and cultures.  We (our students and faculty) seek to embrace these differences and seek to understand them, as the first step toward building the cross-cultural understanding that must be the foundation of global citizenship and cooperation in the face of the great challenges confronting our planet.  We believe that engagement with difference, and the education that inevitably flows from it, is a far more effective instrument for advancing the human spirit than either isolation or insistence that ours is the only true way.

Baccalaureate Address: Taking Responsibility
May 20, 2012
Yale University

I imagine you are finding it difficult to believe that your time here has come to an end.  Let me tell you from experience: your memories of Yale College, and the lessons you have learned here, will endure, but you have so many exciting possibilities ahead that the sense of loss you feel today will fade quickly.  And think of all that you have accomplished!  You have opened for yourselves worlds that you never knew existed when you came here four years ago.  You have discovered that you love philosophy, or music, or art history, or archaeological fieldwork, or analyzing economic data or computer images of the stars, or characterizing endophytes you gathered on a field trip to a rain forest, or helping to build a quantum computer.  Nearly nine hundred of you spent at least one summer or semester in South America, or Africa, or Asia, or Europe learning a language, doing research, working as an intern, or taking a course led by a Yale professor.  You have learned the value of seeing the world and the value of appreciating the differences among its peoples.  You have worked hard. You have had fun.  You have made friends for a lifetime.  And you have come to know yourselves better than before – not only from the books you have read and the courses you have taken, not only from the overseas experiences you have had, but also from your endless discussions with classmates about your beliefs, hopes, and aspirations.

You have also learned something here about responsibility.  You have lived in communities – communities formed by your suitemates, your entryway, and your college, as well as in communities defined as singing groups, chamber orchestras, dramatic societies, service organizations, publications, religious organizations, athletic teams, fraternities, sororities, and societies.  Living in these communities and making them work has been a big part of your experience.  You have learned that as gifted and talented as you are – and you are – it is not all about you.  It is all about us. You have learned that making communities productive and a positive experience for all means taking account of the perceptions, feelings, and aspirations of others.  Living in some of Yale’s many communities has made you a better listener, more respectful of others, and better equipped to serve and to lead in the world beyond these walls.

And what of the world you are entering?  There are big communities out there in which you will have roles, and, therefore, responsibilities.  We are a global university, and each of you has a nation to which you now have an opportunity to contribute.  Problems abound all around the world, and choices of direction are confronting every nation.  Europe is debating austerity versus growth.  In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Middle Eastern and North African countries are testing whether democracy can thrive.  China is struggling to find a way to distribute the fruits of increased prosperity more equitably, and to diminish the adverse environmental impact of rapid growth.  The argument I wish to advance now applies equally to those of you with responsibilities as citizens of countries around the world, but I will focus on the United States, where all of you have chosen to attend school.

Surely you have noticed that there is a Presidential election going on.  But it does not seem to have captured the imagination of many of you, as elections have often in the past.  Let me suggest why.  Perhaps it is because the issues that truly matter for the nation and the world are not at center stage.  And there are, for sure, issues that truly matter.  How do we create a sustainable foundation for long-run prosperity, with good jobs created in ever-increasing numbers to spread the fruits of growth more equitably across the population?  How do we provide high quality and humane health care at a cost we can afford?  How do we prevent the continued consumption of fossil fuels from warming our planet to the point that ecosystems are destroyed, food supplies are threatened, and rising sea levels force hundreds of millions to relocate?  And, as a nation, how do we engage with a world in which the distribution of power and influence is inevitably becoming more multipolar?

It is not that these issues are being altogether ignored.  For example, competing approaches to revitalizing the economy are very much the subject of debate, but the issues are typically broken into unconnected pieces and discussed in terms that reflect oversimplified ideological preferences rather than serious analysis.  We talk about whether to increase the debt ceiling as if it were a religious issue, or whether to extend the tax cuts enacted a decade ago as if this were in itself the single question defining the proper role of government in the economy.  Meanwhile, we ignore serious deliberation of how to undertake and finance, on a substantial scale, the investments in infrastructure, innovation, education, and training that are of fundamental importance to our future wellbeing.

The issue of climate change seems to have disappeared under the table, buried in an avalanche of know-nothing advocacy that disparages decades of disinterested scientific research.  And the implications of a shift in the distribution of power among nations are simply not in the debate chamber.  Instead, we talk of securing a new American Century, as if continued global dominance were a national objective.  I do believe that America can prosper and lead in the 21st century.  But the global landscape today is far different than it was in 1945, when World War II ended, or 1989, when the Cold War ended.  We should be talking about how we might work effectively with other nations in the context of more widely shared power and responsibility.

I was poignantly reminded of the poverty of our current political discourse when, a couple of weeks ago, Professor Steven Smith, who recently stepped down as master of Branford College, gave me a copy of his new edition of The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, published by the Yale University Press.1

How utterly refreshing it is to read Lincoln’s beautifully written, closely argued speeches and letters that grapple directly, deeply, and forcefully with the issues of his time.  Of course, Lincoln’s main preoccupation was with the subject of slavery, and he addresses that issue with a rigor and depth of argument that is simply unknown in American political discourse today.  But he also touched brilliantly on other subjects of more direct relevance to our current situation.  In a speech given in Milwaukee to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Association in September 1859, Lincoln addressed the full range of issues associated with deriving maximum social benefit from the development of what was then the nation’s most significant natural resource – its fertile and abundant agricultural land.2  Like so many of Lincoln’s speeches, it is remarkable for displaying an extraordinary mastery of his subject matter.  His discussion focused on the need for continued innovation as a means to greater productivity and prosperity. To enable such innovation, he stressed the importance of infrastructure in the form of access to adequate supplies of water, and he especially emphasized the need for education. Farmers, said Lincoln, need not only to be literate, but also to have a working knowledge of botany, chemistry, and the mechanical arts.

One might have thought that Lincoln’s vision of increasing prosperity through investment in innovation, infrastructure, and education might have been set aside in the face of the overwhelming priority of civil war that confronted him within six weeks of taking office.  But, no, within a period of two years, working with Congress, Lincoln was able to enact legislation authorizing a transcontinental railroad, the Homestead Act enabling the establishment of farms across the western territories, and the Morrill Act granting land for the establishment of colleges to teach agriculture and the mechanical arts, colleges that subsequently became our treasured state universities.3  These public investments were the foundation of late 19th century America’s prosperity.

We need to make such investments again today.  We need to repair our crumbling physical infrastructure: our highways, ports, railroads, and airports, as well as waste and water management, traffic control, and communications systems.  To make possible the flow of innovations upon which our economy depends, we need to maintain our commitment to investing in science.  And to equip our citizens with the skills required to be productive and competitive in a modern, technology-enabled workplace, we need to make large and well-directed investments in both basic K-12 education and in specialized technical training.  The gap in earnings between the highly educated and the poorly educated has grown dramatically in the last three decades, and the earnings of those without a college education have not kept up with inflation.  Educating our workforce is the most effective way to prevent rising income disparity.

Tomorrow (Monday morning), I will confer upon you the degrees in Yale College as recommended by your Dean, and I will at that moment “admit you to all their rights and responsibilities.”  Not “rights and privileges,” which is the language used at most of our peer institutions.  You have already had the privilege of an extraordinary education.  Now, you will assume the responsibilities that are entailed by that privilege.

By using the powers of reason and expression you developed here at Yale, by drawing upon your wide exposure to many disciplines and forms of discourse, each one of you has the capacity to make a difference in the quest to build a better world, for yourselves and for future generations.  You can start by engaging in the public debate about the investments needed to secure our future and the perspective needed to operate effectively in a multipolar world.  You can bring rigor and seriousness to the political dialogue, and insist that others do so as well by rejecting the superficial ideological slogans that are no substitute for true argument.  And you can engage more directly in repairing the world through the career paths you choose and the organizations you join and support.  I am not saying that you all need to take up public service or teach school, although I hope and trust that some of you will.  Instead, I am urging you to engage with the future by helping to raise the sights of your communities, as Yale graduates traditionally have, and not confine your activity merely to the private pursuit of health, wealth, and happiness.

This is where I started, by reminding you that Yale is not merely a place that enabled you to define and transform yourselves as individuals.  It has been for each of you a network of many communities in which you were expected to participate and to which you were expected to contribute.  The world outside is no different.  We need you to engage, to consider the wellbeing of others as well as yourselves: we need you to take responsibility.

Lincoln closed his Wisconsin speech with a memorable passage, inspiring his audience in his inimitable and graceful prose not to accept the world passively, but to work actively toward its betterment. He said:

Let us hope … that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.4

Women and men of the Yale College Class of 2012:
Congratulations! Your accomplishments, inside and outside the classroom, have earned our heartfelt praise and admiration.  You have expanded your own horizons, and you have sustained and improved the life of Yale’s many communities.  Now is the time to build flourishing lives for yourselves, and also to strive for the betterment of your communities – local, professional, national, and global.  Help these communities cultivate the world around us and the worlds within us.  Take inspiration from Lincoln and from your own experiences here at Yale, and make your course, and the course of those without the privileges accorded to you, onward and upward.


1Steven B. Smith, ed., The Writings of Abraham Lincoln. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012.
2 Abraham Lincoln, “Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society,” September 20, 1858, in Smith, op. cit., pp. 268-78.
3Lincoln also presided over legislation that protected the Yosemite Valley from development and ensured public access for recreational purposes.
4 Lincoln, op. cit., p. 278

2011

Air Force ROTC Signing Ceremony
September 11, 2011
Yale University

Secretary Donley, General Rice, Mr. Ginsberg, General Kodlick, Colonel Estock, Lt. Colonel Weibel, fellow members of the faculty, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a delight to welcome you to Yale for the signing of an agreement to establish an Air Force ROTC detachment at Yale in the fall of 2012. I also extend a special welcome to the cadets from Detachment 115 from the University of Connecticut, which has hosted Yale students for many years. I am delighted that Robbie Berschinski has made the trip from Washington to join us today. Robbie is a graduate of Yale and Detachment 115, and he honored us all by being named the Air Force Cadet of the Year in 2002.

I also wish to recognize Linda Schwartz, the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for Connecticut. Commissioner Schwartz was an Air Force nurse for nearly 20 years, and retired after sustaining serious injuries in an aircraft accident. She holds degrees from Yale in Nursing and Public Health, and has long been a good friend and advocate for both veterans and Yale.

I thank all of you for joining us in this important moment for Yale, the Air Force, and the country.

Just over two weeks ago I welcomed the class of 2015. I exhorted them to take full advantage of the many resources of Yale; I also made the claim that a singular advantage of a Yale education is its cultivation of habits of critical thinking and the ability to see the big picture. I suggested to the freshmen and their parents that these qualities will prove to be instrumental in devising creative, far-reaching solutions to the challenges they encounter in whatever career they choose.

Those same qualities are equally important for the leadership of the country's armed forces. As a partnership uniting the Armed Services and the nation's universities, ROTC enables the military to identify officer candidates who bring a breadth of perspectives to national service. My colleagues and I are honored to host the Air Force ROTC and to play a larger role in training the future leaders of the Air Force.

Bringing Air Force ROTC to Yale is a natural evolution of Yale's long and deep tradition of public service. That tradition finds expression in the service our graduates render to their communities across the nation, in their disproportionate contribution as elected and appointed government officials, and in their military service. A short distance away from us, in the rotunda of Woolsey Hall, we document and honor the sacrifices of Yale graduates in the nation's wars.

I look forward to this new chapter in Yale's partnership with the Air Force. For those Yale students interested in serving their country, ROTC will now be a more attractive option. Similarly, as other colleges and universities become affiliated with the Yale Detachment, ROTC will become a more practical choice for students throughout western and southern Connecticut.

I offer profound thanks to Secretary Donley, General Rice, General Peck, Colonel Dunn, and their colleagues for their creativity in establishing this ROTC detachment at Yale. Opening and sustaining an ROTC unit requires a substantial commitment of funds and manpower, and the number of cadets completing ROTC nationally already exceeds the number of Officers who are commissioned each year. I commend Secretary Donley, General Rice and General Peck for seeing the big picture, and for seeing the importance, even in difficult financial times, of making it easier for future officers to get the benefit of a Yale education.

Last evening Yale students, faculty, and staff held a very moving candlelight vigil to honor the victims of September 11th and to acknowledge how fortunate we are to be in America, where we have the freedom to create and sustain an institution like this one - devoted to the principles cherished by our nation's founders: free inquiry, open-mindedness, and toleration. Today, by establishing an Air Force ROTC unit, we strengthen Yale's capacity to contribute to the defense of those principles that we still cherish more than two centuries later. We thank Secretary Donley and his colleagues for giving us the opportunity to deepen our commitment to this great nation, which remains a beacon of liberty and justice in a world of great uncertainty.

Thank you for joining us today. It is now my pleasure to introduce Michael P. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force.

Freshman Address: Seeing the Big Picture
August 26, 2011
Yale University

I am delighted to join Dean Miller in welcoming you, the Class of 2015, to Yale College. I want to welcome also the relatives and friends who have accompanied you here, and especially your parents. As a father of four college graduates, I know how proud you parents are of your children's achievement, how hopeful you are for their future, and how many concerns — large and small — you have at this moment.

Let me try to reassure you. Your children are going to love it here! And I expect that you are going to enjoy your association with Yale, whether you are a returning graduate or one of the vast majority of parents who never set foot in New Haven until your children started to think about where to go to college. You may take comfort in learning that surveys have shown that Yale parents are the most satisfied in the Ivy League. So, welcome to the Yale family! We are so pleased to have your children with us, and we will do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

And to you, the Class of 2015, I make the same pledge. For you, these next four years will be a time of opportunity unlike any other. Here you are surrounded by astonishing resources: fascinating fellow students from all over the world, a learned and caring faculty, intimate residential college communities, a magnificent library, two extraordinary art museums, an outstanding museum of natural history, superb athletic facilities, and student organizations covering every conceivable interest — the performing arts, politics, and community service among them. You will have complete freedom to explore, learn about new subjects, meet new people, and pursue new passions. You will have chances to expand your horizons, to widen your scope of vision, to see the world from many perspectives. I want to encourage you, in every way that I can, to make the most of this rare and unique opportunity.

The simple truth is that we need you. In these times of great uncertainty, when we seem unable to deal with our gravest problems, we desperately need an infusion of broadly educated citizens and leaders to join the debates, raise the level of discourse, and move us in the right direction. We know all too well the missed opportunities of the past few years.

We entered 2009 full of hope that the world's nations could agree to save the planet from the scourge of global warming. But the U.S. Congress deadlocked in a struggle dominated by the parochial interests of various industries and regions and failed to act. Then, in Copenhagen, efforts to reach a global agreement were foiled when neither the United States nor the developing nations were willing to compromise for the good of all, and only the Europeans saw the big picture.

Consider our current economic condition. Since January 2009 it has been clear that there is only one way to prevent a deep and prolonged recession and avoid persistent high unemployment. We needed then, as we need now, a massive fiscal stimulus in the form of direct job creation, not tax cuts. And we needed, at the same time, to make a commitment to reduce the federal budget deficit dramatically over a period of years — not immediately, since that would prolong the recession, but predictably. We finally faced the question of deficit reduction this summer. But the ideological rigidity and parochialism of members of Congress moved the dialogue away from the big picture and paralyzed us with rigid and simplistic formulas — no tax increases, no increase in the debt ceiling, no cuts to Social Security and Medicare. After weeks of deadlock, we took only a tiny step toward solving the problem.

Last December, David Leonhardt, a member of the Yale College class of 1994, identified with crystal clarity the issues we face in the form of a picture he published in The New York Times — a budget Sudoku. In this brilliant graphical display, he demonstrated that no combination of discretionary spending cuts could close the Federal budget gap by 2020. The only way to do so involves some combination of reducing Social Security benefits, controlling Medicare and Medicaid costs, reducing defense spending, and raising taxes (or, at least, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire). David's Sudoku allowed his readers to see the big picture clearly, and he was rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize.

I am going to make the audacious claim that David's Yale education has had a lot to do with his ability to see the big picture. He experienced, just as you will over the next four years, exposure to a variety of disciplines — in his case, mathematics, economics, politics, and history, as well as physics and art history. This broad education has allowed him to look beyond the small-mindedness of what politicians say to interpret the larger trends driving the economy and society. He also learned to write clearly, analytically, and forcefully. He mastered this essential tool not only through his English courses but also through his principal extracurricular activity as a reporter for and subsequently as editor of the Yale Daily News.

David Leonhardt is but one of many visible examples of the profound way in which the liberal arts education you are about to experience can help you to develop the capacity to see the big picture. By sampling courses across a wide range of disciplines, you will learn to see problems from multiple perspectives. And by learning to think critically and analytically, you will become disinclined to accept simplified slogans as truth, more able to see subtle interconnections, more capable of forging solutions that embrace complexity without being overwhelmed by it. No matter what subjects you choose to pursue in depth, you will be required in your first two years to develop some breadth, and you will be challenged to think for yourselves — independently and analytically. In short, you will equip yourselves, in the words of Yale President Jeremiah Day, writing in 1828, with both the "discipline" and the "furniture" of the mind, rendering you capable of distinguishing clear and convincing arguments from doctrinaire assertions and unexamined prejudices. You will learn how to see the forest for the trees.

This capacity to see the big picture has been a characteristic of Yale graduates for decades, if not longer. In 1916, as America sat by watching a World War that many believed it would inevitably enter, a group of Yale College students came to realize that the new technology of aviation might potentially change the shape of warfare. While still in school, they convinced the Navy to constitute them as the first squadron of what became the Naval Air Reserve. In March 1917, these 29 young aviators left school en masse and enlisted in the Navy, immediately comprising more than one-third of the military's qualified pilots. They made a substantial contribution to the allied war effort, because their Yale education helped them to see clearly what others could not.

Aviation has a role in the story of another Yale senior who was capable of seeing the big picture. Fred Smith, class of 1966, had a vision that came to revolutionize the transportation of documents and small parcels. In the senior essay he submitted to the Economics Department, he laid out a simple idea: that shipments might be gathered from metropolitan areas all over the United States and flown in the evening to one central hub, where they would be reloaded onto planes headed to their destination metropolitan areas and flown out for delivery the next day. The oft-repeated story is that Mr. Smith earned a C grade for his efforts, and then went on, after serving in the military, to found a logistics company known as Federal Express. According to the legend, he saw the big picture, even if his economics professor did not. It is not true that he got a C, though it makes the story better in the telling.

Lest you think airplanes always figure into the narratives of Yale graduates capable of seeing the big picture, let me give you two more stories. When Ruth DeGolia, class of 2003, served as a summer intern in Guatemala, she came to recognize that the women in the rural villages in which she was working made weavings of unusual quality and beauty. But they sold for nearly nothing in local markets. Ruth encouraged these women to form cooperatives and market their wares over the Internet. She brought them fashion magazines to inspire them to weave woolens in patterns that would appeal to North American tastes. Today, the earnings of the cooperatives she helped to establish provide substantial support to public education, as well as access to electricity and clean water and public health in more than 30 Guatemalan villages.

Just one more: David Levin (no relation) studied history and the history of education at Yale and designed and directed a tutoring program for New Haven schoolchildren. He then joined Teach for America and came to an understanding of why K-12 education was failing in our inner city schools. In his big picture, students needed the discipline to focus on their work, the self-confidence to believe that they could succeed, and the motivation to recognize that their discipline would be rewarded with a better life if they managed to graduate and attend college. From this inspiration came the KIPP Schools, which David founded in partnership with Michael Feinberg, the graduate of another Ivy League School. KIPP has been a pioneer in urban education, demonstrating a model that truly works.

These stories inspire us with the achievements of those who started here just like you, with great potential, curiosity, open-mindedness, and a desire to make a difference in the world. The extraordinary resources of Yale College will give you the opportunity to realize that potential, to exercise that curiosity, to expand that mind beyond anything you can possibly now imagine, and to fulfill that desire to make a difference. If you stretch to your limits, and take courses and engage in extracurricular activities that broaden and challenge you, then you, too, will develop the capacity to see the big picture. We are counting on you. You are setting off on a grand adventure. Make the most of it!

Yale and U.S. Navy ROTC Signing
May 25, 2011
Yale University

Secretary Mabus, Assistant Secretary Garcia, Captain Harrell, fellow members of the faculty, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a delight to welcome you to Yale on this historic occasion of the signing of an agreement to bring Naval ROTC back to Yale in the fall of 2012. I also extend a special welcome to the midshipmen from the Naval ROTC unit based at the College of the Holy Cross, as well as the recently commissioned officers who have just completed their training. This is an important moment for Yale, the Navy, and the country. I have looked forward to this event for many years.

Yale is one of the great universities of the world, and our faculty, students and staff strive to serve the country through our educational programs and our research. As all of my colleagues from Yale know, we have for more than three centuries cultivated a deep and thriving tradition of public service — locally, nationally, and globally. There is an equally strong tradition at Yale of educating leaders who leave a lasting imprint on whatever field of endeavor they choose as a career.

These two traditions — public service and leadership — have been expressed in the contributions that Yale students and graduates have made to the military for many generations. The rotunda at Woolsey Hall, at the very heart of our campus, is inscribed with the names of Yale graduates who gave their lives in America’s wars. Yale’s tradition of service in defense of the nation reaches back to our earliest days, when in 1779 Yale President Ezra Stiles led more than half of the student body to contest a landing in New Haven by an overwhelming number of British troops. That tradition continued through the Civil War, when 25 Yale graduates served as Generals in the Union army. Almost 9,500 Yale graduates served in World War I, including the men of the Yale Flying Unit, the first Naval Reserve Air unit. Lieutenant David Ingalls, a member of that unit, was the Navy’s first Ace. The Yale Flying Unit produced a Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, a Commandant of the Army Air Corps, a Commandant of the Navy Air Corps, an Assistant Secretary of War, an Undersecretary of the Navy, and a Secretary of Defense.

The re-establishment of a Naval ROTC unit at Yale will open a new chapter in this proud tradition. For those Yale students interested in serving the country, ROTC will again become an attractive option, because students will no longer need to travel out of state to attend classes. Naval ROTC will also become a viable option for students from other colleges and universities in Connecticut, as it will be our intention to welcome them to take ROTC instruction at Yale under cross-enrollment arrangements.

I offer profound thanks to Secretary Mabus, Assistant Secretary Garcia, and their colleagues for their creativity in finding a way to bring Naval ROTC back to Yale. Like all agencies of the federal government, the Navy is under pressure to contain spending, including expenditures for training of new officers. Opening and sustaining an ROTC unit is expensive, and the number of cadets completing ROTC already exceeds the number of new Officers who are commissioned each year. From a purely quantitative perspective, the Navy has no need to open new detachments.

For that reason I applaud the Secretary and his colleagues for recognizing that re-establishing Naval ROTC at Yale is not strictly about numbers. It is about tapping a deep pool of talent at Yale to find officers who will make distinctive contributions to the Navy and the country. The return of Naval ROTC will make it easier for exceptionally talented young men and women who aspire to leadership in our military to gain a Yale education.

I am grateful to the Navy for giving Yale the opportunity to serve the nation in a partnership that I expect to be long and fruitful.

It is now my distinct pleasure to introduce Secretary Ray Mabus.

Baccalaureate Address: What’s Next?
May 21, 2011
Yale University

Let me elaborate on the congratulations that we all just offered you with our warm and heartfelt applause.  You certainly have made something of your Yale College experience.  First and foremost, you excelled in the classroom.  This afternoon at Class Day Exercises, when you listen to the citations for those winning academic prizes, you will be dazzled by their accomplishments.  But it is not merely a few of you who have excelled.  The cut off grade point average for the cum laude honors awarded to thirty percent of your class was an astonishing 3.78, the highest in the history of the College.

You have excelled outside the classroom, too.  Your artistic talent is stunning. One of you, born of African parents and trained in the classical repertoire, has revolutionized performance on the cello, creating a sound that sings like Aretha Franklin or Beyonce, and learned Chinese along the way.  Another, a junior Phi Beta Kappa majoring in the History of Art, has starred in baroque and classical opera while singing in Mixed Company and Whim 'n' Rhythm.  And yet another has recorded ten songs with between five and twenty-six million views on You Tube.

You have achieved excellence in your athletic pursuits as well.  This year, Yale teams won seven Ivy League championships for the first time in 21 years, and only the fifth time ever.  Women's squash won the national title, and our men's ice hockey team thrilled us all with their explosive play and their #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

You have explored the world.  741 of you have taken advantage of Yale's abundant opportunities to learn languages, take courses, conduct independent research, or work as interns in more than 84 countries around the globe.  And 64 of you have received fellowships for overseas study next year.

More than 1000 of you have demonstrated your commitment to service by participating as volunteers in the New Haven community.  You have tutored schoolchildren, engaged them in science fairs and service projects, assisted in the provision of care for those with glaucoma and diabetes, and raised funds for the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven.  You have encouraged the use of sustainable products by departments of the City government and campaigned to make New Haven more bicycle friendly by educating cyclists, motorists and pedestrians to share the streets safely.

Many of you have participated in a flowering of entrepreneurship on campus.  Ten of you won seed grants from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute to explore the possibility of starting companies.  One of you started a recycling business in Science Park that now has 30 Fortune 500 companies among its clients.  Two of you founded a rapidly growing business for local online advertising.  And yet another has already created thirty jobs in New Haven by founding the very popular Blue State coffee house, which now operates five retail stores in three states.

Some of you have overcome tremendous obstacles to get here.  One of you grew up in a Chicago housing project.  Encouraged by her grandmother to avoid the streets and read relentlessly, she won a scholarship to an outstanding private school, where she was in turn encouraged to apply to Yale.  Educated, poised, and fearless, she will return to Chicago with Teach for America to a charter school in an area much like her old neighborhood, to help others gain the advantages she earned for herself by her hard work and determination.

*  *  *  *

When I greeted you in this hall four years ago, I spoke to you about the lessons taught in a book I had just read by Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law and the Humanities, and a former Dean of the Yale Law School.1  Professor Kronman's central argument is that liberal education should encourage you to wrestle with the deepest questions concerning the course of your lives: What constitutes a good life?  What kind of life do you want to lead?  What values do you hope to live by?  What kind of community or society do you hope to live in?  And how should you reconcile the claims of family and community with your individual desires?  In other words, Professor Kronman argues that an important component of your undergraduate experience should be seeking answers to these questions that matter.

Over the past few months, as many of you have reflected upon what's next for you as you leave Yale, I imagine that some of Professor Kronman's questions have been on your mind.  Some of you - a minority, I suspect - have found answers that satisfy you, and you are ready to pursue careers that seem entirely right for you - in medicine, or science, or business, or teaching, or public service.  The rest of you are still searching for answers. Some of you are still searching for a job.  Let me reassure you, and your parents: this is fine.  Over the next couple of years you will test jobs or courses of study to see if they truly lead you where you want to go. You will have a much happier life if you can find a calling that truly excites and inspires you.  Take your time, and find your passion.

And let me reassure you in yet another way.  The work you choose in the next few years need not limit your ability to pursue other passions over the course of your life.  Yes, we all hope that you find callings that you love, but one of the most remarkable things that I have learned about Yale graduates is their extraordinary ability to move from one passion to another.  Let me give you an example.

Two weeks ago I met with one of our most devoted West Coast alumni, a graduate of the class of 1955 who has had a successful career in banking and finance, and who has been an important civic leader in his community.  But his first love at Yale was American history.  Intrigued by stories of the pioneers who settled the American West, and inspired by his mentor - the former Dean of Yale College, Howard Lamar - he decided a few years ago to take on a truly ambitious piece of historical and, indeed, archaeological research - to discover the route taken by the famous "Lost Wagon Train" that left the Oregon Trail in 1845 to attempt a shortcut across the desert of Eastern Oregon.  Many perished for want of water, and although several journals survive and have served as the basis for a number of historical monographs, no one has ever managed to find the exact route taken by these pioneers.  The precise location of the route is of particular interest because, according to the journals that survive, the pioneers found gold nuggets in a dry riverbed.  At the time, water was more precious than gold, and so the settlers moved on, abandoning the site but marking it with a blue bucket.

Our intrepid banker decided to find the route, and he engaged a geologist, an archaeologist, two museum curators, an aerial photographer, and a gold prospector equipped with metal detectors to work with him.  Using the survivors' diaries he retraced the route, moving from one site to another on the anniversary of the dates recorded in the diaries.  He found aerial evidence of the route, and many buried artifacts.  It took parts of five years to complete the fieldwork.  Now, his account of the route of the Lost Wagon train is being reviewed for publication by a major university press. He has yet to find the gold deposit, but he thinks he knows where it is.

This story is by no means unique.  One member of the class of 1953 returned in mid-life to his passion for learning and founded the Chicago Humanities Festival - an annual civic event that offers scores of lectures and performances all over the city.  A member of the class of 1969 took up photography more than 25 years after graduating; he has since published an extraordinary series of books with the National Geographic Society.  And a commodities trader from the class of 1973 recently created a brilliant Tony-nominated Broadway musical based on the life and work of a great Nigerian musician, singer, and songwriter.  There are many more such stories.

*  *  *  *  *

Important as it is for you to fulfill your personal aspirations, and we truly hope you will, there is more that is expected of you.  Tomorrow at the Commencement Exercises, Dean Miller will ask me to confer upon you the degrees in Yale College that you have earned.  In the curious tradition of Yale College, you will then inexplicably cheer wildly and exuberantly ...  even though the Dean has only asked a question, and you will not yet have graduated.  After you settle down, I will in fact confer upon you your degrees.  But what I will say to you differs significantly from what college presidents all around the country will be saying to their graduates.  At many schools, students are awarded the "rights and privileges" of their degrees.  Not at Yale.  Here your degrees will be conferred upon you, and you be "admitted" to all their "rights and responsibilities." 

The "rights" are simple enough.  You will be entitled to have an alumni email address forever, to vote in elections for Fellows of the Yale Corporation beginning five years from now, to participate in a wide variety of alumni events and interest groups, and to receive frequent solicitations to support your alma mater.  The "rights" conferred by other institutions are much the same as yours.  What is distinctive about Yale is that we do not confer upon you "privileges," but "admit" you to "responsibilities."

You have been here for four years, and you know what I am talking about.  For four years, you have been free to explore as you wish, but you have also been part of a community.  You have learned not simply to excel as individuals, but also to support and encourage one another, to work in organizations to accomplish common purposes, and to help those in need through voluntary service. 

The citizenship and service that you have modeled here at Yale have prepared you for your lifelong responsibilities.  Whether working in community soup kitchens or working at the highest levels of government, whether your contributions are part-time and voluntary or at the core of your chosen vocation, you can make a difference in the lives of others.  And history gives me confidence that you will.  All around this country, Yale graduates serve disproportionately on the boards of local charities, hospitals, civic and arts organizations.  Yale graduates lead most of the major environmental organizations in the United States, and nine of 100 U.S. senators and three of the last four U.S. presidents have Yale degrees.  The Yale tradition of service and leadership is one of which we are justly proud.  It is your responsibility to maintain it.

Women and men of the Class of 2011:  Today we celebrate your amazing accomplishments and we rejoice in contemplating your potential.  Take the time to find your passion.  Choose a life's work that you love.  And remember that the world is now your community.  Serve it well.


1 Anthony T. Kronman, Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007.

Greetings on the Occasion of the Tsinghua University Centennial Celebration
April 23, 2011
Beijing, China

President Hu Jintao, President Gu Binglin, distinguished guests, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends:

It is an honor to bring greetings on behalf of the many universities represented here.  And it is a particular honor to reinforce in the presence of China’s leaders the high regard in which Tsinghua is held by universities around the world.

In its first century, Tsinghua has played an integral role in the development of China.  Many of its 170,000 graduates have become leaders in their fields. The first two Chinese to be awarded the Nobel Prize – Chen Ning Yang and T. D. Lee  – were both educated at Tsinghua.  Professor Qian Xuesen, Professor Zhu Guangya, and Professor Qian Sanqiang, among other Tsinghua graduates, have made important contributions to China's scientific development. We at Yale are especially proud of our role in your early history. Four of the first five presidents of Tsinghua studied at Yale.

Everyone who visits Tsinghua is impressed by the rapid pace of investment in new facilities and the growing strength of the faculty.  Tsinghua’s contributions in science, engineering, environment, and sustainable design are known around the world, and its entrepreneurial efforts in educating leaders in business and public policy are much admired.  Tsinghua is consistently recognized with the most State Science and Technology Awards of any of China’s universities.

Tsinghua has been at the forefront in forging partnerships with institutions around the world.  You have longstanding and successful collaborations with MIT, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University. Tsinghua has also been a leader in forging collaborations with industry. You have joint research centers with more than 30 companies, including Toyota, United Technologies, and Boeing.

Yale is fortunate to be Tsinghua’s partner in some of these important collaborations.  The Yale-Tsinghua Program in International Healthcare Management, established in 2009 as part of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative, is providing advanced training to 500 women from rural China. And a Yale-Tsinghua collaboration with the China Association of Mayors is helping municipal leaders meet the challenges of sustainable development in the 21st Century.

Universities around the world salute Tsinghua for its commitment to send its students overseas and to host students from abroad. Over 3,200 Tsinghua students go abroad annually, and each year Tsinghua hosts more than 800 visiting students, in addition to the nearly 2000 who are pursuing their degrees.  In this way, Tsinghua is contributing importantly to improving the understanding of China by future leaders around the world and to improving the understanding of the world by future leaders of China.

Tsinghua’s extraordinary progress is emblematic of a major development that we who represent universities from around the world have been watching with great interest: the rise of China’s universities.  As barriers to the flow of people, goods, and information have come down, and as the economic development process proceeds, China has increasing access to the human, physical, and informational resources needed to move its universities to the highest level of excellence.  

Increasing the quality of education around the world results in better-informed and more productive citizens.  The fate of the planet depends on our ability to collaborate across borders to solve society’s most pressing problems – the persistence of poverty, the prevalence of disease, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the shortage of water, and the danger of global warming. Having better educated citizens and leaders will help us to confront these challenges.

I close by quoting from President Hu’s speech at the National Conference on Education held in Beijing last July.           

Education is the cornerstone of national rejuvenation and social progress, and the basic means to improve the all-around development of individuals.  It carries hundreds of millions of families’ expectations for a better life.

For 100 years, Tsinghua has been dedicated to fulfilling these expectations.  On behalf of the world's universities, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Tsinghua University as it begins a second century in pursuit of a better life for its graduates, and a better world for all humanity.

Yale-NUS College Launch
April 10, 2011
Singapore

Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Mr. Ambassador, Chairman NUS Board of Trustees, President NUS, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a delight to be here to celebrate the official launch of Yale-NUS College, and it is an honor to be able to acknowledge publically, Prime Minister, your vision for higher education and your commitment to create here at NUS a new model of undergraduate education for Singapore and Asia.  We at Yale are deeply grateful to you, your Cabinet, and the Ministry of Education for the opportunity to participate in this important and exciting endeavor.  It is a special pleasure to be able to salute in your presence the inspiring leadership of President Tan Chorh Chuan, Vice President Lily Kong, and the senior staff of NUS.  You have here as impressive a team of university leaders as any I have encountered anywhere.

This is a momentous day for Yale, for Singapore, and for Asia.  We celebrate today something old and something new: the rebirth, recreation, and revitalization of one nation's tradition in an entirely new and vibrant setting.  Nearly two hundred years ago, in a set of related reports, the President, the Governing Board, and the faculty of Yale College defined for a young nation the type of education that it hoped would be provided for the nation's future leaders.  They wrote in 1828: 

"By a liberal education has been understood, such a course of discipline in the arts and sciences, as is best calculated, ... both to strengthen and enlarge the faculties of mind, and to familiarize it with the leading principles of the great objects of human investigation and knowledge."

These two ideas — that a liberal education is intended to develop analytic thinking, and that it does so by giving students exposure to the broad range of human knowledge across the arts and sciences — remain central features of undergraduate education at the finest colleges and universities in the United States today.  The 1828 Yale Reports were, in a sense, the founding documents that encouraged the spread of these ideas to liberal arts colleges throughout North America in the nineteenth century, many of them founded by alumni and faculty from Yale.

This is a momentous day for Yale for at least four reasons.  First, this new venture allows us to participate in the continuation of this tradition.  By collaborating in the development of an entirely new liberal arts curriculum, we have an opportunity to influence the course of 21st century education in Singapore and in Asia, much as we did in our own country during the 19th century.  

Second, this is a momentous day for Yale because we have found a partner worthy of and committed to this ambitious undertaking.  NUS is among the most innovative and the most collaborative of universities in Asia; in the course of developing our shared vision, with abundant contributions coming from both sides, we have learned that this endeavor will be a true partnership.

Third, this is a momentous day for Yale because in Singapore your government understands that education and research are the twin engines of the economic development of the country and the social advancement of its citizens. Singapore's elementary and secondary education systems are the envy of the world. We know this first hand from the extraordinary Singaporean students we admit annually to Yale College in New Haven.  And, in our visits here, we have also seen first hand the remarkable advances made in both higher education and research in Singapore's tertiary education sector.  NUS' rapid advance in the rankings of global universities underscores the seriousness of your government's commitment to make Singapore a leading global center for higher education and research.

Finally, this is a momentous day for Yale because we believe that we ourselves, on our home campus, will benefit greatly from the innovations that will be introduced at Yale-NUS College.  How often does a 310-year old institution have the opportunity to invent a college "from scratch?"  I am confident that there will be curricular, extracurricular, and residential life innovations that will instruct, inspire, and improve Yale's programs in New Haven.  For example, as a consequence of working with our NUS partners on the design of a first-year humanities course for the new college that will draw equally on Asian and Western literary and philosophical traditions, some of our faculty are already thinking about offering such a course in New Haven.

We hope you see this as an equally momentous day for Singapore.  As President Tan has said, your nation will benefit from the new college and its stream of graduates who will be equipped with a broad-based, multi-disciplinary, and rigorous education that very deliberately prepares them for leadership.  By seeing problems from the perspective of multiple disciplines, and by developing their powers of critical thinking, graduates of the new college will have the capacity to tackle the kind of complex problems facing leaders of business, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations in a highly interconnected and interdependent world.  By learning to live in residential college communities, and by developing leadership and teamwork skills in a wide variety of student organizations, Yale-NUS students will acquire the capacity to nurture communities and to contribute as citizens.  This is also a momentous day for Singapore because Yale-NUS College will be yet another Singaporean investment in education that will set a standard for Asia.  Just as Singapore Airlines now sets the standard for air travel worldwide, Yale-NUS College aspires to influence the shape of undergraduate education throughout Asia.

Finally, this is a momentous day for Asia.  There has never been greater need for undergraduate education that cultivates critical thinking.  The goals of liberal education are to prepare students to question relentlessly, to think through problems carefully and to analyze consequences.  In a world that is increasingly interconnected, the qualities of mind developed through liberal education are perhaps more indispensible than ever.  All of Asia and the developing world need college graduates who understand and appreciate differences across cultures and national boundaries, and who can address problems for which there are no easy solutions.

Yet, today, in virtually all of Asia and much of the rest of the world, undergraduates pursue specialized courses of study.  Entering students enroll to prepare immediately in medicine, law, or a single academic discipline, and the pedagogy, in much of the world, focuses on memorization and mastering a particular body of knowledge.  By giving students exposure to multiple disciplinary perspectives, and by steeping them in a pedagogy that encourages independent critical thinking, liberal education can help college graduates contribute most effectively to the economic and social advancement of their nations and facilitate the greater understanding among peoples that is so desperately needed in this century.

The idea of a four-year liberal arts education is gaining momentum in Asia.  China and South Korea are already experimenting in this domain.  A model college in Singapore, drawing students from throughout Asia as well as Singapore, can have a profound influence on the future of all of Asia-and thus on the future of the world in the century ahead.  Let us dare to be this ambitious, together.

Why Colleges and Universities Matter
March 5, 2011
American Council on Education

It is a pleasure to be with you today, and an honor to address friends and members of an association that advances the cause of higher education so effectively.  Thank you for the opportunity.

Three years after the onset of the Great Recession, even as the economy recovers, we remain in a state of deep national anxiety.  Nearly 16 per cent of the workforce remains unemployed, underemployed, or discouraged from seeking employment.1 Families across the country are worried about their financial security and the prospects for their children.  State governments, along with the federal government, which faced structural deficits even before the recession, must now deal with the painful necessity of reducing spending and increasing taxes despite the unpopularity of both sets of measures.

With every category of discretionary public expenditure under serious scrutiny, it is incumbent upon us to make the case for higher education with renewed vigor.  To us, the case seems obvious; we take for granted that there is no more important investment in the future of our nation.  But elected officials, and many of our fellow citizens, do not share our experience and do not necessarily share our conclusions.  We need to persuade them why colleges and universities matter.  And so my task this afternoon is to articulate in a language that people can understand, the case for public support of higher education. 

As committed educators, we know that the most profound consequence of education is one that we cannot sell easily to state or federal legislators or other elected officials.  From our experience in the classroom, from the light in our students' eyes as they first comprehend a difficult idea, we know that education improves the soul.  It empowers young people with the capacity to enrich their lives spiritually and materially, to educate their own children, and to become better citizens.

Our elected representatives who control the resources that support our institutions demand more concrete answers.  So let's give them three claims that they can more easily advance and defend.

First, the basic research done in our universities has been for six decades and still remains the principal driver of U.S. economic growth and advances in human health.

Second, our diverse array of educational institutions - private and public, two-year and four-year, selective and less selective - educates a broad and diverse workforce suited to an immense variety of occupations and roles and gives the U.S. economy unparalleled flexibility in adapting to changes in technology and market conditions.

Third, our colleges and universities are the nation's principal avenue of upward social mobility, delivering more than any other institutions on the promise of making America a land of opportunity.

Let me elaborate in turn the argument for each of these claims.

Universities as Engines of Innovation

Among fully developed economies, global competitive advantage derives primarily from a nation's capacity to innovate: to introduce and develop new products, processes, and services.  This has been the foundation of America's economic leadership in the period following the Second World War.  And it will continue to be a basis for American economic strength in the highly globalized economy of the 21st Century.

Innovation in the economy requires perceived opportunities in the marketplace, but it rests on the underpinning of advances in basic research.  Curiosity-driven research - motivated by the quest for knowledge and without a clear, practical objective - is the source from which all commercially oriented applied research and development ultimately flows.  I say ultimately because it often takes decades before the commercial implications of an important scientific discovery are fully realized.  When the argon-ion gas laser was invented at Yale in the 1960s, its inventor, William Bennett, had not the remotest idea that the laser he invented would be used thirty-five years later to perform surgery on his detached retina.  The commercial potential of a particular discovery is often unanticipated, and often extends to many unrelated industries and applications, as was the case with the laser. 

The contributions of university research are embedded in our daily lives.  The Prius that I drove to the airport this morning uses lithium-ion batteries that were conceived in the 1970s by Stanley Whittingham, then a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford, and developed throughout his research career at Exxon and Binghamton University.  Whittingham's idea was further refined by John Goodenough at the University of Texas, Austin, who made important advances in cathode design.  Additional discoveries by Goodenough and Yet-Ming Chiang at MIT improved the performance of the lithium-ion battery, and made it a viable candidate to power electric vehicles.

University research also played a significant role in the discovery of the antiretroviral drugs that have made HIV a chronic, instead of a fatal, disease.  William Prusoff and Tai-shun Lin of Yale demonstrated Zerit's effectiveness against HIV in 1994.  A group of faculty at Emory - Dennis Liotta, Raymond Schinazi, and Woo-Baeg Choi - identified the drug that became Emtriva.  Abacavir was invented at the University of Minnesota.  Epivir was invented at McGill University in collaboration with IAF Biochem; subsequent research was conducted at Emory before the drug was brought to the market, and faculty at Yale first showed its effectiveness against Hepatitis B.  The active involvement and collaboration of universities in HIV drug development was no accident; it built upon years of basic research into retroviruses at these same institutions.

In 2007 two researchers based at European universities won the Nobel Prize for their 1988 discovery of giant magnetoresistance.  This advance in basic research led to a new technology called spintronics (spin-transport electronics) that has found its first application in computer hard drives.  Spintronics led to a disk reader that is orders of magnitude more sensitive than previous designs, opening the way to disk drives that store information much more densely, and thus more cheaply.  This has accelerated exponential growth in storage capacity, enabling an entirely new frontier - computing in the "cloud."

There are many more examples like these.  The first working quantum computer was built at Yale two years ago.  It holds the promise of orders of magnitude increases in computing speed and power, although it is likely to be at least twenty years before a full-scale, commercially viable quantum computer is built.  Another example: the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two scientists at the University of Manchester for discovering the properties of graphene, a super-strong material comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms, which may in due course become the medium that replaces silicon as a semiconductor. 

Our elected officials need to know that the scientific discoveries that will shape the future of our economy still emanate from our research universities.  And, as two of the last three examples illustrate, this country has no monopoly on these discoveries.  We need to generate our share of them, and that will require sustained funding.

As a corollary to the arguments for supporting basic research, we should also point out that, thanks to the incentives created by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, our universities are now more actively involved in stimulating commercial innovation than ever before.  The National Science Board reports that articles written by faculty account for 64 percent of the papers cited in patent applications in 2008, up from 58 percent in 1998.

In advancing the argument that university research is a fundamental driver of commercial innovation, we need to remember that Congress did not give us property rights over inventions funded by Federal agencies for the purpose of enhancing our revenues.  The purpose of the Bayh-Dole Act was to ensure that there was adequate incentive to commercialize the fruits of publicly funded research, so that socially valuable ideas would not lie fallow.  This lesson of history is too often forgotten as universities pursue legislation and lawsuits designed to strengthen their intellectual property rights.  Congress did not intend to confer upon us the right to maximize profits; it gave us private property rights for a public purpose - to ensure that the benefits or our research are widely shared.  To emphasize this point, a small group of universities and organizations - Boston University, Brown, Harvard, Penn, and Yale - adopted in 2009 a Statement on Global Access to Medicines, which committed them to ensuring that developing countries would have low cost access to drugs based on patents we license to pharmaceutical companies.  A total of 25 organizations have endorsed this statement.

Colleges and Universities as Educators of a Diverse and Flexible Work Force

I have thus far illustrated some of the arguments we might make to increase public support for research.  We also need to make the case for our educational mission.  I would suggest that we emphasize two particular themes: first, even though we see the need for improvement in this dimension, our institutions do the important work of meeting the workforce needs of a rapidly changing economy, and, second, access to colleges and universities is today the principal means of upward social mobility.

We live in a world of rapid change.  New scientific discoveries are made every day, and new theories displace old ones.  Many successful companies produce products or services based on technology or marketing strategies that did not exist a decade or two ago.  New challenges arise, such as global warning, that call for leaders, as well as citizens, to make informed judgments about scientific evidence, risk, and tradeoffs between various social goods.  Government officials confront a world radically altered by changes in communications technology; consider, for example, the events now taking place in North Africa and the Middle East.  In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; scientists, business leaders, and government officials alike must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

Many of America's colleges and universities practice a method of education that is especially conducive to preparing graduates for such a dynamic world.  What we call liberal education has two distinctive features that are not yet widespread around the world.  First, most of our undergraduates are exposed to a wide variety of disciplines and hence develop the capacity to see the world from multiple perspectives.  Second, the pedagogy of liberal education, at its best, encourages students not to reproduce what they learn in lectures and textbooks, but to think for themselves.  This pedagogy is practiced rigorously at our leading institutions, where reliance on rote memorization is minimal and where writing assignments and examinations typically ask students to analyze complicated questions that have no single right answer.  Little wonder that policy makers throughout Asia are currently focused on exposing their future leaders to the breadth and pedagogy of liberal education even as we worry about the rate at which Asian countries are training specialized engineers.

One of the great virtues of American higher education is its diversity.  Some of our institutions offer broad, liberal education of the type I have been describing, and thus serve well those who go on to become scholars, teachers, scientists, professionals, managers, civil servants, and leaders in every sphere.  But the dynamic economy also requires a workforce with the skills for an immense variety of roles.  Hence, many of our four-year institutions and nearly all of our two-year institutions offer a rich set of vocationally oriented options to students.  Next year, just two city blocks from the edge of the Yale campus in downtown New Haven, Gateway Community College will open a brand-new campus.  Gateway's curriculum could hardly be more different from Yale's, and yet it plays an extraordinarily valuable role in preparing the Connecticut workforce.  It offers associate's degrees in automotive technology, computer networking, exercise science, hotel-motel management, retail management, and a wide array of health care support vocations.  Like many of our two-year colleges, Gateway's curriculum responds rapidly to changes in the local economy and to the needs of employers.  About fifteen years ago, when Yale began to take an active interest in locating spinoff biotechnology companies around our campus, Gateway responded immediately by creating an associate's degree program in biomedical engineering.  The flexibility and responsiveness of our community colleges is a tremendous asset for the nation.

Colleges and Universities as Avenues of Upward Social Mobility

I have to this point elaborated upon two reasons why colleges and universities matter: through their research they are engines of innovation and economic growth, and they educate a diverse and flexible workforce for a dynamic economy.  Let me turn now to the third reason, well known to you, but inadequately appreciated by our elected officials and fellow citizens: in the United States today, there is no more effective instrument of self-improvement than our colleges and universities.

The evidence is powerful.  It is clear that lifetime earnings rise with each year of schooling beyond high school, and this premium has grown over time.  In 1973 the median earnings of a student graduating from a four-year college were 40 percent higher than a high school graduate; by 2008 the earnings premium from four years of college had increased to 66 percent.3  Similarly, the median earnings for recipients of Master's degrees were 97 percent higher than those of high school graduates, and median earnings for professional degrees were 174 percent higher.  College graduates are also much less likely to be unemployed. Throughout the current recession the unemployment rate of college graduates aged 25 and older has remained at or below 5 percent.  It is currently 4.3%, compared to an unemployment rate of 9.5 for high school graduates.4

These figures reflect fundamental shifts in the economy.  Unlike previous industrial revolutions, such as the assembly line, which devalued individual skill, the onset of the information age has put a premium on skills.  In addition, the globalization of commerce has put pressure on wages paid for manufacturing jobs that do not require a college education.  Consequently, over the past three decades the inflation-adjusted median income of households with a bachelor's degree or more rose steadily while the inflation-adjusted median income of households with no more than a high school education has remained more or less flat since 1980.5

In addition to increasing expected incomes, higher education promotes upward mobility, and thus enables the realization of the deeply rooted American belief that individuals can improve their circumstances.

Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution has offered compelling evidence that college creates the opportunity to break out of poverty.  Of the adults who were born into families in the lowest 20 percent of the income distribution, those who do not attend college have only a 14 percent chance of making it to the top 40 percent of the income distribution.  Those who complete college, however, have a 42 percent chance of reaching the top 40 percent of the income distribution.6

Equally convincing evidence comes from the record of highly selective colleges and universities, all of which offer very generous need-based financial aid.  When asked, ten years after graduation, only 5% of Yale alumni report that at the time they attended college, their families had much higher incomes than the average of their class.  If we exclude that group, the remaining 95% of alumni divide roughly evenly among those whose family incomes were higher than average, average, and below average. And yet ten years after graduation the average incomes earned by alumni in each of these three groups was almost exactly the same!  In other words, except for the very wealthiest, all graduates of Yale faced identical earning opportunities after graduation.   

Conclusion

I hope you will forgive me, an economist, for emphasizing the economic reasons why colleges and universities matter.  We are all well aware that these are not the only reasons.  I mentioned earlier that education is good for the soul.  It is also true that college graduates are healthier; they smoke less, weigh less, and exercise more than their contemporaries who did not complete college.  They are more likely to take their children to a library, and to read to their preschool children on a daily basis.  They are more likely to undertake voluntary service, and, when they volunteer, to spend more time at it.  They are also more likely to vote.7

These are all important reasons why our governments, state and federal, should support the enterprise of higher education.  But at a time of economic duress, it seems to me that the economic arguments are the most salient.  Our colleges and universities -- through the research we do, the flexible workforce we educate, and the social mobility we provide - contribute powerfully to the economic wellbeing of the nation.  We need to make these arguments understood by state and federal legislators, by governors and the White House, and by the public.  Unless we do, we will have little chance of maintaining and increasing federal support for research, Pell Grants, and student loans, and little chance of reversing the deeply distressing trend toward reduced state government support for our extraordinary public colleges and universities.  We all know that our arguments are compelling, and that they have never been more important.  Let's get out there and make the case.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, March 5, 2011 (available online).

2 National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2010.

3 College Board.  Education Pays 2010.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, op. cit.

5 Haskins, Ron, "Education and Economic Mobility," in Haskins, Julia B. Isaacs, and Isabel V. Sawhill, eds., Getting Ahead or Losing Ground: Economic Mobility in America.  Brookings Institution, 2008.

6Ibid.

7 College Board, op. cit.

2010

Why Hopkins Has Survived for 350 Years
September 23, 2010
Hopkins School

Jane and Richard Levin
Academic Convocation
Hopkins School

It is a great honor for us to have been chosen as Hopkins Medalists in this momentous year of the School’s 350th anniversary, especially when the School has so many distinguished graduates who could be celebrated. As parents who have served as trustees we are deeply aware of Hopkins’ excellence, and of all the effort it takes to sustain it.

Like so many other parents, we have come to appreciate Hopkins through the impact it has had on our children, who received an extraordinary education here. Thanks to the efforts of outstanding teachers, all four of our children developed a facility with mathematics, a passion for history, and, perhaps most important, the ability to write with clarity, precision, and grace. When Jon, our oldest son, went off to Stanford, he reported after a few weeks that he was as well prepared for college as anyone in his class. There is simply no doubt that this is true. We saw the pattern repeat itself within our family, and we see it with every incoming class at Yale. Hopkins gives students a superb foundation; its graduates have a running start at college, and in life.

As trustees, we have also come to understand that maintaining a school of this quality requires constant attention and careful nurturing. When I joined the board in 1988, Hopkins was struggling financially, and some of us had to work very hard to convince our colleagues to maintain a strong program of faculty compensation, so that the School could continue to attract the outstanding and devoted teachers that are unquestionably its greatest asset. Today, thanks to the leadership of John Malone and the inspiration he has provided to other donors, we have magnificent new facilities and a stronger financial aid program, and we can afford more competitive faculty compensation. Thanks to the stewardship of David Swensen and his successors on the finance committee, we have an endowment that is 20 times larger than it was 20 years ago, helping to secure the School’s future.

The prospects for Hopkins were not always so rosy. There have been times of great hardship over the past three and one half centuries. But Hopkins has managed to survive. Of secondary schools in the United States, only a handful – including Boston Latin, Roxbury Latin, and Hartford Public High School – are older. And of America’s colleges, only Harvard predates the founding of Hopkins.

So the question we would like to take up this afternoon is this: how did the School survive for 350 years? Hundreds of schools sprang up in colonial America, but only a few remain. What are the secrets of Hopkins’ longevity?

We are going to suggest that there are two principal reasons for this institutional durability: first, consistency of mission in the face of change, and, second, independent governance. In discussing the first of these, we will trace the history of the Hopkins curriculum and show how it has adapted, slowly, to changing times, but always in a manner consistent with the School’s primary mission. In discussing the second, we will note in particular how fortuitous it was that John Davenport designed a system of governance that was entirely unique for its time – a system free from interference of both church and state, and we will illustrate how Hopkins’ system of governance was central to its survival during its first two hundred years. We are grateful to Erin Johnson, a 2004 graduate of Hopkins and a 2008 graduate of Yale College, for undertaking the archival research that has enabled us to tell this story.

Consistency of Mission

The familiar words of Edward Hopkins’ will state that the School was intended “for the breeding up of hopefull Youths … for the publique service of the Country in future tymes.” But, as early as the School’s founding, this objective became immediately transformed to an operational one: to prepare students for college, which, at the time, meant Harvard. Of course, John Davenport hoped and Governor Hopkins intended to found a college in New Haven alongside the Grammar School. But the Governor’s will expressed aspirations that exceeded the available resources, and the colony had to wait forty-one years for a college of its own.

Hopkins struggled through many periods of its early history. Indeed, the claim that Hopkins has been in continuous operation since 1660 is true only in the sense that the Committee of Trustees has met continuously. The School’s opening was enabled in 1660 by a grant from the town of New Haven while the Trustees awaited the receipt of funds from Governor Hopkins’ estate. With only five or six boys in attendance, the city fathers grew impatient, ceased to fund Hopkins, and opened a school focused on the teaching of English and arithmetic, rather than the Latin and Greek taught at Hopkins. Hopkins closed its doors in November 1662. It reopened two years later when the Governor’s money finally arrived.

In truth, the School struggled throughout its entire first century. Enrollments were chronically low, in large part because of the narrowness of the Grammar School’s mission: to prepare students for college. The curriculum was devoted entirely to the study of Latin and Greek, because these were the prerequisites for attendance at Harvard and then Yale. Unlike today, when the majority of high school graduates pursue some form of higher education, only a very small fraction of Americans attended college before World War II. We could not locate reliable data for Hopkins’ first two centuries, but at the time of the Civil War, only one percent of Americans attended college. By the outbreak of World War I, three percent attended college, and on the eve of World War II, nine percent. For most of Hopkins’ history, therefore, remaining consistent with the mission was a struggle. The applicant pool was very small. Thus, it should not be surprising that in 1713, when the enrollment of Latin scholars hovered between eight and ten, colonial officials reduced Hopkins’ public subvention in order to found elementary schools in East and West Haven. Near the end of the eighteenth century, the School’s finances were so precarious that the headmaster, Richard Woodhull, appealed to the Trustees for permission to tutor students privately in English to increase his income, should enrollment of Latin scholars dip below twenty.

Yet throughout these early years, Hopkins remained strictly consistent with its founding mission. Despite considerable pressures, both financial and political, it kept its focus on classical studies and prepared its graduates for enrollment in Yale College.

The pressures intensified in the period from 1778 to 1820, when a new form of secondary schools, known as “academies” arose throughout New England. The Phillips Academies in Exeter and Andover are only two among scores of examples of the surviving schools founded in this period, including, closer to home, the Cheshire Academy. The academies abandoned the strict focus on Latin and Greek, and added English composition and mathematics to the curriculum. Some included history, geography, and astronomy. Of course, without sufficient study of Latin and Greek, graduates of the new academies would not be qualified for admission to Yale, but the academies were seeking to serve a wider population, for whom a comprehensive secondary education would be a valuable preparation for life, if not for Yale.

The academy movement caused a near-death experience for Hopkins in 1790. In January, Abraham Bishop announced his intention to found what he called the American Academy in New Haven, which he envisioned as a large co-educational school with a broad curriculum combining classical and modern studies. The Hopkins trustees were temporarily seduced, and they appointed Bishop as headmaster in April. A month later Bishop announced plans to merge the Grammar School into the new Academy. Fortunately, differences arose, and in September, the Trustees secured Bishop’s resignation, and his plans for an Academy disappeared as quickly as they had arisen.

Still, in this period, academies were founded all over the region, and though they appealed to a wider audience, they nonetheless posed a competitive threat to Hopkins. Despite the challenge, Hopkins clung, for another half century, to its focus on the study of the classics. And, apparently, there remained enough boys bound for Yale that the school survived.

We were unable to determine precisely when the study of English and mathematics made its way into the Hopkins curriculum, but it was sometime between 1790 and 1846, when the School’s first annual catalogue appeared. Not surprisingly, these changes corresponded to changes in Yale’s entrance requirements. To the previously required tests in Latin and Greek, Yale added entrance examinations in arithmetic in 1822, English grammar in 1828, and algebra in 1845. Still, the inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum must have been, for Hopkins, something of a grudging concession. From the early 1850s through 1870, the School’s catalogue opens with the same language:

The Hopkins Grammar School, since its foundation in 1660, has been especially designed to be preparatory to a college course; but particular attention is paid to the mathematics and other English branches of study, as far as possible without infringing on the time necessary for due preparation in the ancient languages.

Meanwhile, Yale was changing in other ways. After the Civil War, the newly established Sheffield Scientific School began to admit significant numbers of undergraduate students, initially on the order of thirty per class, growing to about fifty by the mid-1880s. These students pursued an alternative course of study, offered in parallel to the classical curriculum of Yale College. In light of its college preparatory mission, Hopkins adjusted. Beginning in the 1870s, Hopkins juniors and seniors were given the choice of either a “classical” or a “scientific” course. The latter consisted of dropping Greek in favor of more advanced mathematics, presumably to prepare graduates for enrollment in the Sheffield School. By this time, German also had found its way into the classical curriculum at Hopkins, likely in response to the introduction of modern languages at Yale in the 1850s.

The School catalogues of the early 1920s are of particular interest, for two reasons. First, they highlight Hopkins’ transition from a strictly academic school to a country day school, which, operationally, meant the introduction of an athletics program and a focus on character development outside the classroom. Second, they offer this most explicit statement of the connection between Hopkins and Yale:

From the date of the founding of Yale University (1701), Hopkins has been primarily a preparatory school for that institution.

As Yale became increasingly a national institution during the 20th century, and as the ratio of applicants to students admitted rose from three to one in the late 1950s to fourteen to one today, this particular interpretation of Hopkins’ mission could not finally survive. After World War II, the percentage of Yale students from New York and New England began to shrink dramatically, and, by the 1960s, the admission of public school students began to exceed those from private preparatory schools. Once again, Hopkins adjusted while maintaining its focus on preparing its students for college. Indeed, the focus was maintained very self-consciously when Hopkins merged with the Day Prospect Hill School in 1972, which was equally devoted to an academically rigorous, college preparatory curriculum. In the reaccreditation self-study prepared two years after the merger with Day Prospect Hill, the temporarily renamed Hopkins Grammar Day Prospect Hill School (HGDPHS) reaffirmed its mission of being a six-year college preparatory school, with requirements for graduation that were identical to the minimum entrance requirements at Yale and most of its Ivy League peers: four years of English, three years of a foreign language, three years of mathematics, two years of laboratory science, and two years of history, of which one was U.S. history. Today, the Hopkins web site states that its graduation requirements qualify students for admission to the full range of colleges and universities, and, indeed, Hopkins students attend excellent institutions throughout the nation. Still, only three high schools in the nation have consistently larger numbers of graduates enrolled at Yale College, and all three are much larger than Hopkins.

Independent Governance

Remaining consistent to a mission for 350 years requires stewardship. Such fidelity could not be expected of a succession of headmasters, as able and as dedicated as many of them were. Some heads of school served only a year or two, and others served only three or four years. In the early years, the headmaster was often the sole member of the teaching staff.

The steady hand that kept Hopkins on course, most especially during its first two centuries, was that of the Committee on Trustees. By establishing the Trustees as a self-perpetuating board, independent of both church and state, John Davenport’s contribution went well beyond founding a Grammar School; he helped ensure its survival. As the trustee of Governor Hopkins’ estate, Davenport might have turned over his responsibility, along with the money bequeathed, to the town fathers of New Haven. But he had been frustrated by the town’s indifferent support for the School in its first years, giving an initial subvention in 1660, but allowing the School to close two years later. And Davenport was also disturbed that the city fathers were not sending their children to Hopkins, preferring an English education to a classical one. Indeed, he appeared before the town leaders in 1667 with an ultimatum: if the town were willing to send its children to a school that would fit them for the service of God and Commonwealth, then the Hopkins donation would be given to the fledgling grammar school. If not, as trustee of the estate, he would take the money to another town. The town fathers responded; six of them pledged to send their sons to the school.

Davenport also steered clear of investing responsibility for governance of the school in the hands of one of the town’s churches. We could not determine from our reading why this was so, but one might speculate that he was, by 1668, disappointed by the separation of church and state that had occurred since he founded the colony thirty years earlier. Davenport had presided over both church and town, and quite possibly he mourned the disappearance of theocracy in the governance of his Puritan colony.

Instead, Davenport chose seven men he trusted, and invested them with a deed establishing the Committee of Trustees as an independent, self-perpetuating body committed to carrying out the purposes outlined in the will of Edward Hopkins.

This form of governance was virtually unique in its time. Nearly all New England grammar schools were church establishments, from the mid-17th through the early 19th century. Many such schools perished during the frequent periods of doctrinal controversy that fractured New England churches and towns, while Hopkins’ unusual independence enabled it to survive. Through the Great Awakening and other periods of religious upheaval, Hopkins went on teaching Latin and Greek, even as many other schools failed and new ones emerged.

The advantages of independence were particularly in evidence during the period following the Revolution, when the traditional grammar schools throughout New England were challenged by the rise of the new academies that added English and mathematics to the curriculum and aimed at a population beyond the narrow segment that prepared for college. The more practical approach of the academies reflected the growing influence of commerce and Enlightenment ideas, as well as the waning influence of the churches, in the leadership of the region. Yet the grammar schools throughout New England were, with the exception of Hopkins, creatures of the churches, focused primarily on educating for the ministry. In the face of competition, most of those that remained failed in the period from 1780 to 1820.

Hopkins, however, endured. Although it held stubbornly to the classical curriculum, and sought only to educate those interested in preparing for Yale, its freedom from church control allowed it to flourish in an increasingly secular environment. It is ironic that John Davenport, the theocrat of New Haven, invented the form of secular, independent governance that became the norm in the new academies, and has ever since characterized the nation’s independent schools. But Davenport’s invention proved a robust vehicle for the stewardship of Governor Hopkins’ vision.

Conclusion

In the past two decades, Hopkins has been blessed with more than a consistent mission and a superior form of governance; we have been fortunate to have outstanding leadership in our heads of school. Tim Rodd reasserted the primacy of academic excellence after a period of collective self-doubt, and on his watch Hopkins purchased the adjacent land that made possible its expansion and gave it additional room to grow. In these years, the School engaged its most successful business leader, John Malone, and secured the gift that permitted the construction of the Malone Science Center. More recently, Barb Riley involved the entire School in the development of an ambitious academic plan, and, seizing on the inspiration and matching funds provided by John Malone, she and a number of committed volunteers have broadened the School’s donor base, secured the funding for Heath and Thompson Halls and other important projects, and multiplied the endowment by more than an order of magnitude. Thanks to Tim and Barb, Hopkins’ future has never been brighter.

We have been immensely fortunate to serve Hopkins in these years of abundance, and we are truly grateful to be recognized for our very modest contribution to the School’s success. We know that the proper credit for Hopkins’ achievement belongs not with us, but with all those who labor to make the School what it is – a devoted faculty, exceptional leaders, generous donors, committed alumni and parents. As we hope we have demonstrated, the School’s strength also derives from the wisdom of its founders: Edward Hopkins, who gave the School its mission, and John Davenport, who gave it good governance. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve an institution so worthy and enduring.


In what follows, we rely heavily on Thomas B. Davis, Chronicles of Hopkins Grammar School 1660-1935, New Haven: Quinnipiack Press, 1938, as well as the annual school catalogues published beginning in 1846, found in the archives of the New Haven Historical Society. We are indebted to Erin Johnson, Hopkins class of 2004, for her excellent assistance in research.

Prospectus for a Liberal Arts College in Singapore
September 11, 2010
New Haven, CT

Yale was invited more than a year ago by the National University of Singapore (NUS) to help design a new liberal arts college on its campus. In the fall of 2009, three committees of Yale faculty worked to sketch the broad outlines of such an endeavor. The goal was to conceive a new model of residentially-based liberal education to serve all of Asia and prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Download the full text of the prospectus.

Freshman Address: Opportunity and Responsibility
August 27, 2010
Yale University

I am delighted to join Dean Miller in welcoming you, the Class of 2014, to Yale College.  I want to welcome also the relatives and friends who have accompanied you here, and especially your parents.  As a father of four college graduates, I know how proud you parents are of your children’s achievement, how hopeful you are for their future, and how many concerns – large and small – you have at this moment. 

Let me try to reassure you. Your children are going to love it here!  And you are going to enjoy your association with Yale, too, whether you are a returning graduate or one of the vast majority of parents who never set foot in New Haven until your children started to think about where to go to college.  You may take comfort in learning that surveys have shown that Yale parents are the most satisfied in the Ivy League.  So, welcome to the Yale family!  We are so pleased to have your children with us, and we will do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

And to you, the Class of 2014, I make the same pledge.  For you, these next four years will be a time of opportunity unlike any other.  Here you are surrounded by astonishing resources: fascinating fellow students from all over the world, a learned and caring faculty, intimate residential college communities, a magnificent library, two extraordinary art museums, an outstanding museum of natural history, superb athletic facilities, and student organizations covering every conceivable interest — the performing arts, politics, and community service among them.  You will have complete freedom to explore, learn about new subjects, meet new people, and pursue new passions.  I want to encourage you, in every way that I can, to make the most of this rare and unique opportunity.

Let’s start with your academic program.  Most likely, you will be overwhelmed by the more than 2000 courses available to you.  You will inevitably miss out on 98% of them.  But let me urge you nonetheless to sample widely.  Each of the scholarly disciplines provides a different perspective on human experience; each allows you a different window on our accumulated knowledge of nature and culture, and each, quite literally, allows you to see the world differently.  If I could offer only one piece of advice about selecting courses, it would be this: stretch yourself.  Don’t assume that you know in advance what fields will interest you the most.  Take some courses in fields that are entirely outside the range of your past experience.  You will not only emerge as a more broadly educated person, but you will also stand a better chance of discovering an unsuspected passion that helps to shape the future course of your life.

By studying philosophy, for example, you will learn to reason more rigorously and to discern more readily what constitutes a logically consistent argument and what does not.  And you will study texts that wrestle directly with the deepest questions of how one should live.           
Your professors of literature, music, and art history will teach you to read, listen, and see closely, and help you to develop a keener appreciation for the artistry that makes literature, music, and visual art sublime representations of human emotions, values, and ideas.  Whether you major in these subjects or not, your appreciation of what is true and beautiful may be forever enriched.

Your professors of history will teach you to appreciate the challenging art of reconstructing the past, and to understand how meaning is extracted from experience. This may help you to gain perspective on your own experience.

Years ago, when I taught introductory economics in Yale College, I always began by telling the students that the course would change their lives.  Why?  Because economics will open you to an entirely new and different way of understanding how the world works.  Economics will not prescribe for you how society should be organized, or the extent to which individual freedom should be subordinated to collective ends, or how the fruits of human labor should be distributed.  But understanding the logic of markets will give you a new way to think about these perpetually important questions.  In similar fashion, each of the other social sciences — psychology, political science, anthropology, sociology, and linguistics — will give you a different perspective on human experience in society. 

Some of you may already have a passion for science or mathematics, and you may have set your sights on a major in science, math, or engineering.  There is so much in these pursuits to excite the imagination that I hardly need elaborate.  In science, we are in the midst of discovering the causes of human disease, the mechanisms of evolution, and the origins of the universe.  In engineering, we have unprecedented opportunities to develop new materials, new medical devices, and new sources of energy.  One of the virtues of studying science and engineering at a place like Yale is that you can practice science and engineering while you study it; you can work in research laboratories along side your professors on problems at the very frontier of knowledge. 

With respect to science, I have two messages for you that are mirror images.  First, if you are someone with an early or emerging passion for science, take the time to sample other subjects as well.  Even if you pursue science or engineering as a career, broadening your education in the other liberal arts will both enrich your lives and improve your science.  Second, if you do not think yourself a “science type,” don’t just fulfill the science requirement; give science a serious try.  During the past decade, we have developed a number of problem-oriented science courses without prerequisites; they are meant to give you a rigorous exposure to science without the comprehensiveness of a survey course designed for those already committed to a major or to a pre-medical curriculum.  Try one or two of these courses, early on; you may be surprised by your newfound enthusiasm.

And, to complete this mini-tour of the curriculum, we will not let you forget about writing, math, and languages.  Some attention to these skills is required, but there are many ways to satisfy the requirements.  Again, I would urge you to stretch yourselves; try something different — an expository or creative writing class, statistics instead of more calculus, or a new language, even as you pursue further study of one you already know.

My suggestion that you stretch yourselves is not limited to the classroom.  It applies to both the friends and extracurricular activities you choose as well.  If the friends you make here are exclusively those who come from backgrounds just like your own and went to high schools just like your own, you will have forfeited half the value of a Yale education.  You come from all 50 states and 58 nations, from a wide range of racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.  Each of your residential colleges reflects within itself that rich diversity.  Seek out friends with different histories and different interests; you will find that you learn the most from the people least like you.

No doubt you will participate in one or more of the 300 student organizations on campus, as well as varsity, club, and intramural athletic teams.  You may find your consuming passion, the passion that shapes your life after Yale, in one of these pursuits.  I can think of scores of journalists, public servants, teachers, start-up entrepreneurs, performers, and filmmakers whose career choices were shaped by their extracurricular activities here at Yale.  Again, my advice is to move beyond the familiar; try at least one extracurricular activity that is brand new to you.  And, by all means, do not spend all your time with your varsity teammates, or your fellow singing group members, or the others who write for the Yale Daily News.  Make the most of the extraordinary variety of opportunities available to you.

So far, my advice to you is focused entirely on how you might get the most out of your Yale education.  You might be wondering: am I here just to exploit all of Yale’s treasures for myself alone?  The answer is “no.”  We have confidence, based on the evidence of history and knowledge of the culture of this place, that your journey toward self-discovery, your progress toward finding your passion, will yield more than self-gratification and personal advancement.  We believe that because you are intelligent and reflective members of a community of scholars, you will come to recognize that with the abundant opportunities for self-enrichment that Yale provides, there also come responsibilities.

And what are these responsibilities?  They begin with responsibility for the wellbeing of the institution you are joining today.  Let me remind you that even for those of you whose parents are paying the full tuition, room and board charges, more than half of the total cost of your Yale education is supported by the gifts of those who came before you.  More than half of you hold scholarships.  And most of our buildings, athletic facilities, and museum and library collections trace to gifts from graduates of Yale College.

Your responsibilities also include good citizenship in its many varieties.  At Yale’s founding this took the form of supporting New Haven colony and the Congregational Church.  Today, while volunteer service to local community organizations, secular and religious, remains a distinguishing characteristic of Yale graduates, our horizons have broadened.  Some of you will undoubtedly carry on Yale’s great tradition of producing national leaders, and for all of you who spend most of your adult lives in the United States, there is an emerging burden of citizenship that will be yours to bear.  And that is the powerfully important burden of helping to raise the level of public discourse.  One has only to compare the rhetoric of today’s leaders with the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, given 150 years ago, or the transcripts of the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 50 years ago, to see how oversimplified ideology and appeal to narrow interest groups have triumphed over intelligence and moderation in civic discussion.   By insisting, as citizens, on serious discussion instead of slogans that mask narrow partisan interests, you can help to make our democracy more effective.

Today, because the world is so highly interconnected and interdependent, you will have the added responsibility of acting as global citizens.  Your generation, more than any that has gone before, will need deep knowledge of and intimate engagement with cultures and societies very different from your own.  Those of you who come from abroad will of course experience immersion in another culture right here in New Haven.  The rest of you may do so by taking advantage of one of our many programs of work or study abroad.  Such an experience will stretch you in just the way that I am recommending more generally; it will force you to see yourself from a different perspective, and to see others free from preconceptions.  Since so many of the issues confronting us — from poverty and disease to the proliferation of nuclear weapons — require cooperative solutions, a cross-cultural perspective is invaluable.  Even before you travel overseas, you might start preparing yourselves for global citizenship by sampling some of the courses in international studies offered by the recently established Jackson Institute, such as the new multidisciplinary gateway course on global affairs.

In addition to the burdens of local, national, and international citizenship, your generation will need to rise as well to the challenge of planetary stewardship.  Without a radical reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases during your lifetimes, much of humanity will suffer dislocation and famine on an unprecedented scale.  We have both the current means to slow down the accumulation of atmospheric carbon and the imagination to develop the technologies needed to prevent catastrophe.  We seem to lack only conviction and collective will.  You will need to scrutinize the evidence for yourselves, with all the critical intelligence that you can muster.  But, if you do, I am confident that you will assume this last responsibility as well.  And you will have the opportunity to practice planetary stewardship right here at Yale, as we try to model what it means to become a sustainable campus.

Women and men of the Class of 2014, we take great pleasure in welcoming you to Yale College, and we delight in the anticipation of opportunities that you will seize and the responsibilities that you will come to bear as citizens of your communities, the nation, the world, and the planet.

Baccalaureate Address: Reclaiming Politics
May 22, 2010
Yale University

What a journey you have had! Four years of exploring a place so rich with treasure: courses taught by some of the world’s most brilliant and creative scholars and scientists, a library with few peers, museums that expose you to the full variety of nature and human cultures, musical and theatrical performances of the highest quality, vigorous intercollegiate and intramural athletic programs, and classmates whose excellence never ceases to astonish – and all this set within the imposing and inspiring architecture of a campus that is itself a museum. You have had the chance to interact with classmates from 50 states and 50 nations, and the great majority of you have taken advantage of Yale’s abundant international programs to spend a semester or a summer abroad.

In the classroom, you were encouraged to engage thoroughly and rigorously in thinking independently about the subjects you studied. You were challenged to develop the powers of critical reasoning fundamental to success in any life endeavor. Outside the classroom, as you worked productively in the hundreds of organizations you joined or founded, you exercised the skills of teamwork and leadership. In your overseas experiences, you deepened your capacity for understanding those whose values and cultures differ from your own – preparing you for citizenship in a globally interconnected world. You may not recognize this in yourselves, but you are ready for what is next.

Understandably, you may be uncertain and a bit anxious about what lies ahead. But, if history is to be trusted, you will find many paths open to you. Because of the talent you possessed before you came here, as well as the intellectual and personal growth you have experienced here, you will find, with high likelihood, success in your chosen endeavors. And we expect you to stay connected. The vibrant life of this university is greatly enriched by the deep commitment and active participation of its graduates – think of all the master’s teas and guest lectures and college seminars offered by our alumni. And keep in mind that when you thanked your parents a few moments ago, you might also have been thanking the generations of Yale graduates whose gifts past and present supported half the total cost of your education.

Perhaps I am overconfident about your prospects for personal fulfillment and professional success, but I don’t think so. If you will concede my point for the sake of argument, let’s ask the next question, one so deeply rooted in Yale’s mission and tradition that for most of you, fortunately, it has become ingrained. And that question is: how can I serve? How can I contribute to the wellbeing of those around me, much as we all have done in building communities within the residential colleges and volunteering in so many valuable roles in the city of New Haven? Now is an important time to be asking this question. Let me suggest why, and then let me suggest an answer.

Aristotle tells us that we are by nature political animals. But one wonders whether he would recognize the species that we have become. Eighteen months ago, the United States elected a new president who was prepared to address, intelligently and collaboratively, the most pressing problems confronting the nation – education, health care, climate change, and improving America’s image in the rest of the world. Late in the election campaign, the financial crisis intervened, and economic recovery and financial sector reform were added to this ambitious agenda.

What has happened since does not inspire great confidence in the capacity of our system to deal intelligently with important problems. We legislated a stimulus package that was less effective than it should have been, and far less effective than the corresponding measures undertaken in China. Fifteen months later, unemployment in the United States is still 9.9%. After months of stalemate, Congress enacted a health care bill that extends care to millions of uncovered individuals and families, but takes only the most tentative steps toward containing the escalating costs that will create an unsustainable burden of public debt within the next decade or two. We failed to address climate change in time to achieve a meaningful global agreement in Copenhagen. And, although financial sector reform now seems to be a possibility, the debate has been replete with misunderstanding of what actually went wrong and a misplaced desire for revenge.

Why is this happening? Let me make two observations, and then trace their implications for how you might conduct yourselves as citizens and participants in political life. First, contemporary political discussion is too often dominated by oversimplified ideologies with superficial appeal to voters. And, second, political actors in the United States give too much weight to the interests of groups with the resources to influence their re-election, and too little attention to the costs and benefits of their actions on the wider public.

In The Federalist (No. 10), James Madison addresses the second of these observations, in the context of the fledgling republic established by the U.S. Constitution. He notes that the tendency to pursue self-interest can never be entirely suppressed, but it can be mitigated by the proper design of political institutions. In contrast to a direct democracy where individuals would tend to vote their own interests, a republican form of government, Madison argues, will have a greater tendency to select representatives who attend to the broader interests of the whole. And, he further argues, representatives in a large republic constituted of a wide range of divergent interests will find it easier to rise above parochialism than those in a smaller republic comprised of a small number of competing factions.

The protections that our form of government offers against ideology and faction have attenuated greatly since Madison’s time, for at least two reasons. First, mass communication increases the opportunity to sway voters by appeal to simple formulations. Of course, the rise of mass communication could be a tool for raising the level of discourse through more effective education of the electorate. But it interacts with the second attenuating factor: that the money required to win elections through the media has created a dependence on funding from special interest groups. And it is these interest groups who distort reasoned dialogue by sponsoring oversimplified messages.

It is easy to see how these developments have thwarted recent efforts to shape responsible public policy. For example, the interest groups opposing health care reform defeated efforts to contain costs by labeling them “death panels,” and they defeated the creation of a new public vehicle for providing health insurance by insisting that we must “keep government out of the health care business,” when in fact Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration already pay nearly 40 per cent of the nation’s health care bill. I am not taking sides here, only pointing to the fact that intelligent debate on these subjects was crowded out by ideological distortion.

How can we create a national and global dialogue that transcends such oversimplification and parochialism? Let me suggest that we need each of you to raise the level of debate. You came here to develop your powers of critical thinking, to separate what makes sense from what is superficial, misleading, and seductive. Whether you have studied literature, philosophy, history, politics, economics, biology, physics, chemistry, or engineering, you have been challenged to think deeply, to identify the inconsistent and illogical, and to reason your way to intelligent conclusions. You can apply these powers of critical discernment not simply to fulfill personal aspirations, but to make a contribution to public life.

Every signal you have received in this nurturing community has been unwavering in its message that the growth of your competencies is not to benefit you alone. You have learned in your residential colleges that building a successful community has required you to respect and value one another, and, when appropriate, to moderate your own desires for the benefit of the whole. And so it should be in your lives after Yale. If you are to help to solve this nation’s problems – or work across national boundaries to address global problems such as climate, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation – you will need to draw upon both these fruits of a Yale education: the capacity to reason and the ethical imperative to think beyond your own self-interest.

I know that many of you are taking advantage of these first years after graduation to take up public service, and I hope that even more of you will consider this path. There are plenty of jobs in the public sector for enterprising recent graduates; many are short-term but others may lead to careers. Many of you have signed up to be teachers. Others will enter business or the professions. But whatever choice you make, you can help to strengthen the nation and the world – by treating political choices not as triggers for an ideological reflex and not as opportunities to maximize self-interest. To combat reflexive ideologies, you must use the powers of reason that you have developed here to sift through the issues to reach thoughtful, intelligent conclusions. To combat parochialism, you must draw upon the ethical imperative that Yale has imbued in you – an imperative that begins with the golden rule. Whether you serve in government directly or simply exercise your responsibilities as a citizen and voter, recognize that we will all be best served if we take account not merely of our own self-interest, but the broader interests of humanity. To move beyond ideology and faction, we need to raise the level of political discourse. You, as the emerging leaders of your generation, must rise to this challenge.

In first paragraph of The Federalist (No. 1), writing about the infant republic whose constitution he was endeavoring to defend, Alexander Hamilton asserts:

"It has frequently been remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies … are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice …"

There is much in America’s history of the past two and a quarter centuries that would incline us to conclude that Hamilton’s question has been answered in the affirmative. Our institutions of representative government have proven themselves to be durable; the rule of law has prevailed, and the scope of personal liberty has expanded far beyond what the founders envisioned. But today, in the face of oversimplified ideology and the dominance of narrow interests, we must wonder again whether Hamilton’s question is still open.

Women and men of the Yale College class of 2010: It falls to you, the superbly educated leaders of your generation, to rise above ideology and faction, to bring to bear your intelligence and powers of critical thinking to elevate public discourse, to participate as citizens and to answer the call to service. Only with your commitment can we be certain that our future will be decided by “reflection and choice” in the broad best interest of humanity. You can do it. Yes you can.

Harnessing the Wind
February 17, 2010
Guildhall, London, England

Remarks on the Award of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education

Your Royal Highness, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am greatly honored to be with you tonight, as we celebrate 21 institutions for their excellence in higher and further education. This splendid setting appropriately dignifies the extraordinary work that they have done, and, as a representative of one of Britain’s oldest colonial universities, I am grateful for the opportunity to salute my worthy colleagues.

Seeking inspiration for this magnificent occasion, I turned to a captivating book published last year, entitled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. It tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a young boy from a tiny village in Malawi. From an early age he took apart radios and tried to figure out what made them work. Later, at age 14, after a devastating famine left his family too poor to pay school fees, he studied alone in a small public library that was stocked with books donated by the government of the United States. There he devoured an elementary textbook called Explaining Physics that helped him to understand conceptually what he had discovered inductively by tinkering with radios. Then, providentially, he stumbled upon a book called Using Energy, which illustrated how a windmill could be used to generate electricity. Scavenging parts from a junkyard, persuading friends and relatives to part with bicycle frames and copper wire, William built a windmill, so that he could read after dark. Later he built another windmill to power a water pump that ensured his family against another famine.

William Kamkwamba’s moving and inspirational story is a perfect tale for our age, and for this occasion. It shows us how education, science and technology can improve the material conditions of life and uplift the human spirit. Through study, imagination, resourcefulness, and stubborn persistence William harnessed the wind, and in so doing created a better life for himself, his family and his village. The institutions we honor tonight have in similar fashion harnessed the wind. They have drawn upon and advanced human knowledge of nature and culture, and reached out to the world around them, using that knowledge to improve the material and spiritual conditions of citizens both near and far.

Two of the many lessons taught by William Kamkwamba’s story seem worthy of note this evening.

First is the importance of access to education. During and after the Malawi famine of 2002, William’s family could not afford to pay the tuition to send him to secondary school. It took unusual determination and dedication on William’s part to overcome this handicap by studying independently in the village library. By contrast, in the United Kingdom, thanks to massive government investment, access to free secondary education is ubiquitous, and access to tertiary education has increased dramatically. Of the relevant age cohort, nearly 60 percent pursue higher and further education, compared to only 15 percent four decades ago. Like the United States, the United Kingdom is fortunate to have a rich diversity of institutions that serve the wide range of society’s needs for higher and further education – from the education in the liberal arts that inspires future scholars, government officials, and business leaders to the training that imparts essential skills to nurses, technicians, and office workers. The full spectrum of institutions that participate in strengthening the nation are represented and recognized here tonight. We celebrate the contribution of them all.

The second lesson of William’s story is that knowledge can have powerful practical consequences. We see this illustrated abundantly in the work of the institutions we honor tonight. From the management of chronic pain to increasing crop yields to combatting climate change, the research and educational programs of the 21 institutions represented here are having an important influence on the world outside the academy. Indeed, each of the citations published on the web site of the Royal Anniversary Trust refers to the public impact of the work being recognized. Even the outstanding archaeology done at the University of Reading is cited for the help it provides to law enforcement agencies, and the impressive array of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages offered by the School of Oriental and African Studies is cited for its contribution to social cohesion across the country.

It is laudable that the work of colleges and universities advances the nation’s social and economic agenda. But, if I may be so bold, is there not a danger that too much weight is being accorded to immediate social benefit? The purposes of institutions of higher and further education go beyond immediate practical impact. Whether students study cooking at Thames Valley University or read “Greats” at Oxford, it is immensely valuable to awaken in them passions that will enliven and motivate them, and to develop in them a capacity to continue to learn throughout their lifetimes. Such outcomes will, of course, have societal consequences in some ultimate sense, because the success of our democracies depends upon having citizens with a capacity to learn and adapt. But learning cannot and should not be justified entirely on grounds of social impact. Learning enriches the human experience, and as educators we should not lose sight of this.

This danger is manifest also in the current discussion of the proposed new criteria for assessing government-sponsored research. The new Research Excellence Framework puts 25 percent weight on the impact of research on the economy, society, culture, public policy, or quality of life. The higher education funding councils recognize the difficulty of identifying such effects, and they are running a pilot exercise this coming summer to test the new approach. They propose, for example, that every unit seeking funding should conduct case studies of the consequences of their past research. Recognizing that the effects of research are rarely immediate, the funding councils suggest that units look back ten to fifteen years to identify the sources of impacts that can be observed today.

Such an approach to assessment may well miss more than it harvests. Most fundamental advances in science do not yield practical results in ten to fifteen years. The time lag is usually much longer, and consequences are rarely foreseen at the time of discovery. For example, when the first laser was built in 1960, no one imagined that it would be adapted for use in eye surgery 27 years later. The first quantum computer was built at Yale last year. It holds the promise of orders of magnitude increases in computing speed and power. We can only begin to imagine the applications that a full-scale, commercially viable quantum computer will make possible, but we can safely predict that it will be at least 20 years before one is built and sold.

My point is simple: putting too much weight on the immediate, even the intermediate-term practical impact of research will distort the progress of science, technology, and humanistic research in this country. The UK has one percent of the world’s population, 12 percent of its scholarly citations and 40 percent of its top five universities. Underweighting the importance of fundamental science and curiosity-driven research across the spectrum of human knowledge may jeopardize this enviable position.

William Kamkwamba’s achievement had a powerful impact on his tiny African village. And there is no doubt that at a certain point he became aware of the potential practical consequences of the knowledge he had acquired. But his initial interest in electricity was not spurred by a practical objective. He simply wanted to understand how his radio worked. And his interest in the physics books he found was not motivated by a desire to provide electric power for his family and his village; he was motivated by intellectual curiosity pure and simple. In seeking practical outcomes from our institutions of higher and further education, whose work has so much value, let us not neglect the spark – the desire to understand – that makes all else possible.

Yale 2010-11 Budget Update
February 2, 2010

A message from President Richard C. Levin and Provost Peter Salovey

It has now been 16 months since the onset of the global financial crisis that caused a deep decline in the value of Yale’s endowment and compromised the University’s ability to sustain the level of expenditure that had been planned for the 2008-09 academic year and beyond. As a community we have managed the challenge admirably, but we have more to do to bridge the current budget gap and achieve our long-term institutional goals.

It is important to keep in mind that the reduction in the value of our endowment follows a period of unprecedented prosperity. Over the past decade, the University invested over $3 billion in the improvement of its physical plant and increased the size of its faculty by 29% and staff by 28%. More than 100 new ladder faculty members were added to departments and programs in the Arts and Sciences. Every school has flourished during this period; financial aid has been dramatically enhanced, and thousands of students have benefitted from Yale support in pursuing research, study, and internship opportunities overseas. Yale’s academic programs command the highest respect from our peers and the general public. It is against this backdrop of remarkable achievement that we must now slow, but not stop, our forward momentum as we balance expenditures against reductions in endowment-generated income.

As we reported in September, the decline of our endowment from $22.9 billion in June 2008 to $16.3 billion in June 2009 requires us to reduce our overall expense base by $350 million per year in the years ahead to achieve a balanced budget. Collateral effects of the recession, such as decreased interest income on our cash balances, widened the deficit even further. Actions taken last year eliminated more than half of the total deficit, but, as we communicated in the fall, a substantial gap of nearly $150 million remained as of last September; this gap needs to be closed for the next and subsequent years.

Despite the recent partial recovery of public stock markets, the value of the endowment remains below $17 billion, after accounting for the University’s budgeted spending during the current fiscal year. Consequently, as we anticipated last February and reiterated in our September communication, we need to undertake another round of substantial budgetary actions to achieve balance for the 2010-11 fiscal year and beyond.

You will recall that last year we postponed over $2 billion in scheduled construction projects, proceeding only with the completion of the renovation of Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, fully gift-funded projects such as the Art Gallery renovation, urgently needed maintenance projects, and essential cost-saving utilities upgrades. We also froze faculty and M&P salaries above $75,000 and reduced budgets for non-faculty staff and non-salary expenditures by 7.5%. In September we announced substantial reductions in the previously planned rates of investment in developing the West Campus and in introducing new administrative systems through the YaleNext project. We also slowed the pace of faculty recruitment in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and accelerated a second round of reductions (5%) in non-salary expenditures to the current fiscal year.

Before asking the numerous decentralized units of the University to undertake further reductions in their own budgets to close the remaining gap, we have worked with many groups of faculty and staff to identify a number of targeted actions that would reduce the burden of adjustment on schools and departments. In addition to looking for new revenue sources, the actions we are taking include:

  • The salaries of officers, deans, and highly compensated direct reports to the officers will be frozen. The pool available for salary increases of faculty, as well as managerial and professional staff, will be 2%. The amount of this increase compares favorably to the increases for 2010-11 in the recently renegotiated union contracts, as well as early reports of the merit increases being granted by other major employers.
  • Managerial and professional staff will receive their annual salary increases effective September 1, rather than July 1. This deferral produces a one-time cost saving, but it also will allow for more effective reviews of annual performance, which can now be conducted over the summer, rather than squeezed into May and early June.
  • Stipend support in the Graduate School will be increased by 2%, but the number of new students admitted will be reduced by 10 to 15%. Nonetheless, the size of the Graduate School will remain larger than it was a decade ago.
  • Support provided by the Provost for a number of ongoing research and outreach programs will be reduced but not eliminated.
  • Adjustments have been made to the international summer award program for Yale College students. Support levels remain adequate to make overseas study or internships affordable for those students on financial aid.
  • The scholarship benefit for children of faculty and staff members will be held at its current maximum of $15,200 per child per year.
  • We are reconfiguring paid time off for managerial and professional staff employees effective July 1. We will combine vacation and personal days into a single benefit of 24 days, change sick pay to 6 days per year, and add a Short Term Disability Plan. The new Short Term Disability Plan will provide income protection for up to 26 weeks for staff members who experience an injury or illness. This is a long needed and well deserved change. Future vacation time carryover will be reduced, and we will begin a gradual phasing out of the bonus vacation program. The revised paid time off program, coupled with the new Short Term Disability Plan, will save money and increase income security for staff members while continuing to ensure that our paid time off benefits remain superior to our peer universities and the local market.
  • We are introducing a payroll contribution for individual coverage with the Yale Health Plan for those earning over $83,000.
  • We will also achieve savings by sharing and consolidating the business, human resources, and information technology services within the units directly supervised by the University officers. Once we are confident that consolidated services can be satisfactorily delivered while generating cost savings, we will expand the use of shared services throughout the University, most likely beginning in 2011-12. In the meantime, local consolidation efforts already being planned in schools and departments will continue.
  • We have changed the set-point on thermostats in all University buildings to 68 degrees in winter and 75 degrees in summer, and we continue to look for ways to achieve more savings in our facilities costs.

Each one of these actions is significant, but, together with the previously announced slowdown in West Campus and administrative systems investment, these actions produce only a little more than $50 million in budget savings. Beyond this, we still must find approximately $100 million of savings in the general appropriations of unrestricted University funds by June 30 for the 2010-11 budget.

The self-supporting professional schools (Medicine, Nursing, Law, Management, Divinity, and Forestry & Environmental Studies), along with completely endowed programs (such as the Yale Center for British Art, Beinecke Library, and Institute for Sacred Music), will need to adjust their expenditures to reflect a 13.4% reduction in the endowment payout. We have briefed the deans and directors of these units, and they will be responsible for these decisions, subject to review by the Provost.

For units of the University, both academic and administrative, that receive general appropriations of central University funds, we will take a somewhat different approach than last year. Each budgetary unit will be given a proposed reduction in general appropriations funding, calculated as 7.5% of this year’s expenditures on non-faculty staff and non-salary expenditures plus an additional amount proportional to the endowment fund income and unexpended fund balances available to each unit after accounting for the reduction in endowment payout. Departments will then be asked to propose budgets that meet these targets. We are, of course, hoping to keep staff reductions as low as possible, but some will be necessary as we will not be able to close the gap only with non-salary expense reductions and the substitution of endowment income and unspent fund balances for general appropriations. Clearly, endowed funds and gift balances can only be spent on activities permitted by the terms of the donors who established them. We will do our best to work with each unit to find ways to use endowment income and unspent balances in a manner consistent with donor restrictions, as the use of these funds can minimize required reductions in staff and non-salary expenditures.

Every effort will be made to reduce staff through normal turnover (retirements and departures), and we will continue to assist those managerial and professional employees who are laid off by providing enhanced severance pay and extensive transition support. Members of Local 34 who are laid off may participate in the Interim Employment Pool or take severance pay.

In the next week, the Budget and Planning Office will provide information to Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Business Managers on the process and schedule for preparing a 2010-11 budget. The deputy provosts and members of the Business Operations Leadership Team will provide additional support and assistance. Information relevant to budget planning will be posted at http://www.yale.edu/budget.

We continue to be inspired by the cooperative spirit in which our community is working together to address these financial constraints, and we are truly grateful for your efforts. We know we are asking you to make difficult choices and decisions, but we are optimistic that if we can achieve the reductions outlined here, we will have created a stable and sustainable budget for the University. With your help, Yale will remain a leader nationally and internationally, and we will continue to take pride in our service to our students and the wider world.

The Rise of Asia’s Universities
January 31, 2010
The Royal Society, London, England

It is a great pleasure to be with you this evening, and an especially great honor to have been asked to deliver the Seventh Annual Lecture of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

I stand before you this evening as a representative of the third oldest university in the United States, little more than 50 miles from the two oldest universities in the English-speaking world. Today, the strongest British and American universities – such as Oxford, Cambridge and Yale, not to mention Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, University College London and Imperial College London – call forth worldwide admiration and respect for their leadership in research and education. Sitting atop the global league tables, these institutions set the standard that others at home and abroad seek to emulate; they define the concept of “world-class university.” They excel in the advancement of human knowledge of nature and culture; they provide the finest training to the next generation of scholars; and they provide outstanding undergraduate and professional education for those who will emerge as leaders in all walks of life.

But, as we all know at this, the beginning of the 21st century, the East is rising. The rapid economic development of Asia since the Second World War – starting with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, extending to Hong Kong and Singapore, and finally taking hold powerfully in mainland China and India – has altered the balance of power in the global economy and hence in geopolitics. The rising nations of the East all recognize the importance of an educated workforce as a means to economic growth and they understand the impact of research in driving innovation and competitiveness. In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the higher education agenda in Asia’s early developers – Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – was first and foremost to increase the fraction of their populations provided with postsecondary education. Their initial focus was on expanding the number of institutions and their enrollments, and impressive results were achieved.

Today, the later and much larger developing nations of Asia – China and India – have an even more ambitious agenda. Both these emerging powers seek to expand the capacity of their systems of higher education, and China has done so dramatically since 1998. But they also aspire simultaneously to create a limited number of “world class” universities to take their places among the best. This is an audacious agenda, but China, in particular, has the will and resources that make it feasible. This aspiration is shared not only by other nations in Asia but also by certain resource-rich nations in the Middle East.

Consider the following recent developments:
  • In the Gulf States, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to open branches of top U.S. and European universities such as Cornell in Qatar and the Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi.
  • This past autumn, the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology opened in Saudi Arabia. Its $10 billion endowment exceeds that of all but five American universities.
  • In Singapore, planning is underway to build a new public university of Technology and Design, and a new American-style liberal arts college affiliated with the National University.
  • In China, the nine universities that receive the most supplemental government funding to enhance their global competitiveness recently self-identified as the C9 – China’s Ivy League.
  • In India, the Education Ministry recently announced its intention to build 14 new comprehensive universities of “world-class” stature.

This evening I want to discuss the motivations for attempting to build world-class universities, the practical obstacles that must be overcome, and the potential consequences of success. Because the circumstances in the Middle East are very different, I will confine my attention to Asia.

There are other important trends that are changing the global landscape of higher education: the rapidly increasing flow of students across borders, the expanding number of satellite campuses being established by U.S. and European universities, the emergence of for-profit providers of both on-site and distance education, and the urgent need to strengthen higher education in the world’s poorest nations, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa. I lack the time this evening to cover this entire terrain, so I shall confine myself to analyzing the prospects for and the potential consequences of developing world-class universities in Asia. The broader topic – the globalization of higher education— is the subject of an excellent new book by Ben Wildavsky, entitled The Great Brain Race, to be published this spring by the Princeton University Press.

Asian Ambitions: Expanding Access to Higher Education

In the early stages of postwar Asian development, it was well understood that expanded access to higher education was a requisite for sustained economic growth. A literate, well-trained labor force was a key ingredient in transforming Japan and South Korea over the course of the past half century, first from agricultural to manufacturing economies and subsequently from low- to high-skill manufacturing. With substantial government investment, the capacity of the tertiary educational systems in both countries expanded rapidly. The gross enrollment rate, the ratio of students enrolled in tertiary education to the size of the age cohort, rose from 9 percent in Japan in 1960 to 42 percent by the mid-1990s. In South Korea, the increase was even more dramatic, from 5 percent in 1960 to just over 50 percent in the mid-1990s.2

In this earlier period, China and India lagged far behind. By the mid-1990s only 5 percent of college-age Chinese attended college, putting China on par with Bangladesh, Botswana, and Swaziland. In India, despite a postwar effort to create first a set of national comprehensive universities and later the elite and very small Indian Institutes of Technology, the gross enrollment rate stood at 7 percent in the 1990s.3

Speaking at the 100th anniversary celebration of Peking University in 1998, China’s president, Jiang Zemin, publicly set his country’s sights on greatly expanding its system of higher education, and his administration made it happen – faster than ever before in human history. By 2006, China was spending 1.5 percent of its GDP on higher education, nearly triple the share of GDP it was spending a decade earlier.4

The results of this investment have been staggering. Over the decade following Jiang Zemin’s declaration, the number of institutions of higher education in China more than doubled, from 1,022 to 2,263.5 Meanwhile, the number of Chinese who enroll in college each year has quintupled—rising from 1 million students in 1997 to more than 5.5 million students in 2007.6

This expansion in capacity is without precedent. China has built the largest higher education sector in the world in merely a decade’s time.7 In fact, the increase in China’s postsecondary enrollment since the turn of the millennium exceeds the total postsecondary enrollment in the United States.8

China still has a long way to go to achieve its aspirations concerning access to higher education. Despite the enormous surge, China’s gross enrollment rate for tertiary education stands at 23 percent, compared to 58 percent in Japan, 59 percent in the UK, and 82 percent in the United States.9 Expansion has slowed since 2006, owing to concerns that enrollments have outstripped the capacity of faculty to maintain quality in some institutions. The student-teacher ratio has roughly doubled over the past decade.10 But enrollment will continue to rise as more teachers are prepared, because the Chinese leaders are keenly aware of the importance of a well-educated labor force for economic development.

India’s achievement to date has not been nearly so impressive, but its aspirations are no less ambitious. India is already the world’s largest democracy. In two decades, it will be the most populated country in the planet, and by 2050, if growth can be sustained, it could become the second largest economy in the world. To sustain that growth, India’s Education Minister, Kapil Sibal, aims to increase his country’s gross enrollment ratio in postsecondary education from 12 to 30 percent by 2020. Sibal’s goal translates to an increase of 40 million students in Indian universities over the next decade – perhaps more than can feasibly be achieved, but even getting half way there would be a remarkable accomplishment.

Asian Ambitions: Building World-Class Universities

Having made tremendous progress in expanding access to higher education, the leading nations of Asia have now set their sights on an even more challenging goal: building universities that stand in competition with the finest in the world. This is a tall order. World-class universities achieve their status by assembling scholars and scientists who are global leaders in their fields. This takes time. It took centuries for Harvard and Yale to achieve parity with Oxford and Cambridge, and more than half a century for Stanford and the University of Chicago (both founded in 1892) to achieve world-class reputations. The only Asian university to rank in the top 25 in global league tables, the University of Tokyo, was founded in 1877.

Why do China, India, Singapore, and South Korea aspire so openly to elevating some of their universities to this exalted status? For two reasons, I would submit. First, these rapidly developing nations recognize the importance of university-based scientific research in driving economic growth, especially since the end of the Second World War. Second, world-class universities provide the ideal context for educating graduates for careers in science, industry, government, and civil society who have the intellectual breadth and critical-thinking skills to solve problems, to innovate, and to lead.

Let me expand on each of these points. Although China and India remain at a stage of development where they are able to compete effectively by deploying low cost labor in manufacturing, their surplus agricultural labor will eventually be absorbed in cities – as it was in Japan and South Korea – and wages will begin to rise. At this stage, it will become impossible to sustain rapid economic growth without innovation, without being early to market with new products and new services, many of them the fruits of applied research based on underlying scientific advance.

To oversimplify, consider the following puzzle: Japan grew much more rapidly than America from 1950 to 1990, as its surplus labor was absorbed into industry, and much more slowly than America thereafter. Now consider whether Japan would have grown so slowly if Microsoft, Netscape, Apple, and Google had been Japanese companies. I think not. It was innovation based on science that propelled the U.S. to more rapid growth than Japan during the two decades prior to the crash of 2008. It was Japan’s failure to innovate that caused it to lag behind.

The emerging Asian nations recognize, very explicitly in their national policy documents and plans, the link between building indigenous research capacity and economic growth in a post-industrial knowledge economy. And they also recognize that university-based research is the most effective driver of scientific discovery and ultimately, both directly and indirectly, of economically relevant new technologies. Hence derives their aspiration for research universities capable of working on the scientific and technological frontier – and not a moment too soon, in my opinion. At their current pace of urbanization, China will begin to lose its labor cost advantages in manufacturing in about two decades, and India will reach the same point a decade later. This gives both nations enough time to make significant progress in building the capacity to compete effectively on the frontier of innovation.

But it takes more than research capacity alone to develop a nation. It takes well-educated citizens of broad perspective and dynamic entrepreneurs capable of independent and original thinking. This is the second factor motivating Asia’s ambition to build world-class universities. The leaders of China, in particular, have been very explicit in recognizing that two elements are missing in their universities – multidisciplinary breadth and the cultivation of critical thinking. Asian higher education, like its European counterpart but unlike America, has been traditionally highly specialized. Students pick a discipline or a profession at age eighteen and study little else. And, unlike the norms in elite European and American universities, pedagogy in China, Japan, and South Korea relies heavily on rote learning. Traditionally, students are passive listeners, and they rarely challenge each other or their professors in classes. Pedagogy focuses on the mastery of content, not on the development of the capacity for independent and critical thinking. The traditional Asian approaches to curriculum and pedagogy may be highly functional for training line engineers and mid-level government officials, but they are perhaps less well suited to educating elites for leadership and innovation.

It is curious that while American and British politicians worry that Asia, and China in particular, is training more scientists and engineers than we are, the Chinese and others in Asia are worrying that their students lack the independence and creativity to drive the innovation that will be necessary to sustain economic growth in the long run. They fear that specialization makes their graduates narrow and traditional Asian pedagogy makes them unimaginative. Thus, they aspire to strengthen their top universities by revising both curriculum and pedagogy.

Requisites for World-Class Universities: Research

Having discussed what is motivating the Asian quest for world-class universities, let us turn next to what needs to be accomplished. So the first question is: what does it take to build universities capable of world-class status in research? First and foremost, it requires the capacity to attract scholars and scientists of the highest quality. In the sciences, this means first-class research facilities, adequate funding to support research, and competitive salaries and benefits. China is making substantial investments on all three fronts. Shanghai’s top universities – Fudan, Shanghai Jiaotong, and Tongji – have each developed whole new campuses within the past few years, with outstanding research facilities, located close to industrial partners. Research funding has grown in parallel with the expansion of enrollment, and Chinese universities now compete much more effectively for faculty talent. In the 1990s, only 10 percent of Chinese who received a Ph.D. in science and engineering in the United States returned home.11 That number is now rising, and, increasingly, China has been able to repatriate mid-career scholars and scientists from tenured positions in the United States and the United Kingdom, who are attracted by the greatly improved working conditions and the opportunities to participate in China’s rise. India, too, is beginning to have more success in drawing on its diaspora, but it has yet to make the kind of investment that China has made in improving facilities, research funding, and extra compensation for faculty of distinction.

Beyond the material conditions required to attract faculty, building a national capacity for first-class research can be greatly facilitated by an efficient and effective system of allocating research funding. The underlying principles for creating such a system were brilliantly articulated in a 1946 report entitled Science: The Endless Frontier, by Vannevar Bush, the Science Adviser to President Truman. The report acknowledges that the discoveries in basic science are ultimately the basis for developments in industrial technology, but it notes that the economic gains from advances in basic science often do not accrue for decades and often yield results in applications that were entirely unanticipated at the time of the scientific breakthrough. When the properties of coherent light were first identified in the late 1950s, no one imagined that lasers would become useful in eye surgery decades later. Because the full economic benefit of a breakthrough in pure science can rarely be captured by the original inventor, private enterprises will typically have insufficient incentive to make many socially productive investments. Government must take the lead.

Bush’s 1946 report established the framework for a national system of support for scientific research founded in three principles, which still govern today. First, the federal government bears the primary responsibility for funding basic science. Second, universities—rather than government-run laboratories, non-teaching research institutions, or private industry – are the primary institutions responsible for carrying out this government-funded research. Third, although the government determines the total amount of funding available in different fields of science, specific projects and programs are not assessed on political or commercial grounds, but through an intensely competitive process of peer review in which independent experts judge proposals on their scientific merit alone.

This system has been an extraordinary success, and for a number of reasons. It has the benefit of exposing postgraduate scientists-in-training—even those who do not end up pursuing academic careers in the long run—to the most cutting edge techniques and areas of research. It allows undergraduates to witness meaningful science first-hand, rather than merely reading about the last decade’s milestones in a textbook. And it means the best research gets funded—not the research proposed by the most senior members of a department’s faculty, or by those who are politically well-connected.

This has not been the typical scheme for facilitating research in the East. Historically, most scientific research in East Asia has taken place apart from universities – in research institutes and government laboratories. And in Japan, South Korea and China, funding has primarily been directed toward applied research and development, with a very small share of total R&D funding devoted to basic science. In China, for instance, only about 5 percent of R&D spending is aimed at basic research, compared to 10 to 30 percent in most OECD countries.12 Expressed as a share of GDP, the U.S. spends seven times as much on basic research as China.13 Moreover, the use of peer review for grant funding in East Asia is inconsistent at best, completely absent at worst. Japan has historically placed the bulk of its research resources in the hands of its most senior investigators. Despite acknowledging several years ago that a greater share of research funding should be subject to peer review, only 14 percent of the government's spending on non-defense-related research in 2008 was subject to competitive review, compared to 73 percent in the United States.14, 15

On the other hand, there is no doubt Asian governments have made increasing research and development a priority in recent years. R&D spending in China has increased rapidly over the last two decades, rising from 0.6 percent of the country’s GDP in 1995 to 1.3 percent of GDP in 2005.16 That is still significantly below the advanced OECD countries, but it is likely to keep climbing. The Chinese government has set a goal of increasing R&D intensity to 2 percent of GDP by 2010 and 2.5 percent of GDP by 2020.17 And there is some evidence of the payoff from increased research funding. To give one benchmark, from 1995 to 2005, Chinese scholars more than quadrupled the number of articles they published in leading scientific and engineering journals. Only the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Japan account for more publications.18

Requisites for World-Class Universities: Education

Having described what it takes to build world-class capacity in research, let us now turn our attention to what is required to transform education. As I mentioned earlier, Asia’s aspiration is to develop graduates of elite universities who have a broad, multidisciplinary perspective on the world and who have the capacity to innovate. This has led officials in China, Singapore, and South Korea, in particular, to look closely at America’s leading universities, which differ from Asian norms in both the structure of the curriculum and the practice of pedagogy.

Asian leaders are increasingly attracted to the American model of undergraduate curriculum, which typically provides students with two years to explore a variety of subjects before choosing a single subject on which to concentrate during their final two years. There are two principal rationales for this approach. First, significant exposure to multiple disciplines gives students alternative perspectives on the world, which both allows them to function more effectively in their chosen field and better prepares them to encounter new and unexpected problems. The second rationale is that students are in a better position to choose a specialization at age twenty than at age eighteen. I would not press these arguments too far in this forum, since it has not been my experience that the graduates of Oxford and Cambridge are too narrow by virtue of having specialized at age eighteen. But I have no doubt about the virtues of the American model. At its best, it produces strong results by effectively broadening the perspective of graduates.

That world-class universities must cultivate independent, critical thinking is a much less controversial point. In today’s knowledge economy, no less than in the nineteenth century when the philosophy of liberal education was articulated by Cardinal Newman, it is not subject-specific knowledge, but the ability to assimilate new information and solve problems is the most important characteristic of a well-educated person. The Yale Report of 1828, a document with enormous influence on American undergraduate education, distinguished between the “discipline” and the “furniture” of the mind. Mastering a specific body of knowledge – acquiring the “furniture” – is of little permanent value in a rapidly changing world. Students who aspire to be leaders in business, or medicine, or law, or government, or in the academy need the “discipline” of mind – the ability to adapt to constantly changing circumstances, confront new facts, and find creative ways to solve problems.

The cultivation of such habits requires a pedagogy that encourages students to be more than passive recipients of information; rather, they must learn to think for themselves, and learn to structure an argument and defend it, or modify it in the face of new information or valid criticism. The Oxford-Cambridge tutorial is perhaps the paradigm of such pedagogy. But the tutorial system is almost unthinkably labor-intensive in an Asian, let alone an American, context. The American substitute has been the interactive seminar, where students are encouraged to take and defend positions in small groups, and to challenge rather than blindly accept, the instructor’s point of view. Even where numbers dictate reliance on large lecture courses, small discussion sections serve as a complement to the lectures. Examinations in top U.S. universities rarely call for a recitation of facts; they call upon students to solve problems they have not encountered before, or to analyze two sides of an argument and state their own position.

In Asia’s quest to build world-class universities, there has already been dramatic movement in the direction of developing an American-style curriculum. Peking University introduced Yuanpei Honors College in 2001, a pilot program that immerses a select group of the most gifted Chinese students in a liberal arts environment. These students live together and sample a wide variety of subjects for two years before choosing a major field of study. Yonsei University in South Korea has opened a liberal arts college with a similar curriculum on its campus, and the National University of Singapore has created a University Scholars program in which students do extensive work outside their disciplinary or professional specialization.

For the past six years, the presidents, vice presidents, and party secretaries of China’s top universities, those singled out for special support by the government, have met annually with Yale faculty and administrators in a weeklong workshop to learn about the practices of American institutions and share their own experiences with the reform of curriculum, faculty recruitment, and pedagogy. Although I do not claim a direct causal linkage, their progress toward curricular reform has been astonishing. At Fudan University, all students now take a common, multidisciplinary curriculum during their first year before proceeding with the study of their chosen discipline or profession. At Nanjing University, students are no longer required to choose a subject when they apply for admission; they may instead choose among more than 60 general education courses in their first year before deciding on a specialization.

Changing pedagogy is much more difficult than changing curriculum. It takes increased resources to offer classes with smaller enrollments, but it also requires the faculty to adopt new methods. This is a huge challenge in China, Japan, and South Korea, where traditional Asian pedagogy prevails. It is much less of a concern in India and Singapore, where the legacy of British influence has created a professorate much more comfortable with engaging students interactively. The Chinese, in particular, are eager to tackle this challenge, but they recognize that the key to changing pedagogy is the growing representation in the professorate of those who have studied abroad and been exposed to methods of instruction that do not rely on rote learning. Increasing exchange opportunities, whereby Asian students study in the West and Western students spend time in Asian universities, will also help to accelerate the transformation.

Prospects for Success

As we can see, developing world-class universities in Asia will take more than money and determination. To create world-class capacity in research, resources must not only be abundant, they must also be allocated on the basis of scholarly and scientific merit, rather than on the basis of seniority or political influence. To create world-class capacity in education, the curriculum must be broadened and pedagogy transformed. These are all problems that can be solved with sufficient leadership and political will.

Another requisite for success is focus. Not every university can or needs be world-class. The experiences of the U.S., the U.K., and Germany are instructive. In the U.S. and U.K., the higher education is a differentiated system of many types of institutions, of which the comprehensive research university is merely one. And within the set of comprehensive universities, government support for research is allocated chiefly on the basis of merit, which allows some institutions to prosper while others lag. In the U.S., fundraising reinforces this tendency to differentiation. Success breeds success, and, for the most part, the strongest institutions attract the most philanthropy. In Germany, by contrast, government policy has deliberately constrained institutions from achieving distinction. By opening enrollment, allowing the student-faculty ratio to rise everywhere, isolating the most eminent researchers in separate institutes, but otherwise distributing resources on the basis of equity rather than merit, the German government has destroyed the worldwide distinction its best universities once held. Only recently has Germany decided to focus resources on three universities in particular in order to make them more globally competitive.

Japan and South Korea have learned this lesson. Both have flagship national universities that are well supported: the University of Tokyo and Seoul National University. And in Japan at least two other public universities, Kyoto and Osaka, are not far behind Tokyo and well above the rest. China has this message, too. In 1998, it identified seven universities for disproportionate investment: Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan, Shanghai Jiaotong, Nanjing, Zhejiang, and Xi’an Jiaotong. And even within that set, the government has drawn distinctions, concentrating national resources on Peking and Tsinghua Universities in an effort to propel them into the worldwide top twenty. The Shanghai-based institutions – Fudan and Jiaotong – are making nearly comparable investments, thanks to generous supplemental funding from the Shanghai government.

India is the anomalous case. In the 1950s and 60s, it focused resources on establishing five Indian Institutes of Technology. These, and the ten more added in the past two decades, are outstanding institutions for educating engineers, but they have not been globally competitive in research. And India has made no systematic effort to raise the status of any of its fourteen comprehensive national universities, which are severely underfunded.

The current Minister of Education is determined to create world-class comprehensive universities. But the egalitarian forces that dominate India’s robust democracy threaten to constrain the prospects for excellence, by spreading funding too thin and allowing considerations of social justice to trump meritocracy in selecting students and faculty. Two years ago, the government announced that it would create thirty new world-class universities, one for each of India’s states, clearly an unrealistic ambition. The number was subsequently reduced to fourteen, one for each state that does not yet have a comprehensive university, but even this target seems excessive, compared with China’s focus on seven, and special focus on two within the seven.

Given the extraordinary achievements of Indian scholars throughout the diaspora, the human resources for building world-class universities at home are surely present. But it remains to be seen whether India can tolerate the large discrepancies in faculty compensation that would be necessary to attract leading scholars from around the world. Consequently, an alternative and potentially more promising strategy being pursued by the government is to allow the establishment of foreign universities and to create conditions under which private universities – foreign or domestic – can flourish.

In one respect, however, India has a powerful advantage over China, at least for now. The freedom of faculty to pursue their intellectual interests wherever they may lead, and the freedom of students and faculty alike to express and thus test their most heretical and unconventional thoughts – these freedoms are an indispensible feature of a truly world-class comprehensive university. It may be possible to achieve world-class stature in the sciences while constraining freedom of expression in politics, the social sciences, and the humanities. Some of the Soviet Academies achieved such stature in mathematics and physics during the Cold War. But no comprehensive university has done so in modern times.

There is one other potential obstacle to success in China, which is currently the subject of intense discussion: the unique way in which university leadership responsibilities are divided between each institution’s President and its Communist Party Secretary, who serves as Chair of the University Council. Often the two leaders work together very effectively as a team. But there are concerns that the structure of decision-making limits a President’s ability to achieve his or her academic goals, since the appointment of senior administrators – vice presidents and deans – is in the hands of the University Council, chaired by the Party Secretary, rather than the President. The issue of university governance is currently under review by China’s Ministry of Education.

Conclusion: A Positive-Sum Game

The rise of Asia’s universities is a natural manifestation of the more general phenomenon of globalization. As barriers to the flow of people, goods, and information have come down, and as the economic development process proceeds, the nations of Asia have increasing access to the human, physical, and informational resources needed to create institutions at the highest level of excellence. If the emerging nations of Asia concentrate their growing resources on a handful of institutions, tap a worldwide pool of talent, and embrace freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry, they have every prospect of success in building world-class universities. It will not happen overnight; it will take decades. But it may happen faster than ever before.

How should we in the West regard this prospect – as a threat or as an opportunity? I would argue forcefully that competition in education, like the phenomenon of globalization itself, is a positive sum game.

Consider the following example. One of our most distinguished geneticists at Yale and members of his team now split their time between laboratories in New Haven and Fudan University in Shanghai. Another distinguished Yale professor, a plant biologist, has a similar arrangement at Peking University. In both cases, the Chinese provide abundant space and research staff to support the efforts of Yale scientists, while collaboration with the Yale scientists upgrades the skills of young Chinese professors and graduate students. Both sides benefit.

The same argument can be made about the flow of students and the exchange of ideas. As globalization has underscored the importance of cross-cultural experience, the frequency of student exchanges has multiplied. As Asia’s universities improve, so do the experiences of students who participate in exchange programs. Everyone benefits from the exchange of ideas, just as everyone benefits from the free exchange of goods and services.

Finally, increasing the quality of education around the world translates into better-informed and more productive citizens. The fate of the planet depends on our ability to collaborate across borders to solve society’s most pressing problems – the persistence of poverty, the prevalence of disease, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the shortage of water, and the danger of global warming. Having better educated citizens and leaders can only help.


1 I am grateful to Thomas Kaplan for his excellent assistance in research and for his many helpful suggestions for improving this lecture.

2 UNESCO, 1975 Statistical Yearbook (Paris: UNESCO, 1976), p. 107; and World Bank EdStats, http://www.worldbank.org/education/edstats

3Ibid.

4 Tables 2-1 and 20-37, National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook 2008, and Tables 2-9 and 18-37, National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook 1997

5 Table 20-3, National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook 2009

6 Table 20-6, National Bureau of Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook 1999, and Table 20-2, China Statistical Yearbook 2008

7 Zhao Litao and Sheng Sixin, “China’s ‘Great Leap’ in Higher Education,” Background Brief No. 394, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, 24 July 2008, p. i

8 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org

9 UNESCO, 2009 Global Education Digest, p. 128-137

10 Wu Bin and Zheng Yongnian, “Expansion of Higher Education in China: Challenges and Implications,” China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, February 2008, p. 11

11 National Science Foundation, Asia’s Rising Science and Technology Strength: Comparative Indicators for Asia, the European Union, and the United States, 2007, p. 7

12 OECD, Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2009, p. 25, 29

13 National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, p. 4-41

14 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, White Paper on Science and Technology 2009, p. 116-117, 200; and National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators 2010, p. 4-22 to 4-27

15 For the purposes of this comparison, I consider federal research funding appropriated to the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health as being subject to competitive review.

16 OECD, Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2009, p. 25

17 OECD, Reviews of Innovation Policy: China, 2008, p. 111

18 National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, p. 5-38

2009

Annie Le Memorial Service
October 11, 2009
Battell Chapel

We gather to remember Annie Le, whose life was tragically cut short at the moment her light shone most brightly. We gather to remember and to bring comfort through our expression of love and support to Annie’s family and friends, and to her fiance Jonathan and his family and friends. We gather to remember and celebrate Annie here at Yale, at a place where she studied and worked and had so many friends, coworkers, and teachers who admired and cared for her.

Yale is a big place. Nearly twenty-five thousand people study, teach and work here. Yet Yale remains a close community. When tragedy strikes we all feel it intensely. The fabric of the whole here is very tightly knit. When one thread is pulled the afghan unravels.

This is especially true when the tragedy strikes a person emblematic of the kind of student Yale wishes to educate and to send out into the world, a model student for the Yale of the 21st century: a child of immigrants, raised in America, bright and accomplished, ambitious and disciplined, and yet caring, loving, and spontaneous. For those of us who did not know Annie, the stories about her ring true, and the photos of her move us by capturing her integrity, sweetness and lightness of spirit.

In thinking of Annie, and those who loved her, and how this occasion draws the entire community together, I am reminded of the meditation of the poet John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee.

We are, by nature, not isolated from one another, but interconnected. In this close community, we were a part of Annie, and she remains a part of us.

We who live and work here at Yale are united by special bonds of purpose, history, and tradition, and together we embrace Annie’s family and friends from far away. We are united in our memories, and in our hearts. And it is in our hearts that Annie’s spirit will live.

Yale 2009-10 Budget Update
September 9, 2009

Budget Update from Yale President Richard C. Levin and Provost Peter Salovey

We write to apprise you of the University’s financial condition as we continue to work through the effects of the economic downturn. We have been greatly impressed with the response of the Yale community. Rather than wait to reduce expenditures until the current fiscal year began on July 1, many units achieved significant savings in the first half of this calendar year. Budget reductions were achieved with a spirit of cooperation and common purpose.

We explained in our messages to the community last December and February that we did not want to overreact to the downturn in financial markets by making reductions that might later prove unnecessary if markets recovered quickly. Thus, the budget reductions we undertook eliminated most, but not all, of the deficits previously forecast for the years ahead. These forecasts assumed that the June 30, 2009, value of our endowment would be $17 billion. Although the publicly traded portion of our endowment declined no further in value between December and June 30, we continued to incur losses in the value of our illiquid investments in private equity and real estate. The precise final results for the 2008-09 fiscal year are still being compiled and will be announced later this month, but it is clear that we will report a June 30 value of the endowment of approximately $16 billion. Only a small fraction of our endowment is invested in publicly traded securities, so the recent stock market rebound has not had a substantial effect on that number. The bulk of our endowment remains invested in illiquid assets, which have not begun to recover their value.

Because we did not make a full adjustment to the initial decline in our endowment and because it has declined further since last December, we are now projecting a general appropriations deficit in the range of $150 million each year from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Thanks to the work undertaken last year, these deficits are only half as large as the projections we faced last December, but they are still substantial and will require further budget adjustments.

Units of the University heavily dependent on endowment income will be especially affected. Because our spending rule spreads the impact of dramatic changes in the market value over time, the endowment payout for the current academic year declined only 6.7% from last year’s level. But the payout will decline by approximately an additional 13% in 2010-11 and remain at that level for the next several years. This estimate reflects our assumption that the endowment will remain flat during the current year and begin to grow after June 30, 2010, at the rate we have historically used in our budget modeling.

We will provide full details of the budget adjustments required for 2010-11 later in the year, but we want to alert you to the fact that another round of reductions will be necessary. We also want to describe some of the actions we are undertaking now; other measures, still under consideration, will be outlined later. We will not retreat from our important commitments to financial aid in Yale College and the Graduate School. But with the exception of financial aid, no area of expenditure will be immune from close scrutiny.

As you know, construction projects that were already underway last December are being carried forward to completion. Apart from the renovation of Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, urgently needed maintenance projects such as Harkness Tower, and essential cost-saving utilities projects, no major construction will proceed until funding is available from donor support or financial markets recover. We have secured donor support to continue the design of the new residential colleges and to undertake site clearance, the first phase of which will occur this fall. We also have secured full funding from donors for completing the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery. All other projects remain on hold.

Progress toward other important University priorities will be slowed as well. We will continue to recruit faculty to develop exciting new programs on the West Campus, because outstanding laboratory facilities are in place. But we have set a pace that will trim our originally planned expenditures by more than 25% in the years immediately ahead. We are also curbing our expenditure on the redesign and implementation of new administrative systems (the YaleNext project), by reducing the use of outside consultants, narrowing the scope, and slowing the pace of implementation.

Faculty recruitment will continue, but at a significantly reduced pace in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, where more than 50 ladder faculty have been added over the past four years (an 8% increase) and about 100 ladder faculty members have been added over the past decade (a 17% increase). As we move forward, we believe it would be imprudent to reduce the size of the faculty, only to increase it again to accommodate increased undergraduate enrollment when the new colleges open. Some authorized searches and all new requests for searches to fill vacancies will be scrutinized carefully, however, and many will be deferred for a year or two.

Last winter we asked units to reduce both their staff and non-salary expenditures by 7.5% for the 2009-10 academic year, and we signaled that a further 5% reduction in non-salary expenditures would be called for in 2010-11. To accelerate our movement toward budget balance, we are now asking units to achieve this additional 5% reduction in non-salary expenses during the current year. We are counting on faculty, department managers, and others who control resources to curb nonessential expenditures on travel, entertainment, equipment, and supplies to the extent needed to achieve this target.

We are truly grateful for the support and cooperation that we have received in making these difficult adjustments. We know that we can count on you in the year ahead to make tough choices among competing priorities, to identify non-essential activities that can be curtailed, and to seek ways to work across departmental lines to lower costs. We are attempting to negotiate these trying times without compromising the University’s commitment to maintaining the extraordinary quality and reputation of our teaching and research. Even as we defer some of our most important long-term investments, we will keep in focus our goals of maintaining the strength of Yale’s superb faculty, student body, and staff, and improving for everyone the experience of working in a community that contributes so much to the well-being of our city, the nation, and the world.

Freshman Address
August 28, 2009
Yale University

Members of the class of 2013, I am delighted to join Dean Miller in welcoming you to Yale College. I want to welcome also the relatives and friends who have accompanied you here, and especially your parents. As a father of four college graduates, I know how proud you parents are of your children’s achievement, how hopeful you are for their future, and how many concerns – large and small – you have. Let me try to provide some comfort. Students love it here! And surveys have shown that Yale parents are the most satisfied in the Ivy League. So, welcome to the Yale family. We are so pleased to have your children with us, and we will do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

And to you, the class of 2013, I make the same pledge. For you, these next four years will be a time of opportunity unlike any other. Here you are surrounded by astonishing resources: fascinating fellow students from all over the world, a learned and caring faculty, intimate residential college communities, a magnificent library, two extraordinary art museums, superb athletic facilities, and student organizations covering every conceivable interest – the performing arts, politics, and community service among them. You will have complete freedom to explore, learn about new subjects, meet new people, and pursue new passions.

A few weeks ago I was browsing in a bookstore when I noticed a new biography of Grace Murray Hopper1. In a flash, I knew that I would buy the book, read it, and tell you about her, one of the most extraordinary women ever to attend Yale, when you arrived here. What a perfect topic for this season, the fortieth anniversary of the first enrollment of women in Yale College.

I imagine that only a small number of you have ever heard of Grace Hopper. She was the first woman to receive a Yale Ph.D. in mathematics, one of the first women in the nation to reach the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and the first graduate of our mathematics department to be awarded the Graduate School’s Wilbur Cross Medal for distinguished contributions to scholarship and public service. She made her mark on the nation and the world as a pioneer in computer programming, leading some of the most important advances in the field as it developed in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Her story speaks to anyone who seeks self-improvement through education and hard work, and, most particularly, to you. I hope that Admiral Hopper’s voyage will inspire you as much as it has inspired me.

Grace Murray Hopper was born in 1906 into comfortable circumstances on the Upper West Side of New York City. Her father was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale College and a successful insurance company executive. Her mother was a housewife with a passion for puzzles and mathematics. Both parents encouraged their daughter’s intellectual pursuits. Grace was an avid reader, and she took an early interest in building. She spent many hours as a child assembling things from the nuts, bolts, and metal pieces of her toy construction kit. Her passion for tinkering served her well in the 1940s, when her ability to diagnose mechanical failures and repair computers made a tangible difference in the nation’s effort during World War II.

When time came for college, her father’s alma mater, Yale, was not open to her, so her sights were set on Vassar, one of the colleges that then attracted the most able young women in the country. To her dismay, young Grace failed the entry examination in Latin, and had to take an extra year to remedy the deficiency before entering Vassar in 1924. She learned from this failure. She had no natural aptitude for grammar or spoken foreign languages, but she learned that languages (and much else) could be mastered by sheer determination and perseverance. Years later, she would dazzle audiences by writing in German left handed on the blackboard until she had filled the board to her left. Then she would switch the chalk to her right hand and proceed to fill the blackboard to her right in French!

At Vassar, Hopper pursued a double major in mathematics and physics. She considered preparing herself for a career in engineering, but she recognized that, unlike today, there was at the time virtually no place for women in engineering. So she planned on studying and eventually teaching mathematics. Upon graduation she won a fellowship to study at Yale, where she earned a master’s degree in mathematics in three years. She then returned to Vassar to join the faculty and begin her teaching career while completing her Yale dissertation.

She soon became a legendary teacher, known for animating her mathematics courses with interesting and relevant practical applications. She audited courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, philosophy, economics, and architecture, and drew on all these disciplines to develop unconventional and imaginative courses of her own. Whatever she taught, the enrollment quickly soared from ten or fewer to seventy-five. She broke down the barriers between disciplines and showed her students how mathematics could link one field to another. She became a highly effective public speaker, a talent that served her well later in her career. And she was regarded within Vassar as a skillful agent of change.

Well established at Vassar College by the age of 34, Grace Hopper could have contented herself with a life as a teacher, mentor, and campus leader for the next 40 years. But her modest personal demeanor notwithstanding, she desired more. She yearned to return to the study of advanced mathematics, and in the fall of 1941 she took a sabbatical to study partial differential equations at NYU with the famous mathematician Richard Courant, a refugee who had previously headed Germany’s most prestigious mathematical institute. This proved another fortuitous choice, as her new knowledge of partial differential equations provided another major assist to the war effort just three years later.

The attack on Pearl Harbor radically changed Grace Hopper’s life. By the time she finished up her NYU fellowship in the summer of 1942, she was determined to serve the nation, but the outlet for that service was not yet clear. As soon as an act of Congress authorized the creation of a women’s corps in the Navy, Hopper was determined to join. Initially, she was rejected because of her age and diminutive size, but again, as she so often did, she persevered, finally convincing the Navy that her talent as a mathematician could be valuable to the war effort. She expected to become a code-breaker, but, to her surprise, she was assigned to the position of second in command of the Harvard Computation Lab under the direction of Howard Aiken in the summer of 1944. She arrived just in time for the installation of the first mainframe electromechanical computer, the Mark I, designed by Aiken and built by IBM.

Aiken was a visionary and a stern taskmaster; he had very high expectations for his subordinates but stood aloof. He was initially disappointed to learn that the Navy had assigned him a woman as his second in command. Again, Hopper persevered in the face of initial adversity. Because she worked so hard and was entirely loyal, she quickly earned Aiken’s confidence. Aiken soon came to rely on Hopper’s counsel and to trust her completely. Because she was also a better communicator and a more accessible collaborator than Aiken, Hopper became the de facto leader of the team.

For Hopper and her small crew, the challenge was immense. Mark I was capable of making calculations in minutes that previously took teams of mathematicians weeks to perform. But for each new problem the machine had to be programmed, given coded instructions in zeros and ones that described the mechanical operations required to reach the solution. One tiny error in a program could bring the machine to a halt; but so could any number of sources of mechanical failure. Hopper’s experience as a childhood tinkerer made her the lab’s expert at diagnosing machine failures. Once, when she found that a moth had interfered with the machine, she coined the now widely used phrase “bug” to describe a programming error. She and her team were the first to talk about “de-bugging” computer programs.

It was easy enough, conceptually, to program the machine to calculate ballistics trajectories. But at least one problem was much harder: calculating the amount of explosive material needed to bring the fissile material in the first atomic bomb to critical mass. Hopper and her team worked on this problem with the brilliant mathematician John von Neumann, who developed the partial differential equations describing the implosion that could trigger a chain reaction. These equations were of a type that had never before been solved numerically. They required Hopper to call upon everything she had learned from her year of study with Courant in order to translate von Neumann’s equations into a computer program.

Working day and night under immense pressure for results, Hopper and her small team not only solved the problems they needed to solve, they also made substantial progress in conceptualizing how programs might be written most effectively. During the last year of the war, Hopper made the first of her several fundamental innovations in programming by inventing the “subroutine,” a program that could be stored in the machine to handle operations that were required repeatedly, such as calculating a logarithm. The idea was a fundamental building block in the field of computer programming.

After the war, working for Remington Rand, she went a significant step beyond by inventing the “compiler,” an invention that liberated programmers from having to be familiar with every physical operation of the computer. And then, most significantly, Hopper turned her attention to developing a programming language that was close to ordinary language – a step that would make programming accessible to a much wider group. She led the development of COBOL, for many years the most successful and most widely used programming language for both business and military applications.

In 1967, she resumed active duty as a naval officer, and spent the next 19 years advising the Navy on its computing operations and serving tirelessly as its most effective recruiter, encouraging young men and women to enlist and learn computer skills. In 1983, she was elevated to the rank of Commodore, and to Rear Admiral two years later. She retired from active duty in 1986, the oldest officer in the Navy. After she died in 1992, an aircraft carrier was commissioned in her name.

Grace Hopper was the kind of person we hope each of you will become: a leader, an innovator, a person of deep loyalty and commitment, a hard worker, a creative force. Yale played only a small role in cultivating these qualities within her, but her brilliant career is a source of great institutional pride.

As you enter Yale College, with a new world all before you, I urge you to take inspiration from the story of Grace Hopper.

Pursue your passions as she pursued hers – from learning math to tinkering to forming and realizing a vision that computer programs could be written in ordinary language.

Give your curiosity free rein. Explore, as she did, every field of study that seems remotely interesting and find the connections among them.

Invest in acquiring skills – as she acquired languages, and math, and public speaking.

Stretch yourself beyond what is comfortable and familiar, as she did when she left Vassar to push herself to learn more advanced math and as she did again when she joined the Navy to serve her country.

Work hard and persevere in the face of initial adversity, as she did when she failed a college entry exam, when the Navy discouraged her from enlisting, when the director of the Harvard Computation Lab expressed initial disappointment in her appointment.

Be creative without isolating yourself, as she did by pursuing radical innovations in computing, while at the same time working effectively within organizations as the glue that held teams of co-workers together.

Recognize that no one else can define the limits of what is possible for you, as she did when she chose to pursue an unconventional career before her time and against all odds.

You have come to a place that offers you extraordinary opportunities for self-discovery and self-improvement. May Grace Hopper’s example inspire you to seize them.

Welcome to Yale College.


1 Kurt W. Beyer, Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2009).  In the preparation of this talk I drew freely from this book as well as an earlier biography by Kathleen Broome Williams, Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2004).

Baccalaureate Address: The Economy and the Human Spirit
May 23, 2009
Yale University

When I welcomed you four years ago, you were exhilarated but apprehensive, excited to be taking on a new challenge, but more than a little intimidated – awed by the imposing architecture of this place, by the grandeur of this hall, by the rumble of its great organ, and by the dazzling accomplishment of your classmates, who all seemed to you to belong here, even if you were not quite sure about yourself. Now, appropriately, you feel as if you own the place; every corner of your college, every face in the dining hall, is familiar to you. You have made close friends, and you have memories you will never forget. While all this happened to you the world around you was flourishing. And Yale was flourishing, too – building and renovating at an astonishing pace, adding new international programs, and enhancing financial aid to make the whole experience a lighter burden on your families.

Who would have imagined, four years ago, that the world economy would collapse? As you leave here, it is hard not to think about this unhappy reality. So, as an economist and as your president, I would like to offer you my perspective on what has happened and what it means for you.

The world economy is a mess.1 In the United States, we have experienced the sharpest reduction in gross domestic product in five decades, and the ride is not yet over. As many of you know all too well, jobs are scarce. Within the past year, the unemployment rate has increased from 5.0% to 8.9%, and, unfortunately, it is more likely than not to exceed 10% before declining again.

How did we get here? Not, I believe, because of any inherent flaws in the nature of the market system. This is a very important point. Indeed, the ascendancy of markets, the relative demise of centrally-planned economies over the past thirty years, the opening of nations to freer international trade and investment, and the rapid advance of science and technology have led to unprecedented levels of global economic growth. Even in the midst of this downturn it is crucial to remember that more people, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the world’s population have crossed the poverty line in the past thirty years than in any previous period of history.2

The cause of the current crisis is less fundamental: we accumulated too much debt – mortgages, credit card debt, corporate debt, debt to support financial speculation, and government debt.3 From January 1981, when Ronald Reagan took office, to September 2008 the ratio of total national debt – public and private – grew steadily from 160% to nearly 360% of gross domestic product.4

As we have seen all too painfully, when individuals have lots of debt, declining asset prices trigger delinquencies, defaults, housing foreclosures, personal bankruptcies, corporate bankruptcies, and bank insolvency. Financial institutions lack the capital and the confidence to make new loans. Consumers and businesses reduce their spending. Company profits and stock values fall. Output and income decline, and wealth evaporates because the promise of future earnings that supports the valuation of assets is no longer credible. This is where we are now, with our national wealth – personal and institutional – down by more than 25%. Virtually every family in this hall has felt the impact of this disastrous sequence of consequences.5

History teaches that all credit expansions are followed by recessions or depressions. It also teaches that recovery follows recession. The right mix of government policies can make recovery happen faster.6 But, in the end, fast or slow, we will recover, as long as the market is allowed to direct the immensely creative and productive forces embodied in emerging technologies and in our educated citizens including you, in particular. It will get better. It is just a question of when.

Meanwhile, you may be wondering why you had the bad luck to graduate now. I know that the process of finding a first job has been more difficult and stressful for you than for your immediate predecessors, and I know that many of you do not yet have definite plans for the year ahead. But do not be discouraged. There are exciting opportunities waiting for you, and little reason for despair. I want to reassure you and your parents that the investment of time, energy, and money that you have made in your Yale education will be abundantly repaid. It will be repaid in a material sense; it will reward you with personal fulfillment, and, most important, it has prepared you for lives of service to family, community, the nation, and the world.

To put matters in perspective, remember that you came here to reflect on the world around you, to expose yourselves to new ways of thinking, to encounter brilliant teachers, to make use of extraordinary library and museum resources, to develop the capacity to think critically, to express yourselves clearly, and to find, both in the classroom and in extracurricular pursuits, the passions that motivate you. You have done all this and more. By encountering classmates from all 50 states and 41 nations, you have learned to appreciate the diversity of human talents and perspectives. Thanks to Yale’s extensive array of international programs, the great majority of you have had a chance to experience life in a different culture. You are not just four years older; by virtue of what you have learned about the world around you and about yourselves, you are immensely more capable of taking on life’s challenges. You may doubt my conclusion at this bittersweet moment of separation. But believe me, you are ready to leave.

And think of all the exciting possibilities that are open to you.

Let us start by noticing that there has been a dramatic change in our national agenda, the most significant change of course in nearly thirty years. Whatever your political persuasion, if you care about health care, education, or the sustainability of the planet, now is the time to get involved. Think about opportunities to engage with these issues – either in government or in the private sector, whether for-profit or non-profit. The years immediately ahead are going to have consequences for a long time to come.

Some of you are already responding to this call. The number of you enlisted to serve in Teach for America, the largest single employer of Yale College graduates, has more than doubled in the last two years. In America’s schools, there are promising signs of reform all around, led by the spectacular success of new approaches that instill confidence and a drive for achievement in the most disadvantaged of our youth. Whether it is the charter school models introduced by organizations such as KIPP in New York City and Achievement First here in New Haven, or public school reforms associated with a wide array of family services as in the Harlem Children’s Zone, we are seeing powerful evidence of improved performance. As the new administration and some of our largest foundations continue to embrace these new ideas, more opportunities will arise to engage you. You might think about following in the footsteps of Yale graduates David Levin, the co-founder of KIPP, or Dacia Toll, the co-founder of Achievement First, and contributing to the renaissance of primary and secondary education in the United States.

Or think about helping to address the challenge of global warming. In America and elsewhere around the globe, there is going to be massive public and private investment in new energy technologies. This will create tremendous opportunities not only for those of you interested in science, engineering, or public policy but also for those of you interested in business, where you might help launch entrepreneurial “cleantech” startups, or make established businesses greener and more socially responsible. In this arena you might take as your model Yale graduates like Frances Beinecke, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, or Kevin Czinger, whose company, Miles Electric Vehicles, is one of several hoping to be first to the market with an all-electric car suitable for highway driving and daily commuting.

Or perhaps, as America adopts a new and more collaborative approach to foreign policy, you might think about building a career that contributes to greater international cooperation and understanding. Legions of Yale graduates before you have pursued this noble calling: from Sargent Shriver, the founder of the Peace Corps, to Joseph Reed, longtime Undersecretary General of the United Nations, to career diplomats like John Negroponte, to our current Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Perhaps the Peace Corps, the military, or the foreign service would be a good first step toward such a career.

I was vividly reminded of the abundance of opportunities before you just two months ago, when I convened a group of Yale alumni in Silicon Valley to advise me on how the University might take better advantage of new media in carrying out its educational mission. Around the table were Yale graduates who have been instrumental in the founding and development of companies such as Microsoft, Palm, RealNetworks, Electronic Arts, and Facebook. Having come to California fresh from a series of gloomy meetings with Yale graduates in the New York financial community, I was astounded by the unbridled optimism of those in the new media and technology business. The prospects for investment, they told me, have never been better. The cost of launching a media business, thanks to the development of widely available software platforms and tools, is lower than ever, and the possibilities for creative engagement with the user community are unprecedented. So in addition to contemplating a contribution in education, or energy and sustainability, or foreign relations, you might also think about new media, where Yale graduates have helped to create entirely new forms of enterprise that did not exist a generation ago. You can do the same.

I cite these specific paths not to limit your imagination, but to encourage you to recognize that opportunities are everywhere. The education you have acquired here has given you the breadth and flexibility to take on the widest array of possible challenges, and it has given you the depth and rigor to make a meaningful difference wherever you choose to apply your talent.

In 1930, at the darkest moment of the Great Depression, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote:

"We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism. It is common to hear people say that the epoch of enormous economic progress … is over; that the rapid improvement of the standard of life is now going to slow down … ; that a decline in prosperity is more likely than an improvement …"

I believe that this is a wildly mistaken interpretation of what is happening to us. We are suffering, not from the rheumatics of old age, but from the growing-pains of over-rapid changes … The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with …; the improvement in the standard of life has been a little too quick …7

Keynes went on to predict that the standard of living in advanced capitalist countries would increase by a factor of four to eight over the next century. He was right; in the nearly eighty years since 1930, the per capita gross domestic product in the United States, adjusted for inflation, has increased by a factor of six.

Keynes’ source of confidence about the future was a belief in the power of creativity and innovation, expressed through the efforts of free, well-educated individuals to apply scientific knowledge and human ingenuity to the development of new technologies, new products, and new services to improve material well-being.
The potential for material advance is no less abundant in the United States today than it was in Keynes’ Britain of eight decades ago. And, what is even more abundant today is the potential for moving beyond material advance to a better quality of life for all – toward a healthier population, a cleaner environment, a better educated and wiser citizenry, a more peaceful world.

Women and men of the class of 2009: You have within you the creative potential to make a better world for us all. Here at Yale you have learned to think critically and independently, and you have the flexibility and resourcefulness to make the most of any situation. The world is all before you. Choose your direction, and prove that this time of crisis is also a time of opportunity. You can do it. Yes, you can.


1 Specifically, the collapse of the housing market in the United States has been followed domestically and globally in rough order of succession by the collapse of key financial institutions, the stock market, the commercial paper market, interbank lending, consumer spending, the financing of consumer credit, capital investment, and the commercial real estate market.

2 Even if income and wealth continue to decline at the current rate for another year or two, the gains of the last three decades will not be erased, nor even those of the last decade.

3 Surprisingly, government debt is only 16% of the total national indebtedness. The balance is the sum of private household, corporate, and financial sector debt.

4 For ninety of the 110 years between 1870 through 1980, the ratio of total debt to gross domestic product was roughly 150%. In the boom years of the 1920s that preceded the Great Depression, debt of all kinds, private and public, rose to the unprecedented level of 180% of GDP, only to settle back to 150% after the Second World War. (The ratio of debt to GDP actually increased from 180% to 300% between 1929 and 1933, not because debt was rising, but because gross domestic product declined by 44%.)

5 How did it happen that we accumulated so much debt? In my view, the fault lies with those responsible for the regulation of credit in the United States. It makes little sense to blame bankers, mortgage originators and re-packagers, or hedge fund managers for taking excessive risk in a lax and permissive regulatory environment. Individual restraint cannot control the aggregate amount of credit in the economy. This is the role of the Federal Reserve, other financial regulatory agencies, and ultimately the Congress. But these regulators were captured by an ideology of overconfidence in the efficacy of the unfettered “free” market. Instead of tightening credit as the economy boomed, we relaxed conventional regulatory requirements and failed to regulate the new forms of credit created by the use of derivatives. The story is as simple as this.

6 See the May/June 2009 issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine for some of my views on this subject. The essential points are these: (1) government fiscal policy should focus on job creation, not tax cuts and benefit increases, at a time like now when most people’s marginal propensity to spend from additional income is low; (2) jobs can be created quickly by increasing employment on infrastructure projects (highways, schools, etc.) that are already under way all around the country rather than earmarking “shovel-ready” projects in the districts of influential members of Congress; and (3) instead of buying the toxic assets of troubled banks through a cumbersome mechanism that may not succeed in properly capitalizing the banks, the government should reorganize these banks and spin off their viable commercial banking functions into separate entities that could promptly resume the normal flow of credit.

7 John Maynard Keynes, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” The Nation and Athenaeum, October 11, 1930, reprinted in Keynes’ collection, Essays in Persuasion, 1931.

Yale Budget Update
February 23, 2009
Yale University

Since I wrote to you on December 16 about Yale’s response to the economic downturn, the prospects for an early recovery have diminished. Unemployment has grown faster than expected. Mortgage and consumer credit delinquencies and defaults are increasing. And the recession has spread to Europe and Asia. We are all hopeful that the stimulus plans developed in Washington will inspire confidence and an eventual recovery, but this will take time.

The mounting evidence suggesting a prolonged recession has caused us to recognize that we need to take a more aggressive approach to budget reductions for the coming fiscal year. Although our endowment has declined only slightly since mid-December, and we are still projecting a 25% loss for this fiscal year, it will likely be some time before the endowment resumes its normal growth.

After much deliberation, the officers recommended to the Corporation this past weekend further adjustments in the plan we outlined in December. Details will be conveyed to unit heads later this week, but I wanted you to hear of these developments directly from me.

Before deciding to take further action to reduce the operating budget, we scrutinized our capital investment plans. As we announced in December all new buildings and renovation projects currently under construction will continue until completion. Essential utilities projects will remain on schedule, as will the renovation of Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, completing our decade-long plan to refurbish all undergraduate residences. But we will postpone construction on all other approved projects until conditions in credit markets improve or until gift funding is received. Unless gift funding is available, we will also delay design work on these projects. In total, we will be deferring capital expenditures of up to $2 billion over the next five years.

Unfortunately, capital delays alone will not be sufficient to address the deficits created by the decline in the value of the endowment; we need to make additional reductions in the operating budget, as outlined below. I deeply regret needing to take actions that impose a burden on the loyal and dedicated members of our staff, whose work contributes so much to the life of the University.

  1. We will reduce 2009-2010 budgets by an amount equal to 7.5% of the salaries and benefits of all non-faculty staff, rather than the 5% announced in December. We expect to achieve this reduction largely through attrition in managerial, professional, clerical, technical, service, and maintenance staff, as well as through reduction of casual and temporary employees. To the extent that layoffs are necessary, we will make sure that affected individuals are provided support and guidance.
  2. We will also seek larger reductions in non-salary expenditures. Instead of a 5% reduction for each of the next two years, we will ask units to budget a 7.5% reduction for 2009-2010, and continue to plan for an additional 5% reduction the following year.
  3. Faculty, managerial, and professional employees with salaries below $75,000 will continue to be eligible for merit increases of up to 2%. But there will be no increases for those with salaries above $75,000, including all deans, directors, and University officers. Foregoing the increases announced previously will allow us to preserve more staff positions.

The measures I am announcing today will result in $37 million of additional relief for the 2009-2010 operating budget and position us well for the next several years. Of course, if external conditions deteriorate significantly, we may be required to take further action next year. It is my hope that the steps we are announcing today will make the need for subsequent reductions less likely.

I wish we could avoid these additional actions, and I understand that meeting the revised budgetary targets will be challenging. But it is important to keep in perspective that after reaching these targets, we will still have more employees and a larger annual operating budget next year than we had two years ago. And we will continue to pursue our most important priorities. We will maintain our commitment to financial aid for our students, and we will aggressively seek our share of the increased Federal support for research made available by the stimulus package. We will continue to renew and refresh our extraordinary faculty, albeit at a slower pace.

I believe that with your help we can and will manage our way through this downturn, preserve the University’s great strengths, and seize the most important opportunities for the future. I thank you for your loyalty and commitment, and I know that I can count on you to help ensure that Yale continues, at the highest level of excellence, to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to educate the most talented and promising students for leadership and service.

Vigil for Annie Le
February 13, 2009
Yale University, Cross Campus

When I see you all assembled on an occasion so sad and so disturbing, I am reminded that we are an extraordinary community, a community of concern.

I think of the values that bind us together. These values begin with the search for truth. As scholars, as learners, as seekers – and as human souls with empathy and compassion, we find it incomprehensible that life can be so unjust. But Socrates taught us long ago that wisdom and understanding are advanced through dialogue, through conversation. And so, at a time like this, as we ponder a reality that is unsettling and frightening, we must come together, to talk with one another, to try to understand. I urge you to reach out to each other, to support one another.

Some of you, especially those of you who knew Annie Le, are grieving. Others are afraid. You can help one another, and I know you will. But to those who need more, I say please seek help. At your service are your teachers, advisers, deans, masters, directors of graduate studies, representatives of the Yale Religious Ministries, and the mental hygiene staff of the University Health Service. They are all here for you, day and night.

I am especially concerned for the many newcomers in our midst – first year students in Yale College, the Graduate School, and the professional schools. I ask those of you who know the ways of our community to reach out especially to them, to make clear to them that, despite this horrendous trauma, our commitment to truth, openness, trust, and collaboration – and to making the world a better place – will endure.

We are doing all that we can to ensure your security across the campus, and we are cooperating fully with the law enforcement authorities. I am very hopeful that the perpetrator of this dreadful crime will soon be brought to justice.

As our candles burn, let us ponder and let us take comfort in each other’s presence. Our hearts go out to the family of Annie Le, to her fiancé and his family, and to her many friends. We pray for their comfort and well-being, as we honor and remember Annie.

2008

Budget Letter
December 15, 2008
Yale University

I know that all of you are concerned about the effect of current economic conditions on the University, and I recognize that these are trying and uncertain times for all of us. The precipitous decline in housing prices and stock market values has had consequences for many of us personally, and, naturally, for Yale as an institution. The officers and I have spent the last six weeks analyzing the implications of the downturn for Yale, and last weekend we recommended a course of action to the Yale Corporation. I write now to describe how we have been affected and how we will respond. By acting thoughtfully and strategically, I am confident that we can weather this storm while continuing to advance our most important objectives, albeit at a slower pace.

Despite the downturn in the economy, it is important to keep in perspective that the University is much stronger than it was a decade ago. Through your devoted efforts, we have made enormous progress. We have renewed our facilities, expanded access by offering more generous financial aid, and built a pre-eminent faculty across the disciplines and professions. We have also provided expanded international experiences for our students, advanced important sustainability projects, and contributed to the renaissance of New Haven. In all these efforts, we are supported and enabled by the thousands of alumni and friends who have contributed to the Yale Tomorrow campaign, and whose contributions have remained steady through the first months of this economic downturn.

It is not our custom to announce the mid-year status of our endowment portfolio, but these unusual circumstances call for a departure from custom. Thanks to the outstanding work of David Swensen and his colleagues in the Investments Office, our endowment has declined significantly less than market indices. Taking into account only the value of marketable securities, our investment return from July 1 through October 31 was a negative 13.4%. But this does not tell the whole story. Our endowment is invested in both marketable securities (chiefly stocks and bonds) and “illiquid” assets, such as real estate and private equity investments that are not traded on a daily basis and are difficult to value with precision. The value of our marketable securities has declined further since October 31, and, even earlier, we began to establish reserves in anticipation of substantial decreases (“write-downs”) in the value of our private equity and real estate investments. As a consequence, our best estimate of the endowment’s value today is $17 billion, a decline of 25% since June 30, 2008, and this is the value we are using for purposes of budget planning. We are also assuming that the endowment will remain flat during the 2009-10 academic year and resume growth after June 30, 2010, at the rate that we have historically used in our budget modeling.

It is important to recognize that $17 billion is still a very large endowment. This was where the endowment stood as recently as January 2006. Still, the 25% decline we have experienced has a very significant impact on our operations because income from the endowment supports 44% of the University’s annual expense base of $2.7 billion. Fortunately, our endowment spending policy spreads the effect of market changes over several years, allowing us to respond gradually. But the ultimate consequence of the market decline is still substantial, causing an annual budget shortfall on the order of $100 million next year (2009-10) and growing to over $300 million by 2013-14. The question before us is this: how much of this pattern of projected future budget deficits should we seek to eliminate by taking action now?

Of course, we have no crystal ball. We need to balance the benefits and costs of acting now against the benefits and costs of postponing action. Markets have been extremely volatile, and the endowment could do better or worse than we are forecasting. Because of this very high degree of uncertainty, it is important that we not overreact. Thus, we deliberately will not reduce our budget immediately to close the entire gap created by the assumed 25% decline in our endowment. Instead, in preparing our budget for the 2009-10 academic year, we will seek to achieve half to two-thirds of the reductions required to close the gap now forecast for the years ahead. If markets rebound significantly, we would need to make no further adjustments. If markets remain flat or decline further, we will need to undertake a second round of actions next year.

In reflecting these past few weeks on budget scenarios, I have had as my principal goals supporting the faculty and staff who are here, ensuring access for the most talented students, and remaining a good citizen of New Haven. To achieve these goals, certain activities will be protected as we reduce overall expenditures. Three in particular deserve mention.

First, we will maintain our commitment to the improvements in financial aid for students in Yale College announced last year. These policies, which offer greatly improved support to low and middle income families, will be especially welcome this year as families experience economic hardship. They are absolutely necessary to ensure that access to Yale remains open to the most promising applicants, regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. Our strong financial aid program in the Graduate School also will be maintained, and I will encourage the deans of the professional schools to make every effort to maintain their financial aid budgets in the coming year.

Second, we will continue to recruit faculty. Authorized searches in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will proceed, and the deans in each of the professional schools will work with the Provost to strengthen their faculties. We do not want to lose the momentum of recent years, and we believe that it will be to Yale’s long-run advantage to continue to recruit outstanding and diverse faculty. This said, we will need to be judicious in authorizing new positions and filling vacancies, and departments will have to make a strong case for searches that are not yet authorized.

Third, although we will proceed at a slower pace, we will continue to develop plans and initiate programs on the West Campus. Because the facilities are already in place and we face no significant capital costs, we should not miss the opportunity to strengthen permanently and substantially Yale’s capacity for path-breaking research in the sciences, engineering, and medicine. Nor should we forego the opportunity afforded by the West Campus to map out innovative uses of our library and museum collections that will support Yale’s excellence in the arts and humanities.

Even closing half to two-thirds of the budget gap that we anticipate over the next few years has consequences that I wish we could avoid. But if we fail to make significant adjustments now, we would inevitably need deeper cuts later. In recent years, we have been in the fortunate position of being able to pursue many new ideas and exciting initiatives. Now we will have to make harder choices. I am confident that faculty and staff throughout the University will rally to the challenge as we make the following adjustments:

  1. Effective immediately, all postings of new positions must receive prior approval. In the case of faculty, approval must be sought from the Provost or relevant deputy/associate provost. In the case of staff, positions must be approved by an officer of the university or a deputy/associate provost. In addition, departments, schools, and units should review all open positions, including those currently posted, with their responsible officer or provost. For those staff positions that are authorized, qualified internal candidates will be given priority.
  2. We will restrain the growth of salaries. For the 2009-10 academic year, faculty and M&P staff with salaries below $75,000 will be eligible for merit increases of up to 2%. Merit increases for faculty and staff who earn over $75,000 will be capped at $1,500. Employees represented by labor unions will receive the increases scheduled for the final year of their contracts.
  3. We will reduce 2009-10 budgets by an amount equal to 5% of the salaries and benefits of all non-faculty staff. We believe that we can accomplish this reduction largely through attrition in all categories of staff: managerial, professional, clerical, technical, service, and maintenance. It is clearly of the utmost importance that this process be handled thoughtfully and carefully. When we undertook a 5% staff reduction five years ago, we achieved the overwhelming majority of our goal by retirements, departures, and leaving vacancies unfilled.
  4. We will also need to reduce budgets for all non-salary and wage expenses by 5% for 2009-10 and by an additional 5% the following year. I know that this reduction will be difficult for many units, because we have had no increases in this category for the past several years. The challenge will be to find less critical expenses that can be eliminated. For example, we will find ways to reduce expenditures on outside consultants. Reducing travel, consuming less paper, and decreasing energy use will also help us achieve our sustainability goals. We want to continue to provide training opportunities for staff, but we will save money by conducting more of these programs on campus.
  5. All new buildings and renovation projects currently under construction will continue until completion. But we will not be able to issue as much debt for construction projects as we had anticipated in our multi-year capital budget. Consequently, with the exception of essential utilities projects and the renovation of Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, we will defer the initiation of construction (both new buildings and renovations) until the conditions in debt markets permit going forward or additional gift funding can be secured. This means, concretely, that the Yale Biology Building will be delayed for one year, while the construction of the new School of Management campus, the second phase of the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery, the renovation of Hendrie Hall, and the move of Dwight Hall to a renovated 143 Elm Street will not begin until funding is secured or market conditions improve. Meanwhile, we will move forward with design work on these and other pending projects. We will also continue both design and fundraising for the new residential colleges with the hope that we can keep to the current schedule, but postponement may become necessary. I know these delays will be disappointing to those schools and departments that have been awaiting facility improvements, and it is a great disappointment to me. I want to underscore that we are not cancelling any projects that have been approved; we are simply delaying the initiation of construction.

As I mentioned earlier, the actions we are taking at this point, though challenging, will not fully compensate for the decline in the value of the endowment that we have experienced to date. With the exception of the Great Depression, all market downturns of the past century have been followed by at least a partial rebound within one to two years. If such a rebound occurs, we may not need to undertake further budget reductions, but, if such a rebound does not occur, we will need to take additional action. I hope you agree with our decision to avoid a possible overreaction at this time.

Yale University today is an institution of which we can all be justifiably proud. We will manage through this downturn in a way that will preserve our great strengths and seize the most important opportunities for the future, so that Yale can continue to serve the nation and the world by advancing the frontiers of knowledge and educating the most talented and promising students for leadership and service.

I ask all of you to help. We need your assistance in identifying within your own units and elsewhere opportunities for savings that will not impair our ability to advance our most important missions. If you have ideas for achieving our budget reduction targets, please share them with your colleagues and supervisors. The officers would also welcome any suggestions you would wish to make by e-mailing suggestions@yale.edu. I know that I can count on you to respond to the challenges ahead with renewed dedication and commitment.

Announcing the Yale India Initiative
November 16, 2008
New Delhi, India

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am honored and grateful that you have taken the time to be with us on this important day in the history of the relationship between Yale University and India. Today, we take a giant step forward with the creation of the Yale India Initiative.

As many of you already know, Yale University’s historical connections to India are among the oldest of any Western university, dating back more than three centuries. Elihu Yale lived here for nearly three decades from 1670, working for the British East India Company and administering Fort St. George in Madras as its Governor from 1687 to 1692. In 1718, Yale donated to the Collegiate School of Connecticut a portrait of King George I, a set of royal arms, 417 books and three bales of goods that included Madras cotton, silk and other textiles from India. The sale of those goods raised 562 pounds sterling, a considerable sum in those days, for the construction of the University’s first building, and in gratitude for this generosity, the Collegiate School changed its name to Yale College.

Some of you may know that it was at Yale in the late 1840s that Sanskrit was first taught in the Western hemisphere and that we have been continuously teaching Indian languages ever since. Today, a student at Yale can study not only Sanskrit, but also Hindi and Tamil, and more than 100 other languages through formal or independent study.

The earliest known Indian alumnus of Yale graduated in 1892 with a bachelor’s degree and returned to India where he worked in Bombay. Since then, the number of Indians to graduate from Yale has grown substantially and include such notable figures as Indra Nooyi, Yale School of Management Class of 1980, Chairman of the Board and CEO, PepsiCo; T.N. Srinivasan, Ph.D. Class of 1962, the Samuel C. Park, Jr. Professor of Economics, Yale University; Fareed Zakaria, Yale College Class of 1986, Editor of Newsweek International, and Rakesh Mohan, Yale College Class of 1971, the Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, who is with us this afternoon.

India and Yale have changed dramatically since the first Indian graduated from Yale more than a century ago. By 2030, India, already the world’s largest democracy and free market economy, will be the most populated country on the planet. By 2050, India is poised to have the second largest economy in the world.

Yale’s own goals have become more far-reaching: to prepare our students for leadership and service in an increasingly interdependent world; to attract to Yale the most talented students and scholars from around the world; and to expand Yale’s role as a global university of consequence. To achieve these goals, Yale is working to develop an even richer curriculum in global and regional affairs; to provide more of its students with opportunities to learn about other cultures by working or studying abroad; and to attract the most outstanding international students and scholars to the University, where they can learn about world issues and develop ties with students from the United States and other countries.

The rise of India since the 1990s into a nation of global economic and geo-political consequence compels Yale to provide a deep and rich curriculum covering all aspects of Indian civilization – its languages and literatures, religions, and history, as well as its politics, economics, and society. We also need to engage with the problems that confront contemporary India: equitable and sustainable economic development and public health.

Today, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Yale India Initiative, which is the broadest and most ambitious interdisciplinary effort of its kind to date by any university, and it will position Yale University among the world’s pre-eminent institutions for the study of and engagement with India and South Asia.

Yale’s India Initiative will create new faculty positions and new curriculum across the arts and sciences disciplines, as well as Yale’s professional schools of architecture, environmental studies, law, management, medicine, public health, and nursing. The Initiative will also expand the University’s visibility in and engagement with India and South Asia through intensified student recruitment efforts, faculty and student exchanges, research partnerships with Indian institutions, and leadership education.

To signal the seriousness of the University’s commitment to developing a deeper relationship with India, Yale has committed $30 million of its own unrestricted endowment resources to this enterprise, and we expect to raise at least $20 million more from donors within the next year. Fully developed, with the support of additional donors in the coming years, the planned additions to Yale’s current academic programs on India and South Asia will require endowment resources of $75 million (or approximately 375 crore Indian rupees at present exchange rates). The scale of what Yale has developed for its Indian studies program is unprecedented.

Just as the naming of Yale University began with an act of philanthropy, so the Yale India Initiative has been catalyzed by the vision and the commitment of individuals who believe that India must have a prominent place in the curriculum and scholarship of Yale. Yale is grateful to Rohini and Nandan Nilekani who have made a leadership gift of $5 million to underwrite the Yale India Initiative. Mr. Dinakar Singh, a Yale College 1990 graduate, has also generously committed his own leadership gift to advance the Initiative’s goals. Rohini, Nandan, and Dinakar have all played significant leadership roles in supporting the University as it has developed the plans for the Yale India Initiative. Their gifts have enabled Yale to leverage its own resources and fundraising to create the Yale India Initiative. The University will forever be grateful to them, and their acts of generosity will be permanently recognized by the University when we attach their names to the positions and programs their gifts will create.

I would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of Drs. Vinod and Anil Rustgi and their families, Kanchana and Dhamu Thamodaran, Dr. Pravin Bhatt, Dinakar Singh, and others who have supported and sustained the Yale South Asian Studies program for more than a decade. Their support built the foundations for South Asian Studies at Yale on which the Yale India Initiative will build.

I would also like to acknowledge the intellectual entrepreneurship provided by Professor Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, the Chair of our Council on South Asian Studies, who will also serve as the Director of the Yale India Initiative.

Yale has a long and distinguished record of educating leaders. Since its founding in 1701, Yale has educated leaders and public servants for all sectors of American society and, increasingly, around the world. Yale’s tradition of leadership and public service is found in every branch of government in the United States. Yale’s graduates are leaders in all areas of human endeavor—the arts, business, law, medicine, science, and civil society. For these future leaders to be exposed to India while students at Yale will only deepen the bonds between our nations.

Today, Yale commits itself to the goal that India will have a permanent and prominent place in the teaching, scholarship, and the life of the institution. Decades from now, as India continues its economic, political, and social ascendancy, the commitments that Yale has made today will ensure that our students and faculty have a richer and deeper understanding of India, and will contribute to strengthening the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies.

Thank you.

President Richard C. Levin Statement to Yale Community on the Financial Crisis
October 21, 2008
Yale University

It is impossible to ignore the dramatic headlines and news reports surrounding the worldwide financial crisis. During times like these, it is only natural to be concerned about the effect the current economic state might have on the University and, in turn, on your personal circumstances. We would like to assure the University community that Yale continues to maintain a strong financial position.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the excellent stewardship of our Investments Office, we are more than capable of successfully navigating through these turbulent financial waters. We not only have a large endowment, but also substantial reserves to supplement difficult periods.

Downturns in the normal economic cycle are expected, and the University takes a conservative stance when it comes to spending in order to maintain a stable environment throughout these cycles. We have a very prudent spending rule that we use to determine distributions from the endowment to fund programmatic and operational expenses. This spending rule calculation smoothes the impact of any one year’s endowment results over the next several years. The effect of this is to have extraordinary endowment gains flow more slowly into the operating budget in good times and, importantly, in times like these, also buffer the operating budget from any dramatic short-term losses in the endowment.

For some time now, we have been anticipating the possibility of a slowdown in our financial returns and have structured future operating budgets with that in mind. Our plans include significant investments in the continued expansion and renovation of the campus infrastructure and the growth and enhancement of key programs and capabilities. Should the economic conditions we are experiencing today persist, we have the flexibility to slow down some of these investments, and we would do so before curtailing ongoing operations. Understandably, managers should forgo any unnecessary spending through the balance of this fiscal year and will exercise caution in submitting budget proposals for next year.

Many of you are undoubtedly concerned about what the current state of the economy means for your retirement portfolios. For more information about how Yale’s financial service providers have been affected and what they are doing to mitigate the influence of the current market, we encourage you to review TIAA-CREF’s statement or Vanguard’s statement. We have arranged to have TIAA-CREF and Vanguard come to campus to host town hall style meetings to inform interested staff and answer questions. The times and places for these sessions are as follows:

October 23 – TIAA-CREF – The Anlyan Center, 300 Cedar Street – 9:00-10:00 am
October 27 – Vanguard – The Anlyan Center – 1:00-2:00 pm
October 31 – TIAA-CREF – Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue – 9:00-10:00 am
October 31 – Vanguard – Luce Hall – 11:00-12:00 pm

In addition, the Yale College Council and the Student Investment Group, with my support, have organized a panel, Understanding the Financial Crisis and Implications for the 2008 Presidential Election, which is set for tomorrow, Wednesday, October 22nd from 8:00-9:30 pm in Sudler Hall (100 Wall Street). The panelists are Professors John Geanakoplos, Jonathan Macey, William Nordhaus and Robert Shiller and will be moderated by Professor Judith Chevalier.

Yale will continue to be an engine for economic growth in New Haven. The construction of two new residential colleges, expansion of the School of Management, and the new scientific research made possible by the West Campus not only help the University fulfill its mission, they also create more jobs and opportunity for New Haven and the region. The local economy is anchored by Yale, five other institutions of higher education, and two major hospitals, which together employ nearly 30,000 people and make our economy less susceptible to the worst downturns in a recession and better poised to prosper when the national economy recovers.

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an economic dislocation and we will have to be diligent in monitoring the situation. However, we are confident that both the University and its faculty and staff will continue to enjoy relative financial stability in the short-term, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure our long-term financial strength as well.

The University in Service to Society
October 16, 2008
Honorary Degree Convocation, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

President Komiyama, distinguished guests, faculty and students of the University of Tokyo, ladies and gentlemen:

I am deeply humbled to be here with you today and I wish to express my profound gratitude to President Komiyama and to the University of Tokyo for the honor that you have conferred on me.

Today I wish to discuss how universities serve society. This is a question well worth asking at a time of active debate about the obligations and responsibilities of universities in Japan and in the United States. To answer the question, I will draw mainly on the experience of American universities, not because their contributions are unique or more important than those of universities elsewhere. I focus on the U.S. experience strictly because I know it best, and I do so in full recognition that some of the lessons learned in my country may not apply directly to Japan.

So let me go straight to the answer. I believe that universities serve society in many ways, but I will focus on the contribution that they make through three activities in particular: research, education, and institutional citizenship.

First, by advancing knowledge of science, technology, and medicine, universities create the foundation for economic growth, material well-being, and improvements in human health.

Second, by educating students to be capable of flexible, adaptive, and creative responses to changing conditions, universities strengthen society's capacity to innovate.

And, third, by serving as models of institutional citizenship, universities make a direct contribution to social betterment and inspire their students to recognize an obligation to serve.

Let me discuss each type of service to society in turn.

University Research as an Engine of Economic Growth

In the modern economy, global competitive advantage derives primarily from a nation's capacity to innovate, to introduce and to develop new products, processes, and services. And that capacity depends in turn on the continued advance of science.

As the principal locus of basic research, universities play a key role in sustaining competitiveness and economic growth. Basic research, by definition, is motivated by curiosity and the quest for knowledge, without a clear, practical objective. Yet basic research is the source from which all commercially oriented applied research and development ultimately flows. I say ultimately because it often takes decades before the commercial implications of an important scientific discovery are fully realized. The commercial potential of a particular discovery is often unanticipated, and it frequently extends to many unrelated industries and applications. In other words, the development of innovative products and services that occurs today usually depends on advances in basic research achieved ten, twenty, or fifty years ago - most often without any idea of the eventual consequences.

The emergence of universities as America's primary basic research machine did not come about by accident. Rather, it was the product of a wise and farsighted national science policy, set forth in an important 1946 report that established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that has propelled the American economy. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for financing basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private industry - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone. This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success, scientifically and economically.

The second and third of these central principles are worth emphasizing because of the impact they have on education and well as research. To isolate the nation's best scientists in research institutes, as was common in the Soviet Union and to some extent in China, deprives the nation of important benefits. It limits the exposure of students, especially undergraduates, to first-rate scientists and, often, to state-of-the-art equipment and methods, which tend to concentrate in the institutes housing the top scientists. Moreover, by removing many of the very best scientists from the university environment, the quality of teaching suffers and the curriculum is less likely to incorporate the latest advances and novel thinking.

Allocating research resources by means other than peer review of proposals submitted by individuals and groups also imposes a huge cost on national systems. In most European countries, political considerations dominate the process of allocating research funds to institutions. There is a powerful tendency toward spreading resources across a large number of institutions. And, even in Britain, where there is rigorous peer review, the bulk of grant funding is awarded by considering the quality of departments taken as a whole rather than judging the merit of specific proposals from individuals. This also tends to shave the peaks of excellence.

Ensuring that world-class science is conducted in universities should be an important objective of national science policy. The three principles I have identified - adequate government funding, co-locating advanced research and teaching in universities, and peer review that focuses on the merits of individual investigators - have helped the U.S. achieve excellent performance.

To ensure that university-based scientific research truly contributes to national well-being, ideas must move from theory to practice. Historically, most U.S. universities did not actively seek to participate in the translation of discoveries into new products, processes, and services. An exception was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the mid-1990s, graduates of MIT had founded over 4,000 companies nationwide, and were continuing to create an additional 150 companies a year. Illustrating the impact a university can have on its local economy, more than 1,000 of those companies are based in Massachusetts, accounting for about 25 percent of all manufacturing activity in the state.

If engagement with industry was once the exception among U.S. universities, it is now the norm. Since 1980 many thousands of companies have been formed based on technology licensed by a university. The shift occurred in part because in 1980 the federal government granted universities the intellectual property rights to inventions made during the course of government-funded research. This simple change created powerful incentives for faculty and their universities to commercialize faculty inventions in order to promote economic development and create additional sources of revenue for academic programs. Many universities in the U.S., like Yale, have sought to use their own research to stimulate the economic development of the city or region in which they are located.

Educating Students for Innovation and Leadership

The knowledge created by the enterprise of academic science is by no means the only important contribution that universities make to the welfare of their societies. By educating students and preparing them well for service across the range of occupations and professions, universities contribute at least as much through their teaching as they contribute through their research. The very best of America's universities and colleges educate students to be creative, flexible, and adaptive problem-solvers, capable of innovation and leadership.

The world we live in is constantly changing. New scientific discoveries are made every day, and new theories displace old ones with relentless regularity. Many successful companies produce products or services based on technology or marketing strategies that did not exist a decade or two ago. And government officials, too, confront a world radically altered by changes in communications technology and new tasks that are dictated by increasing globalization. In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; scientists, business leaders, and government officials alike must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

The methods of undergraduate education used by America's most selective and distinguished universities and liberal arts colleges are particularly well suited to prepare students for a changing world. These institutions are committed to the "liberal education" of undergraduates. The premise underlying the philosophy of liberal education is that students will be best prepared for life if they can assimilate new information and then reason through to new conclusions. Since any particular body of knowledge is bound to become obsolete, the object of a liberal education is not to convey any particular content, but to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to think independently, to regard the world with curiosity and ask interesting questions, to subject the world to sustained and rigorous analysis, to use where needed the perspectives of more than one discipline, and to arrive at fresh, creative answers. Society gains most from a pedagogy that seeks to enlarge the power of students to reason, to think creatively, and to respond adaptively.

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that, in the best universities and colleges, education is not a one-way street. Information is not simply conveyed from faculty to students and reproduced on examinations. Even as recently as the 1930s and 1940s in the United States, in many college classes, professors spewed forth information in lectures, students copiously took notes, memorized them, and then "recited" them back to the professor when called upon in class. Today, students cannot simply rely on a good memory to succeed in college. Although lectures are still used in many courses, they are supplemented by other forms of pedagogy, and students are no longer encouraged to recite back what they hear in class or read in a textbook. Instead, students are encouraged to think for themselves - to offer their own opinions and interpretations in participatory seminars, writing assignments, and examinations.

The participatory seminar is now a fundamental part of most undergraduate and graduate programs at America's top universities and liberal arts colleges. The purpose of small seminars is to challenge students to articulate their views and defend them in the face of classmates and the professor, who may disagree. The format forces them to reason through issues and to think critically for themselves, not just repeat what a professor has told them or what they have read. Often, these seminars are accompanied by in-depth research and writing assignments, where students are required to engage in independent study and write a paper articulating and defending their own conclusions.

Even most lecture classes for undergraduates have some form of discussion section attached to them, to give students the opportunity to discuss for themselves the materials being presented in lecture. Like the participatory seminar, these discussion sections consist of relatively small numbers of students, and, especially in the humanities and social sciences, they emphasize exchanging views and developing analytical skills, not memorization and recitation.

Professors also encourage critical thinking by the form of writing assignments they require and by the kind of examination questions they ask. Exams emphasize analysis and problem solving rather than description and memory. Many exam questions do not have a correct answer; they are designed to see how well a student can draw upon the facts and theoretical explanations at their disposal to fashion a coherent and defensible argument of their own.

This distinctive emphasis on critical thinking produces graduates who are intellectually flexible and open to new ideas, graduates equipped with curiosity and the capacity to adapt to ever-changing work environments, graduates who, in business, can convert new knowledge into new products and services, and who, in government, can find innovative solutions to new challenges.

The University as a Local Institutional Citizen

I would like next to explore with you one more way in which universities can contribute to society - by being good institutional citizens both locally and globally. In both cases, acts of institutional citizenship make a direct contribution to human welfare, but they also contribute indirectly by modeling good citizenship for our students, thus helping to inculcate in them a sense of social responsibility.

When I became Yale's President in 1993, the city of New Haven, Connecticut was deeply troubled. It was suffering from the absence of industrial investment and job creation, a partially abandoned downtown, blighted neighborhoods, and an unflattering external image. Ten years later, a feature article in The New York Times travel section called New Haven "an irresistible destination."

When I took office, we decided to develop a comprehensive strategy for civic engagement, create administrative infrastructure to support that strategy, and make a substantial, long-term commitment to its implementation. We recognized that the most enduring contributions we could make would require partnership with public officials and neighborhood interest groups in New Haven, but we knew this would take time to develop. To signal emphatically to both the university community and the city the seriousness of our commitment, we took two important unilateral steps during the first year of my tenure. First, to demonstrate institutional endorsement of the prodigious volunteer efforts of our students, we established a program of paid summer internships to support the work of students in city agencies and nonprofit service organizations. Second, to stimulate immediately the process of strengthening neighborhoods, we announced what has become the most visible and successful of our urban initiatives: the Yale Homebuyer Program. The program, now widely imitated, subsidizes home purchases by our faculty and staff in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Of the 880 employees who have participated in the program over the last 15 years, 80% were first time homebuyers.

One element of our strategy to become an institutional citizen was to accelerate Yale's effort to contribute to economic development through technology transfer. We sought out faculty with an interest in commercializing their results, used students at our School of Management to prepare business plans, drew upon Yale's extensive connections in the venture capital business to find financing, and helped to find real estate solutions in New Haven. We are seeing results. More than forty new companies have been established in the greater New Haven area, most of them in the field of biotechnology. These firms have attracted over $2.5 billion in capital.

The development of a strong biotechnology industry in and around New Haven augurs well for the long term, but it did little to address the immediate needs of the low income, inner city neighborhoods that surround our campus. To build trust and credibility, it was essential to establish working partnerships with grassroots organizations and community leaders. Neighborhood partnerships also provided an opportunity to coordinate the enormous talent and energy of our student volunteers and focus on a common purpose.

For example, we worked closely with community residents on plans to develop a large vacant site that sits directly between the University and a new, very attractive low-rise public housing project developed under a federal grant that we helped the city secure. We have built a facility that incorporates a community center, with a computer cluster for schoolchildren and heavily used meeting space for community organizations. We are now in the process of relocating the outpatient health care facility that serves our faculty, staff, and students to the site, where we will engage the neighborhood in numerous health outreach programs.

Several substantial public school collaborations complement our neighborhood efforts. At one high school, over 200 students participate in science courses taught by members of our medical and nursing school faculties, and 65 students live on campus during the summer to study science and work in laboratories. And at the local arts high school, students from our School of Music play an active role in the instructional program.

As a final component of our neighborhood outreach, we have endeavored to make our campus more accessible to local school children. In addition to opening our museums to school visits, which has been the practice for generations, we now make our extensive athletic facilities available to hundreds of children enrolled in the National Youth Sports Program during the summer, and we host a citywide science fair each year.

The University as a Global Citizen: Leading by Example

Let me point to one final example of institutional citizenship. The problem of global warming cries out for a multinational solution: reducing carbon emissions in a way that is equitable and efficient. Developing nations like China and India fear that serious limits on greenhouse gas emissions will unfairly constrain their future growth. Skeptics in the U.S. fear that controlling carbon will impose a large cost on our economy as well. Yet if we collectively fail to take action, future generations will likely face much larger costs from economic dislocation and environmental destruction.

Universities have an important role in the effort to curtail global warming. Much of the work on climate science that has led to the detection and understanding of climate change was done within our walls, and we have been at the forefront of modeling the economic, social, and environmental impact of rising global temperatures and sea levels. We will also participate in developing carbon-free technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, as well as in finding more efficient ways to use carbon-based fuels.

More recently, universities have begun to play a different role, taking the lead in setting standards for carbon emissions that are substantially more restrictive than those adopted by national governments. In 2005, Yale made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions to 10% below the 1990 level by 2020, which translates to a 43% reduction in our 2005 carbon footprint. This is a reduction in the range of what will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. It is an ambitious goal. If the nations of the world were to negotiate a reduction of this magnitude in Copenhagen in 2009, we would be taking a giant step toward saving the planet.

And here is the good news. We believe that a reduction of this magnitude is not only possible but also relatively inexpensive. We estimate that we can achieve this goal at cost of less than 1% of our annual operating budget, perhaps no more than one-half of 1%.

We have made this commitment because we believe that in so doing we are being faithful to our mission as a teaching institution. We are leading by example. We have encouraged our sister institutions in the Ivy League to join us in setting a specific goal for reducing carbon emissions. And we are working on eliciting similar commitments from our nine partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities and from the 34 Chinese universities with which we have been working on curriculum reform and other issues over the past four years.

We have no illusion that the collective action of universities will have a measurable impact on global carbon emissions. But we do hope that our action will inspire others to believe that significant carbon reduction is feasible and not exceedingly costly. In leading by example, we hope to make a global carbon compact more likely.

Conclusion

Our efforts to mobilize students and faculty in support of our local community, as well as our efforts to mobilize the global community of universities to demonstrate that greenhouse gas reduction is feasible and affordable, flow naturally from the mission and purposes of our institutions. On our campuses we are devoted to the development of full human potential of our students and faculty. But many outside our walls lack the opportunity to flourish. Locally, our neighbors face more limited opportunity than we. Globally, future generations are threatened by the possibility that climate change will leave them with greater burdens than we ourselves must manage. In both cases, we, with the privilege of education, can help. We can contribute through our citizenship, as well as through our research and teaching, to the betterment of society.

Leading by Example: From Sustainable Campuses to a Sustainable World
October 15, 2008
Honorary Degree Convocation, Waseda University Tokyo, Japan

President Shirai, distinguished guests, faculty and students of Waseda University, ladies and gentlemen:

I am deeply humbled to be here with you today and I wish to express my profound gratitude to President Shirai and to Waseda University for the honor that you have conferred on me. This honor is even more special because of the many rich connections between our institutions that date more than a century, including that of the legacy of our mutual alumnus, Professor Asakawa Kan’ichi. Over a distinguished career spanning four decades, he established Yale as an important center for Japan Studies in the United States.

At a time when universities are engaged in internationalizing their curriculum and research, I remain struck by how farsighted Professor Asakawa was in recognizing that an education without exposure to other cultures from around the world was necessarily incomplete - well before this opinion became widely held.

Having seen how little Japan was understood in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, Professor Asakawa dedicated his life to the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. Through his curatorship of Yale’s East Asia Library from 1907 to 1948, through his involvement in public affairs to promote peace, and through teaching Yale students over a career spanning 1907 to 1942, Professor Asakawa did his utmost to promote the connections between his homeland of Japan and his adopted home of the United States.

It is in this spirit of engagement and critical inquiry that Professor Asakawa promoted that I turned to the subject of my lecture today.

There is no longer any doubt that we have a problem. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded last year that the evidence of global warming is “unequivocal.”1 The Panel, consisting of 2500 leading climate scientists from around the world, determined with “very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.”2 And it concluded that “most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.”3 The Panel concluded that, in the absence of corrective measures, global temperatures are likely to rise between 1 and 6 degrees centigrade by the end of this century, with the best estimates ranging between 2 and 4 degrees. Even a 1-degree increase in temperature will limit fresh water availability and cause coastal flooding in much of the world, but, as the Panel noted, economic, social, and environmental damages and dislocation will become much more consequential if global temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees.

Universities have an important role in the effort to curtail global warming. Much of the work on climate science that has led to the detection and understanding of climate change was done within our walls, and we have been at the forefront of modeling the economic, social, and environmental impact of rising global temperatures and sea levels. More recently, universities have begun to take the lead, along with enlightened corporations and municipal and provincial governments, in setting standards for carbon emissions that are substantially more restrictive than those adopted by national governments.

I want to devote the first half of my remarks to the work that universities are doing to improve our understanding of global warming and what can be done about it. In particular, I would like to highlight the ongoing efforts to demonstrate that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are both feasible and relatively inexpensive. Then I would like to conclude with some reflections on what governments must do to secure the future of the planet. Designing a response to global warming is unusually complex, and the practical and political impediments are formidable. But these complexities and impediments are not an acceptable excuse for inaction. We need to address this problem now, for the sake of future generations.

The Role of Universities

So what roles should universities play in advancing sustainable development at the local and global level?

First, universities must continue to advance the science of climate change and its consequences. We will make further investments in science to refine our models of how climate change occurs and how it is likely to affect the economy and the environment. We will also sponsor policy research to illuminate the likely consequences of corrective actions. It is worth noting that nearly half of the 2500 scientists and policy experts who constitute the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are based in universities.

Around the world there are many significant university initiatives directed toward advancing the science of global warming. The University of Tokyo, for example, is committed to a major reorganization of its scientific effort to create an entire division of sustainability. Waseda and Yale faculty are already collaborators in important new areas of sustainability science. I am delighted that Professor Paul Anastas, who directs the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, is with us this morning. Tomorrow, he and his Waseda colleagues will be participating in a symposium on green chemistry, an emerging field in which Waseda is a leader.

A second major area of university involvement is energy technology. MIT’s President, Susan Hockfield, declared in her inaugural address that alternative energy technology would be her institution’s foremost research priority. MIT is devoting significant resources to this vast area of research, which includes not only developing carbon-free technologies, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, but also finding more efficient ways to use carbon-based fuels through improved building materials and design, as well as improved vehicle and power plant technologies.

MIT is not alone. The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois recently received a $500 million commitment to fund alternative energy research from British Petroleum – the largest corporate gift ever made in support of university-based research.

A third important role for universities is to educate students who will go on to be future leaders and influential citizens of the world. Waseda has taken the important step of establishing with Peking University a graduate school in the field of Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development, as well as engaging and promoting research that involves academia, government, and industry. At Yale, we now have over 60 courses available to undergraduates, who can choose either environmental studies or environmental engineering as a major subject. The study of the environment and sustainability is now embedded in the curriculum of our graduate schools of business, architecture, and public health. And our graduate School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, which offers an interdisciplinary curriculum spanning science and policy, has for decades produced some of America’s most influential environmental leaders. Today, the heads of many of our leading environmental organizations – including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Conservation International, among others – are graduates of the School.

Finally, universities can demonstrate to the world that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are feasible and not prohibitively expensive. This fourth role of universities interacts with the third. In our efforts to demonstrate best practices in limiting carbon emissions we are teaching our students, who are full participants in this campus-wide effort, how to be responsible citizens of the world. Together, we are learning how to balance near-term economic considerations against the long-term health of the environment and future human generations.

I would like to illustrate how universities can reduce their carbon footprints by using Yale as a case study. But before I do, let me briefly outline the broader picture of sustainability at Yale. We have a comprehensive sustainability framework that includes protection of natural ecosystems, conservation of our water resources, recycling of materials, and the use of natural, locally grown food in our dining halls. We aspire to leadership in all of these dimensions of sustainability, and we hope to inculcate in our students a lasting consciousness of what it means to live on a planet with finite resources in full awareness of how human action today affects the future of both humanity and the natural environment.

Our sustainability program at Yale, in short, involves educating the next generation of leaders in our society to live in better harmony with the planet than prior generations. Our aspiration is to promote growing prosperity that is sustainable, in the sense that future generations will have no less opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the environment or the fruits of their own potential than we ourselves have enjoyed.

Now I would like to describe Yale’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. I will start by noting that Yale employs more than 12,000 people, making us the second-largest employer in our home state of Connecticut. There are 11,000 students on our campus, and we have an annual budget of $2.5 billion. We are a large organization by any standard, large enough to be a model of responsible environmental practice for other universities and business organizations, large enough to demonstrate to political leaders that greenhouse gas reduction is feasible and affordable.

The centerpiece of our effort at Yale is our commitment to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions to 43% percent below our 2005 baseline by 2020, a goal within the range of estimates of what is required to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees centigrade. Our target is more ambitious than the goal adopted at Kyoto, but has a longer timeframe, 2020 rather than 2012.

The good news is that, despite some significant additions of new buildings to our campus, we have achieved nearly 20% of the reductions needed by 2020 in the first three years of our program. This progress has given us confidence that we are going to achieve our reduction well before our 2020 deadline.

We have additional emissions-reducing projects currently planned for implementation within the next three years, the most important of which is a new co-generation plant on the campus of our School of Medicine. These projects will achieve an additional 17 percent reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions.

We plan to reduce our carbon footprint through a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on our campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Some of the specific steps we have taken to reduce emissions are worthy of mention:

In the last three years, we have retrofitted the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in 90 of our roughly 300 buildings. Heating and lighting is managed by automated controls.

We have installed thermally efficient windows in many of our largest existing buildings, and in all of the new buildings we have constructed in the last decade.

We have acquired new power plant equipment and modified some existing equipment to achieve substantial savings in fuel consumption. We are using a mix of conventional and renewable fuels in our power plant and our campus bus fleet.

All of our new buildings, and even most of our renovations, have achieved a Silver rating or better from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. We are constructing a new home for our School of Forestry & Environmental Studies that is truly a marvel of green architecture. It will be the second new building at Yale to gain the highest rating, LEED Platinum. Only 51 buildings worldwide have thus far achieved this standard; eleven of them are on university campuses. We are currently exploring, along with several sister institutions, an alternative standard for new construction that focuses more directly than LEED on greenhouse gas reduction.

In several of our existing and new buildings we have installed ground source heat pumps to help meet heating and cooling needs.

We have reduced aggregate electricity consumption by 10 percent in our undergraduate residential colleges, by sponsoring a competition between the colleges. Part of this reduction is attributable to more conscientious behavior in turning off lights and computers, but we have also distributed thousands of compact fluorescent light bulbs to students. We intend to achieve another 5 percent reduction in student electricity consumption this year.

We are developing standards for the replacement of university-owned vehicles with hybrid models. As we replace the University’s buses and trucks, we want to minimize fuel consumption and also use renewable fuels where possible.

We are experimenting with solar and wind power as part of our effort. We are installing solar panels on a number of our buildings, both existing and new. And we are installing small wind turbines in the windiest sections of our campus.

Nearly all of these projects require up-front investment, but the good news is that most of the actions we have taken to-date have brought sufficient energy savings to yield a positive economic return. Based on our experience, I am convinced that just about every large organization that carefully examines its energy sources and consumption will find many investments that have an economic payoff.

Nonetheless, some of the investments we are making, and some that we will make in the future, do incur some net economic cost. For example, our studies suggest that there is a significant premium associated with establishing LEED Gold as a minimum standard for new construction, relative to our current standard of LEED Silver. In part, this is why we are considering the development of an alternative standard more closely linked to carbon emissions.

Today, we usually pay a premium when we substitute renewable fuels for conventional fuels. That equation might change if there were a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To evaluate such situations, we calculate what the net cost or savings would be in the presence of a $50 or $100 per ton carbon tax.

In some cases, we will invest to achieve carbon savings even at a modest net economic cost, in part to demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies and in part to encourage policy change that would price carbon correctly. Recognizing that some of the steps we are taking produce economic savings while others impose a cost, we believe that we can reach our greenhouse gas reduction goal at a cost of less than one percent of our annual operating expenses. Indeed, in our most likely scenario the net cost is closer to one-half of one percent of our operating expenses.

This is a price that we are more than willing to pay to achieve such a significant reduction in the Yale’s carbon footprint. I would ask each individual in this room the following question: would you pay a tax of one- half of one percent of your income to save the planet? Perhaps I am an incorrigible optimist, but I believe that when asked this question most people would answer “yes.”

I should mention that many of Yale’s peer institutions also are aggressively reducing their carbon footprints. Cornell University, for example, has a project using lake water for campus-wide cooling, and the University of Pennsylvania has purchased wind power to meet 30 percent of its electricity needs. Within the last two years, six of our seven sister institutions in the Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania) have adopted a concrete and achievable greenhouse gas reduction goal.

Yale is also encouraging three groups of international universities to become leaders in reducing carbon emissions. The International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), of which Yale is a founding member, is working on a defining common metrics and similar policy goals. At the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, a group of more than 20 international universities convened at the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) to discuss adopting a common approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And also earlier this year, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Yale conducted a workshop for officials from China’s top 34 universities on environmental best practices.

As we consider the contributions that universities around the world might make in the effort to address climate change, we need to recognize that important differences in our histories and stages of development might dictate different goals. It would be unfair, for example, to expect universities in China and India to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below their 1990 levels, as Yale has done. Chinese universities have grown dramatically since 1990. National enrollments tripled between 1998 and 2003, and many individual campuses have more than doubled their size in the last decade. It seems unreasonable to expect institutions that have experienced two-, five-, or ten-fold increases in energy consumption since 1990 to turn back the clock. Nonetheless, these universities can still adopt ambitious programs to reduce emissions significantly below current levels.

I would hope that as universities around the world set aggressive goals for carbon reduction and pursue them successfully, our students, regardless of the degrees they earn and the career paths they choose, will leave with an appreciation of sustainability that will govern their behavior in the workplace and their lives as citizens.

But the ultimate test of our collective efforts will be in the sphere of national and international policy. Voluntary climate commitments alone will not suffice to achieve the greenhouse gas reductions needed to save the planet. At best, these voluntary efforts can help raise consciousness among citizens and demonstrate to policy-makers the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of setting ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions. It is to the broader questions of public policy that I now turn.

Public Policy

There is an emerging consensus that to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases need to be stabilized in the range of 450 to 550 parts per million. In a widely noted report circulated in late 2006, Sir Nicholas Stern, the distinguished British economist and Treasury official, concluded that to reach this objective, global emissions of greenhouse gases would need to be reduced somewhere between 25 and 70 percent by 2050, depending on whether we aim for 550 or 450 ppm. Even the more modest target is a tall order, because the economy will be three to four times larger in 2050 than it is today.

The magnitude of the problem highlights one important fact: the solution must be global. Given current levels of emissions in the U.S. and Europe, and the projected growth of the Chinese and Indian economies, we simply cannot make the reductions required on a global scale without the cooperation of the United States, the European Union, China, and India. If any one of these four economic powers refuses to participate in an international program to reduce carbon, we cannot succeed in stabilizing global temperatures. Any one holdout pursuing a business-as-usual strategy will make the cost of adequate global reduction prohibitive.

There is a broad consensus among economists that the most effective way to stop global warming is to ensure that decentralized decision-makers – consumers and business enterprises – pay a price for greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done either directly, by imposing a tax on carbon, or indirectly, by creating a “cap-and-trade” mechanism – that is, by imposing limits on total emissions and issuing tradable allowances. A tax or cap-and-trade scheme can be imposed either upstream (at the source where petroleum, coal, or natural gas is extracted or converted to fuel) or downstream (in power plants, factories, or motor vehicles where greenhouse gases are emitted). There is controversy about both issues: taxes or quotas, upstream or downstream. But in the big picture neither of these questions is the most important. We can design taxes more or less efficiently, and we can design a tradable allowance system more or less efficiently. And, while it matters, it does not matter that much whether we tax fuels or issue quotas at the source, or at the point of combustion and atmospheric release. What matters more is this: will we set taxes high enough or emissions quotas low enough to elicit a sufficient response? If we set a carbon tax that is too low, or set emissions “caps” that are too high, we will fail to arrest global warming, and we will fail to minimize the net economic, social, and environmental cost of rising global temperatures.

Let me make a couple of additional observations. First, whether one sets taxes or emissions quotas, most economists favor gradualism, for compelling reasons. Adjustment in the short run is much more costly than adjustment over a decade or two, when energy-inefficient capital equipment and motor vehicles can be phased out gradually in favor of more efficient alternatives. What is essential for the efficient operation of either a tax or a cap-and-trade regime is that individuals and businesses know what their taxes or allowances will be well into the future. A gradually rising tax on carbon or a gradually falling quota on carbon emissions that is credible will be sufficient to elicit socially optimal investment decisions, both in the deployment of existing technologies and in the development of new technologies. It is not necessary to impose high taxes or low quotas immediately.

Second, although there are good theoretical and practical arguments on both sides of the question, in the context of reaching international agreement, a cap-and-trade scheme may have a decisive advantage over a carbon tax. Developing countries will strongly resist a uniform global carbon tax, which they would perceive as placing upon them an unfair burden, yet different taxes across nations would distort investment incentives. By contrast, agreement on a global cap-and-trade system could take account of a country’s stage of development by assigning more stringent reduction targets to developed countries and less stringent ones to developing countries. Regardless of the equitable adjustments made in distributing national quotas, as long as allowances are tradable internationally, a uniform price for carbon will result, creating a solution that would be both equitable among nations and efficient in the allocation of investment.

So, how high a carbon price do we need? To reduce annual global emissions 25% by 2050, the Stern Review finds that we would require a carbon tax (or a market price of tradable emissions allowances) in the range of $350-400 per ton of carbon by 2015, rising to more than $600 per ton by 2050. Fortunately, my Yale colleague, William Nordhaus, demonstrates that Stern’s result should not be taken seriously; it is driven by a combination of extreme and internally inconsistent assumptions about the attitude of individuals toward risk and the rate at which the well-being of future generations is discounted. Nordhaus’ own model indicates that the same reduction in emissions can be achieved by a carbon price that rises gradually from $27 per ton in 2015 to about $90 per ton in 2050.

Finally, there remains the question: is the cost to society of reducing carbon emissions so high as to be politically infeasible? Our best economic estimates suggest that it will cost between one-half of one percent and one percent of global output to reach reduction goals in the neighborhood of 25% by 2050. Voluntary efforts at Yale and elsewhere are demonstrating that the low end of that cost range may be achievable.

But there is an even more convincing refutation of the proposition that fighting global warming is too costly, and it is this: we have already experienced something that looks very much like a carbon tax, and a very large one. In fact, we have demonstrated that we can absorb a carbon tax as high as the implausibly high one that Stern’s model dictates. In 2002, the price of crude oil averaged $25 per barrel. This year it has averaged more than $100 per barrel, an increase of at least $75 per barrel. If, counterfactually, the demand for crude oil were perfectly inelastic, a $600 per ton tax on carbon, the tax recommended by Stern in the year 2050, would increase the price of crude oil by about $70. And of course demand is not perfectly inelastic, so the actual effect of a carbon tax on the price of oil would be considerably below this level. A carbon tax at the more realistic level proposed by Nordhaus – $90 by 2050, would increase the price of oil by less than $11 a barrel.

I am not saying that we already have a carbon tax, because a proper carbon tax would apply equally to coal, natural gas, and other sources of combustible carbon. But I am saying that we have, over the past six years, absorbed an increase in the price of oil larger than the increase we are likely to need to curtail global warming.

What have we learned from this “natural experiment” with oil prices? Let me note just two lessons. First, until the recent credit crunch in the United States – an event largely unrelated to the increase in oil prices – the world economy has prospered. Despite the fact that all are importers of oil, Europe and the United States have experienced robust growth since 2002, while China and India have shot out the lights. So it is clear that we have the capacity to absorb a carbon tax. Second, just as our economic models of climate change predict, investment in alternative energy technologies has accelerated dramatically in response to rising oil prices. Venture capital investment in clean technology in the United States has increased more than tenfold since 2003, and it continues to grow very rapidly.

Is a global compact to reduce carbon emissions achievable? In principle, the answer is yes, but it will require a balancing of efficiency in reducing carbon emissions against considerations of global equity. Today, America emits 20 tons of carbon dioxide per capita, Europe around 10, China between 4 and 5, and India between 1 and 2. A sustainable global equilibrium requires that we lower the global average to 2 to 4 tons per capita by mid-century. Both fairness and pragmatism dictate that a global deal will require the bulk of the reductions to come from the developed countries. The U.S., Europe, and Japan will need to set stringent goals for themselves, with caps on emissions that fall gradually but very substantially over the next 40 years. To permit continued economic growth elsewhere and make a global deal politically feasible, it will most likely be necessary to allow developing countries to postpone carbon reduction for 15 to 20 years. A deal along these lines could achieve the required global outcome at an affordable cost.

The final question is: do we have the will and the courage to save the planet before it is too late? Clearly, China and India have little incentive to commit to a global deal unless the first move comes from the United States. With both U.S. presidential candidates claiming that they will take global warming seriously, there is reason for hope.

When the delegates to the UN Summit on Climate Change convene in Denmark next year, let us hope that they take inspiration from the work that is being done by universities around the globe to advance the science of climate change and its consequences, to develop new carbon-free and energy-efficient technologies, to educate the next generation to a new consciousness about sustainability, and to demonstrate to the world that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is both feasible and affordable. Let us also hope that they will absorb the lessons of the recent past and not shrink from their responsibility to reach a global agreement on carbon reduction that is meaningful and effective. Our future depends on it.

1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, 2007, p.1

2Ibid., p. 4.

3Ibid., p. 5.

Collaboration in the Shifting Knowledge Economy
October 14, 2008
Special Plenary Lecture, World Knowledge Forum 2008, Seoul, South Korea

Chairman Chang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

The turmoil in the financial markets over the last year and the diminished political influence of the United States over the last decade have led many to conclude that U.S. economic and political hegemony around the globe is waning. Meanwhile, China and India have emerged as the heirs apparent to join the United States as economic and political superpowers. The growth of Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong as the world’s new leading financial capitals have only underscored the shift from West to East of soft economic and political power. It is now the norm, rather than the exception, for companies from the Middle East and Asia to acquire peers and competitors across Europe and the Americas. While banks in the United States and Europe are reeling from the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the U.S. economy moves into a recession, economies across the Middle East and Asia continue to enjoy double-digit growth rates. And sovereign wealth funds from China, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf move to bail out U.S. and European financial institutions from imminent collapse.

To sustain the momentum of their rising economies, however, leaders in both Asia and the Middle East have come to recognize that the advantages that have propelled their rise – the release of low-cost labor from agriculture to industry in the case of Asia, and abundant energy resources in the case of the Middle East – will not persist forever. Eventually, China and India, as well as the oil oligarchies of the Middle East (as Korea and Japan have already learned) will have to compete in the knowledge economy. Hence, they have begun to turn their attention toward the creation of stronger systems of higher education and the development, largely through universities, of stronger national capacities for advanced research.

Since World War II, the United States and Western Europe have figured most prominently in the production and the management of knowledge. Universities in England and the United States have been magnets for the world’s best and most talented students and scholars. Researchers in these institutions contributed to the birth of new scientific fields ranging from high energy physics to molecular biology. Governments (to a measure prompted by Cold War rivalries) promoted scientific research and scientific literacy as national priorities. Private companies, such as Siemens in Germany, and Bell Labs and IBM in the United States, were incubators for breakthrough work in fundamental and applied science, as were government and university laboratories. And Western governments made significant investments in scientific infrastructure, particularly those for high energy physics, resulting in unparalleled facilities such as the nuclear colliders at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Fermi National Laboratory in the United States and CERN near Geneva.

In recent decades, profound economic, political, and social developments around the world have transformed the global knowledge economy. The United States and Europe face an emergent Asia, with China, India, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Australia rapidly positioning their knowledge enterprises to compete with those of the West in the decades ahead. These countries are making impressive investments in education that are not unlike the scale of investments made by the United States in the years after World War II. These changes represent challenges, as well as opportunities, for new models of collaboration among academia, industry, government, and civil society in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

My remarks this morning draw mainly on the experience of American universities, not because their contributions are unique or more important than those of universities elsewhere. I focus on the U.S. experience strictly because I know it best and can speak from the experience of having served for more than fifteen years as the president of Yale.

For the moment, the United States still dominates higher education and research and development more decisively than it ever dominated the world economy. America may produce 25 percent of the world’s economic output, but it accounts for 40 percent of global spending on higher education and 35 percent on research and development. In 2005, it devoted 2.9 percent of its GDP to postsecondary schooling, while the European Union, Japan, China and India spent less than 1.3 percent. India, for instance, has a yearly budget of about $4.3 billion for higher education, whereas Yale, a single private institution, spends about $2.8 billion. Meanwhile, of the world’s top 20 universities, America has 16, according to the rankings published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Newsweek says 15, and the Times Higher Educational Supplement says 12. Particularly in doctoral education, which forms the basis for future generations of the professoriate, American institutions will continue to dominate and attract the best students for the foreseeable future.

Yet, there are signs that U.S. pre-eminence in higher education may be eroding. In the past two decades, thanks to the liberalization of student exchanges in the European Union and aggressive recruiting by Australia and Singapore, the U.S. share of international students has dropped from about half the total in the 1980s to less than one-third today. America’s share of worldwide science and engineering publications declined from 34% in 1995 to 29% in 2005, and its share of publications cited by other scholars declined from 50% to 41% over the same period.

The challenge to American leadership may not be immediate, but it is real. The scale of physical investment in China’s leading universities is staggering; in Shanghai, for example, Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong, and Tongji Universities have all developed sprawling new campuses within the past decade. The Japanese and Korean governments are strategically investing in their top research universities to internationalize them and to attract foreign students to their campuses, at a time when their own college-age populations are declining. The Persian Gulf States are starting to spend hundreds of millions on branches of U.S. and European institutions. And perhaps most ambitiously, the Saudis are about to open the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology with an endowment of at least $10 billion and a capital budget of comparable size.

Catching the United States will not be easy. Harvard, Yale and Columbia are all developing new campuses, and Yale’s capital budget for the next five years alone is more than $3 billion.

Ultimately, however, the reputation of universities is measured by the impact of their graduates and the contributions to knowledge made by their faculties. A rising university can move the first needle more quickly than the second. There is no shortage of smart students in China, India, Japan, and Korea, and there is plenty of potential in the Middle East. But attracting and developing world-class researchers is a slow process. First-rate scholars prefer to work in close proximity to one another, and leading universities are, in effect, simply agglomerations of such people. To build a faculty that includes dozens or hundreds of world-class scholars and scientists takes time. Late nineteenth century “start-ups” like Stanford and the University of Chicago took half a century or more to make it into the ranks of the nation’s best.

Asian universities are trying to establish themselves in ways that recall the American “start-ups” of a century ago. For some time, leading universities in Singapore and Hong Kong have been successful in attracting top scholars from the U.S. and the U.K. to relocate; the leading mainland Chinese universities are now following suit. In 2003, Singapore launched Biopolis to attract the very best life scientists in global industry and academia to its laboratories, and it has rapidly established itself as a credible center for nanotechnology, genomics, stem cell research, and other cutting edge fields in the biological sciences.

The production of talent at rising universities across the East has stimulated the growth of knowledge-based industries. India, for instance, is becoming a major global source of research and development in pharmaceuticals and software, as prominent multinational corporations set up R&D centers in the country, and indigenous firms deepen their technological and innovative capabilities. Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology are particularly driving the research and development boom in India, as Indian firms increasingly invest in drug discovery and translational clinical research.

As the process of strengthening Asian universities moves forward, we are also seeing innovative forms of collaboration. Both Fudan and Peking Universities, for example, have persuaded top scientists from Yale to split their time between labs in China and the West. The Chinese provide abundant space and research staff to support the efforts of Western scientists, leveraging their productivity while at the same time allowing younger Chinese faculty and graduate students to benefit from involvement in cutting edge research. The bet is that over time the younger faculty who work with leading scientists from abroad will develop into world-class scientists themselves. Meanwhile, the productivity of U.S.-based scientists is multiplied significantly.

Such arrangements illustrate why the rise of the rest should be viewed by universities in the U.S. and UK as an opportunity and not a threat. Just like opening the economy to free trade, international collaboration in research is a positive-sum game. There are clear gains from trade, shared by both sides. And beyond the private benefits garnered by Asian universities and their Western collaborators, there are social benefits reaped by everyone, because most of the pre-commercial knowledge produced by basic scientific research is a public good, available to other scientists and engineers worldwide as building blocks in creating useful products and curing disease. A stronger global capability in scientific research benefits all nations.

The same argument can be made about strengthening educational capabilities around the world, in Africa and Latin America as well as in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. In an increasingly interdependent world, there is a growing consensus among American educators that developing the capacity for cross-cultural understanding must be an essential feature of a twenty-first century education. This educational goal is best attained by providing students with an overseas experience as part of their course of study, and often such experiences consist of spending time at a foreign university. To the extent that educational programs elsewhere improve, the overseas experiences of U.S., UK, and European students will also. Once again, it is not only the private gains accruing to exchange students that matter; better education around the world translates to better-informed citizens and a more productive work force. With open exchange of information and goods, all nations gain. Moreover, because solving the most important problems confronting us – poverty, infectious disease, nuclear proliferation, and global warming – will require international cooperation, better-educated global citizens can only help.

In fact, the development of universities across Asia and the Middle East will make the most pressing global problems more tractable. Solutions to the most perplexing global problems, such as climate change and nonproliferation, require closer collaborations between the institutions of the West and those of the East. To cite climate change as one example, the magnitude of the problem highlights one important fact: the solution must be global. Given current levels of emissions in the U.S. and Europe, and the projected growth of the Chinese and Indian economies, we simply cannot make the reductions required on a global scale without the cooperation of the United States, the European Union, China, and India. If any one of these four economic powers refuses to participate in an international program to reduce carbon, we cannot succeed in stabilizing global temperatures. Any one holdout pursuing a business-as-usual strategy will make the cost of adequate global reduction prohibitive.

Apart from sharing in the benefits of research collaboration and student exchange, how will Western universities respond to the rise of the rest? More ambitious forms of educational collaboration are already emerging. For example, the National University of Singapore has partnered with Duke University and MIT to offer joint degrees in medicine and engineering, respectively. And the University of Michigan has organized with Shanghai Jiao Tong University a program where undergraduate students study engineering for two years in Shanghai and two years in Ann Arbor, which culminates in their earning degrees from both institutions. And Western universities have also begun to experiment with franchise operations, setting up programs in the Middle East, China and elsewhere. Although such programs are likely to be valuable for students in the host regions, there is some risk that they will damage the reputation of the parent institution. In most of the experiments now under way, it is proving a major challenge to sustain a first-class faculty in a remote location. Greater virtual participation by professors on the parent campus may mitigate this risk. In any event, it is likely that the trends toward joint degree programs and satellite programs will accelerate in the years ahead.

More broadly, we should remember that the shift to more widely distributed knowledge creation around the world is a good thing. It strengthens competition but also affords tremendous opportunities for new forms of collaboration. The list of the world’s top 20 universities is likely to change in the years ahead; the National University of Singapore, to name one, is within striking distance, and China’s Peking and Tsinghua Universities will get there soon. Universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe should welcome the newcomers and recognize that the whole world will benefit from their success.

Freshman Address: Your Time of Opportunity
August 29, 2008
Yale University

Members of the class of 2012, I am delighted to join Dean Salovey in welcoming you to Yale College. And I want to extend a warm welcome also to the parents, relatives, and friends who have accompanied you here. To parents especially, I want to say thank you for entrusting your children to us. We are so pleased to have them with us, and we will do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

And to you, as entering students, I make the same pledge. For you, these next four years will be a time of opportunity unlike any other. Here you are surrounded by astonishing resources: fascinating and accomplished fellow students from all over the world, a learned and caring faculty, intimate residential college communities within the larger whole, a magnificent library, two extraordinary art museums, superb athletic facilities, and student organizations covering every conceivable interest – the performing arts, politics, and community service among them. You will have complete freedom to explore, learn about new subjects, meet new people, and pursue new passions. I join Dean Salovey in urging you to be adventurous and dare to be different.

I want to say a word about how Yale has widened access to the opportunity that Dean Salovey and I describe. Compared to the first freshman class I welcomed in this Hall, fifteen years ago, you are more internationally diverse and much better supported. Only 60 members of the class of 1997, less than 5%, came from outside the United States. By contrast, 132 members of your class, or 10%, are international. Thanks largely to the major improvements introduced last year, 56% of you are receiving financial aid, in contrast to 46% fifteen years ago, and even five years ago. Fifteen years ago, the average financial aid award covered 61% of tuition, room, and board; today it covers 75%. The student self-help contribution, including expected summer earnings, was 25% of the term bill; today it is 8%. Even if you are receiving no financial aid, you should know that income from the invested gifts of prior generations of Yale College graduates is covering more than half the cost of your education.

This is all good news. But if you are plugged into current events, you might possibly be wondering: could this really be a time of opportunity? In a lead article last month, the editors of The Economist, that most pro-American of foreign publications, proclaimed that “the United States, normally the world’s most self-confident place, is glum.” The editors went on to note that home prices are falling faster than during the Great Depression, credit is scarce, gasoline is more expensive than in the 1970s, and the dollar is at a post-Cold War low. Popular support for free trade and open markets, the lifeblood of growing world prosperity, is lower in the United States than anywhere in the world. Our universities remain strong, but our system of K-12 education is underperforming. We lead the world in biomedical innovation, yet a large fraction of our population is medically uninsured or underinsured. Support for U.S. foreign policy has eroded around the world. And many Americans view China’s emergence as a global power, so dramatically punctuated by the Beijing Olympics, as a threat rather than an opportunity. According to a recent poll, eight out of ten Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Amidst this mid-summer gloom, as I thought about what to say on this occasion, I turned for comfort and inspiration to one of my favorite authors, the greatest of American voices, Walt Whitman. Like Alexis de Tocqueville before him, but with greater artistry and eloquence, Whitman grasped and characterized America’s historical distinctiveness and anticipated its destiny. If you want to understand in full the power and potential of this nation, take some time, lots of time, with Whitman’s poetic magnum opus, Leaves of Grass.

But let me confine myself here to Whitman’s brilliant prose essay, Democratic Vistas, written in 1870. Like the 1855 preface to Leaves of Grass, but more ordered and more rigorous, Democratic Vistas is, on the surface, an argument about the need for a distinctive American literature. In Whitman’s view, America’s historical uniqueness comes, first, from its unprecedented foundation on the rights of the individual, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its political institutions, and, second, from its unprecedented actual and potential material prosperity. But, for Whitman, the achievements of America, like the deeds of the heroes of ancient Greece, would be incomplete were they not memorialized in song. He asserts that, to realize its full potential as a nation and a culture, America needs a poet, and a literature, to teach its lessons, to capture the essence of its achievements and make them permanent, and to create models of democratic heroes that inspire. From our perspective, it is clear that Whitman himself is the very poet he yearns for.

For now, I am less interested in Whitman’s argument about the role of literature, and more interested in what the American song is about and what bearing this has on your next four years, whether you come from Delhi or Detroit. Whitman begins Democratic Vistas by observing that the greatest lessons of nature are variety and freedom, and that these are also the greatest lessons of politics and progress in the New World. What does he mean?

Let me oversimplify. Whitman’s democratic vision is that in America, like nowhere else in history, every man and woman has the opportunity to be a hero. Like Tocqueville, Whitman understood that the absence of a feudal legacy not only makes individuals equal before the law, but also allows for the possibility that the contribution of a person could be measured without reference to aristocratic standards and ideals. Hence, a “democratic vista” in which excellence in all walks of life can be celebrated, and creativity of the most radical kind can flourish. In his poetry, Whitman extols, among many others, the factory worker, the farmer, and the common soldier no less than Abraham Lincoln, their great leader. In Democratic Vistas, he sketches the lives of four women – a housekeeper, a mechanic, a housewife, and an elderly woman who played the role of community peacemaker – each with her unique dignity and excellence, each a contributor to the wellbeing of others. None of these heroic women bears the slightest resemblance to the aristocratic ideal of feminine virtue. Variety (or, to use today’s word for it, diversity) and freedom are the lessons of the New World.

From the native peoples and the waves of immigrants that gave America its astonishing diversity, and from the political institutions that gave individuals unprecedented freedom, came the basis of unprecedented material prosperity. Like Tocqueville before him, Whitman foresaw that, unshackled by constraints of class or authoritarian government, America’s democratic creativity would inevitably result in new institutions and technologies that would secure that prosperity.

If America is now at the end of the era of sole global leadership that Whitman envisioned, it is in part because of its success, because some or all of the institutions it created – free and open markets, easy access to capital, an educational system and culture that support innovation and creativity, and a democratic polity – are being emulated elsewhere. As Fareed Zakaria, a Yale College alumnus and a trustee of the University, argues so persuasively in his new book, The Post-American World, the rise of the rest of the world should be seen as a great accomplishment, not a threat. The world economy is a positive-sum game. Twenty percent of the world’s population has been lifted out of poverty in the past thirty years, largely in China and India. This is obviously a good in itself, one that creates opportunity for the entire world.

Let me now connect the Economist’s lament and Whitman’s lessons to the opportunities before you these next four years. It is true that your generation will face major challenges, but it is also true that you will find the spirit of Whitman’s America – the twin engines of variety and freedom – very much alive here at Yale. You will take strength from the rich diversity of your classmates, and you will find in all of them the latent capacity to take their place among Whitman’s democratic heroes. Every one of you has the potential not only to make your own lives personally and professionally fulfilling but also to make a contribution to the wellbeing of others, on scales both large and small. The freedom you have here will give you the opportunity to discover your intellectual passions, establish your personal goals, and define the standards you will live by.

Dean Salovey has encouraged you to be adventurous in making use of Yale’s resources, to take risks, and not fear failure. I would also encourage each of you to be a leader. Yale College is a virtual laboratory for leadership. We have 35 varsity sports, 35 club sports, and more than 100 intramural teams, as well as 250 student organizations embracing almost every imaginable sphere of activity – student government, music, film, theater, politics, journalism, and community service. So join in, learn how to work well with others, and learn how to lead.

It is important to remember that leadership takes many forms. In high school, many of you worked hard to get elected as a student government president, or a literary magazine editor, or a team captain. But from now on, leadership is not measured by a title and a line on your résumé. True leadership means drawing the best out of others and inspiring them toward a worthy goal. You do not have to be a team captain or a club president to be a leader. But you do have to participate, make a contribution, and be ready to lead when the opportunity arises. You may find an opportunity to lead by inspiring third graders in a school tutorial program, or simply by taking initiative within an organization to inspire and motivate others to accomplish more than anyone else imagined was possible.

I summon you to lead because you come to us with proven talent, keen intellect, and a demonstrated capacity for hard work. You have the ability to do more in life than just go along for the ride. If America is to revive from its current malaise and bring its extraordinary assets to bear on a post-American world, if the wider world is to awaken to the challenges that confront us all – global warming, poverty, and disease – rather than fall prey to the ideologies and interests that divide us, you must step up and be leaders.

During the next four years, Yale will provide you with an unimaginably rich array of resources that will allow you to develop yourselves as individuals and as leaders. If you choose to engage, by the time you leave here you will be prepared to contribute meaningfully to the improvement of the world around you. These four years are your time of opportunity; your parents, your teachers, and I look forward to watching you make the most of them.

Baccalaureate Address: Life on a Small Planet
May 24, 2008
Yale University

I graduated forty years ago and three thousand miles away, in 1968, a year marked by urban riots, two tragic assassinations, an unpopular war in Vietnam, and defeated revolutions in France and Czechoslovakia.  In the wake of this turmoil and strife, there appeared at the end of that year images so astonishing that they remain imprinted in memory.  They were straightforward photographs, taken with a Hasselblad camera, neither edited nor manipulated to achieve emotional effect.  Yet they elicited the most powerful emotions.  They were stunningly beautiful, hopeful, and profoundly humbling all at once.

I refer to the first photographic images of the earth taken from the vicinity of the moon by the crew of the Apollo 8 spacecraft, one of which is reproduced as an insert to your program.

Here we were in a world torn by conflict between two warring ideologies, led by nations with nuclear arsenals sufficient to destroy each other many times over, our security in the hands of leaders on both sides who preached and practiced the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.  Forty percent of the world’s inhabitants were in poverty, major cities were choked with air pollution, and the opportunities available to women and people of color were starkly limited.  And yet here was this extraordinary image reminding us that we all lived on one small, fragile planet – a beautiful, pristine jewel from the distance of 240,000 miles, as Milton somehow imagined three centuries earlier when he described “This pendant world, in bigness as a star of smallest magnitude.”

We have come a long way in forty years toward making this fragile planet a better place.  The Cold War is over.  The fraction of humanity in poverty has declined from forty percent to less than twenty percent.  Through strict controls on the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulates, we have dramatically improved air quality in the cities of Europe and the United States.  And the opportunities for women and people of color, in this country at least, have increased to an extent barely imaginable forty years ago.  Certainly, no one in 1968 was imagining that a woman and an African-American would be among the leading contenders for the Presidency of the United States.

But most of these results – the collapse of the Soviet Union, the abatement of pollution, and the advancement of the rights of women and minorities – were achieved by work within nations rather than through cooperation among nations.  A major exception is the reduction of global poverty, which is in substantial part a consequence of the steady liberalization of international trade and investment through global agreements in the Tokyo and Uruguay rounds.

Small as the world appeared in 1968 from 240,000 miles away, today the world is much smaller.  The revolution in communications technology has brought us closer together.  Information, images, and capital flow instantaneously across national borders, and the flow of people and products is faster and more voluminous than ever before.  Our economies have become much more interdependent, and, increasingly, the problems that beset us will require global rather than national solutions.  A simple case in point is the current crisis in credit markets.  A generation ago, the U.S. government could have managed the situation in isolation.  Today, to be successful, the Federal Reserve Bank needs either tacit or explicit cooperation from the European Central Bank and the Chinese government.

As you go forth from this place that has been your home for four years, you will inherit this shrinking planet.  It will be yours to take care of for the next forty years and more.  You are, fortunately, far better prepared for this task than my generation was.  The Yale College Class of 1968 had only 19 students from outside the United States; they represented 13 countries.  Your class has 106 students from outside the United States, representing 41 countries.  As best we can tell, fewer than 100 students in the Class of 1968 benefited from a Yale-sponsored experience overseas or an independent junior year abroad program.  In your class, nearly 700 have had such an experience.  You have also had access to a curriculum far richer in its coverage of the languages, culture, society, politics, and economics of other nations.

Yale has offered you this richer curriculum, increased the representation of international students, and created hundreds of new opportunities for overseas study, research, and work internships because the demands of twenty-first century citizenship compel these initiatives.  Like generations of your Yale College predecessors, you have developed a capacity for close reading, critical and independent thinking, clear and effective writing, and quantitative and scientific reasoning.  But a complete twenty-first century education requires one essential new skill: the capacity for cross-cultural understanding.  To be adequately prepared for life in a highly interdependent world, you need the ability, which I trust that you have begun to develop here, to recognize and appreciate that those from other nations and other cultures see the world differently, hold different assumptions, and often reach different conclusions even when presented with the same facts.  Only with this capacity for cross-cultural understanding, will you achieve your full potential in the inevitably global careers you will pursue and in the contribution you will make to the greater society.

This last point is particularly salient for those of you who are Americans.  This nation has suffered through much of its history from isolation and insularity.  Too often, our leaders have been insufficiently aware of the effects of America’s actions on the rest of the world, and insufficiently mindful of how America is perceived throughout the world.  Your generation will have an opportunity to remedy this historic deficiency, in an era in which international cooperation is needed more than ever if we are to continue to make progress toward a better life for all.

Stepping up to the responsibilities of global citizenship is probably not the first thing on your mind this weekend, as you reflect upon the passage of these four years, as you think about the friendships you have made, the teachers you have encountered, and the good of this place that you will take along with you.  At this moment, your thoughts of the future are probably a mix of excitement and anxiety as you contemplate the next step in your education, or your first job, or whether you will get a first job.

But your Yale education has equipped you for more than your next step; it is yours for a lifetime.  And its aim has not been merely to prepare you for successful careers and personal fulfillment, but to prepare you for lives of service.  Your service might begin with private acts of generosity and kindness.  But it extends to the practice of civic virtue that was identified as the purpose of a Yale College education in our founding charter of 1701.  And civic virtue, envisioned as distinctly local three centuries ago, must embrace the global as well as the local in the shrinking world we inhabit today.

The challenges of global citizenship are many: to extend the benefits of health and prosperity to those without them, to reduce the threats from terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to preserve the capacity of the earth’s resources to sustain its inhabitants in peace, health, and prosperity.

I want to elaborate a bit on the challenge of sustainability, because I believe that it is a challenge that will be uniquely pressing for your generation.  The challenge of extending the benefits of health and prosperity to a wider number, and the challenge of preventing war, have both been with us for many generations.  But it is only in recent years that the limitations on the earth’s capacity to sustain us have become starkly apparent.  And we are running out of time.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, consisting of 2500 leading scientists from around the world, concluded that the evidence for global warming is now “unequivocal.”  These scientists determined with “very high confidence” that human activity has been the major cause of rising global temperatures since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century.  According to the Panel, in the absence of corrective measures, global temperatures are most likely to rise between 2 and 4 degrees centigrade by the end of this century.  Even a 1-degree increase in temperature will limit fresh water availability and cause coastal flooding in much of the world; economic, social, and environmental damage and dislocation will become much more consequential if global temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees.

There is a way to avoid catastrophe, and here at Yale you have been helping to demonstrate this.  During your sophomore year, Yale committed to the ambitious goal of reducing by 43% its emission of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. You have helped us get one-fifth of the way toward our goal in just two years, by replacing the incandescent bulbs in your rooms with compact fluorescents, and by switching off lights and computers more conscientiously.

Yale will continue to do its part to prevent global warming.  We will continue to retrofit our existing buildings with efficient windows and effective controls, upgrade our power plant equipment, and use biofuels where appropriate.  We will build all our new buildings to the highest standards of energy efficiency.  And we will even install micro-windmills on Science Hill this summer.  We are determined to prove that we can reduce the University’s carbon footprint by more than 40 percent, even as we expand, at a cost of less than one percent of our operating expenses.

You need to do your part as well.  As you leave this place, I hope you will carry with you, as part of your commitment to global citizenship, a recognition that the burden of ensuring the well-being of future generations falls on you.  In your homes, workplaces, and communities, as well as in your involvement in public life, I hope you will remember to seek an appropriate balance between present and future.  I urge you to live in better harmony with this small planet’s resources than prior generations have.  And I urge you, as global citizens, to promote the prosperity and improved health of your own generation in a manner that is sustainable, in the sense that future generations will have at least as much opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the environment and the fruits of their own potential as we ourselves enjoy.

Women and men of the Class of 2008: As you leave here, I congratulate you on your achievements.  I share with your proud families and friends the confidence that you will find expression for the extraordinary talent and potential that you have exhibited these past four years.  This small planet is yours to make better. In the words of the prophet Isaiah: may you go out in joy and be led forth in peace.  And, if you serve, as I trust you will, as faithful stewards of this small and fragile planet, may the mountains and hills burst into song and may all the trees of the field clap their hands.

The Role of Not-for-Profit Universities
May 7, 2008
Gala Dinner – Goulandris Museum of Natural History

I am greatly honored by this evening’s dinner and for the hospitality that Jane and I have enjoyed throughout our visit. I am grateful to Alex Papachellas for organizing this evening and for inviting all of you to attend. I also wish to extend my appreciation to Minister Stylianidis for attending this evening.

I have been asked to discuss the role that private, not-for-profit universities can play in higher education. This question is timely, and controversial, considering the debate now underway in Greece about amending the Constitution to liberalize the rules concerning private universities. I hope my remarks this evening will be useful as Minister Stylianidis and others of you continue that conversation.

My comments draw mainly on my experience with American universities, which I know best. American universities offer an interesting case study because there are outstanding, world-class universities in both the public sector and the independent non-profit sector. Both types of institutions have similar aims, offer courses of study that are alike in many respects, and regard themselves as complementary parts of a strong national system. At Yale, the institutions that we consider our peers include not only the best non-profit universities, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford, but also the leading public universities, such as the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

Based on the American experience, I would like to develop three ideas for your consideration. First, a mixed system of public and private universities affords important benefits to students, faculty, and society at large. Second, the presence of strong, independent private institutions, insulated from political pressure, helps preserve a tradition of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, not only within the independent sector but throughout the public sector as well. And third, it may not be possible to support internationally competitive universities from public resources alone; the best of America’s public institutions, as well as the private ones, rely heavily on tuition revenue and philanthropy.

The Benefits of Diversity

Let me say at the outset that a distinctive feature of higher education in the United States is its diversity. Approximately 2,200 colleges and universities offer a four-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree. Although m ore than two-thirds of these schools are private, non-profit institutions , the majority of students attend public universities. In the fall of 2007, there were 15 million students enrolled in degree-granting undergraduate programs in the United States. Nearly 80 percent were studying at public universities.

The prominence of public universities in higher education in the United States is a relatively recent development. The oldest colleges and universities in the country, such as Yale, are all private, not-for-profit institutions. Most of these schools, founded between the mid-seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, had a religious affiliation and were oriented at least in part toward the education of clergy. As fields of scholarship proliferated and the expectations for higher education changed, some of these small non-profit institutions grew into major research universities with a much more secular character. Many others remained small, liberal arts colleges without a great investment in research.

As early as the 1840s, there were proposals for the national government to set aside land for the construction of colleges that would be devoted to the study of agriculture and engineering. In 1862, President Lincoln signed into law the Morrill Act, which donated 30,000 acres of land to each state for the construction of colleges that would, in the language of the statute, “teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts” as well as “other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic[s].” These so-called “land grant” universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, became the flagship public universities in their states, and many are now world-class, research-intensive universities.

During the latter half of the 20th century, as large numbers of World War II veterans entered college with federal government support and their children reached college age, the number and size of public universities grew dramatically. In 1960 there were 367 public university campuses; by 2007 there were 643.

Private, non-profit universities tend to be much smaller than public universities. Yale, for example, has about 5,300 undergraduates and an additional 6,100 students in 11 graduate and professional schools. The University of California, Berkeley, in contrast, has close to 23,500 undergraduates and over 10,000 graduate and professional students. The size of the Berkeley faculty and its campus is correspondingly larger. In many public universities, the number of faculty in one engineering department, such as mechanical or electrical engineering, is greater than the number of faculty in the entire School of Engineering at Yale.

The leading public and private universities share the same aims for the education of undergraduates, namely, to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to think independently, to regard the world with curiosity and ask interesting questions, to subject the world to sustained and rigorous analysis, to use where needed the perspectives of more than one discipline, and to arrive at fresh, creative answers.

What benefit does this system offer to students? First, they have a remarkable degree of choice. Anyone who wishes to attend college in the United States can find an institution that matches his or her academic interests, level of ability and preparation, and financial circumstances. Students typically apply to more than one school and then choose among the schools that have offered them admission.

There is also a lively competition among public and private institutions for the best students and the best faculty. That competition promotes a high level of quality in education and scholarship. When students and faculty can “vote with their feet,” it puts pressure on universities to be responsive by investing in academic programs and facilities. C ompetition also creates strong incentives for institutions to be rigorously self-critical in periodic assessments of their curriculum. Both Yale and Harvard, for example, undertook thorough internal evaluations of their undergraduate programs during this decade, and published the results. In both institutions, the process led to significant reform. In short, competition encourages excellence.

The mobility of faculty, who are recruited regularly from other institutions, creates a powerful reward system that encourages them to be creative and productive in their teaching and their scholarship. This competition is one reason – though not the only one – why American universities are among the best in the world. It also helps to explain why there were over 580,000 students from outside the United States studying at American universities last year.

The benefits of a mixed, public-private system accrue to society as well. The nation is better off when the graduates of colleges and universities have well-honed skills of critical reasoning, are creative and entrepreneurial, and have a lasting curiosity to learn. The nation is also better off when faculty are productive in the research and scholarship that fuels technological innovation and addresses issues of national concern.

A Tradition of Autonomy

Let me now convey a second lesson from the American experience with higher education. Because the United States began with a private sector and only later developed a public sector, the traditions of academic freedom and institutional self-determination were well established before the government entered the arena of higher education. These traditions helped to protect public universities from undue political influence on matters such as curriculum and faculty appointments, and ensured that our universities, both public and private, remain bastions of independent, creative thinking.

Today, both public and private universities share a long-standing tradition of autonomy in the control of academic matters and self-governance. We regard our colleges and universities as independent centers of scholarship and commentary. We believe it is vitally important that faculty be free to speak their minds, and that they have the job security to express themselves openly inside and outside the campus without concern for retribution. We vigorously defend free speech on campuses for our students as well.

Faculty play a major role in governance of American universities. Decisions about appointment and promotion of faculty depend heavily on reviews by their peers; typically, a candidate for a faculty position must win a majority of votes among colleagues in an academic department for the appointment to proceed. Faculty have a role in developing the budget of the university; they sit on admissions committees; and in many institutions there is a faculty Senate that has the power to approve or reject policy decisions.

All institutions, public and private, have governing boards of private citizens. In the case of private universities, these boards are entirely independent. Even the boards that govern public universities are largely free from direct government control.

Private universities have long kept state and national governments at arm’s length in any discussion of the content of the curriculum or the composition of the faculty. This has had spillover benefits for the public universities, who might otherwise be subject to excessive intervention from state governments. It is worth noting that the United States Department of Education, which oversees federal scholarship grants and loans, is prohibited by law from issuing policies that seek to influence the content of university curriculum.

This tradition of institutional autonomy has helped to deflect certain criticisms and preserve the independence of faculty in expressing their views. In recent years, some in the United States have argued that university faculty are overwhelmingly liberal in their political perspective. These critics have argued that the national government, in awarding research grants, should consider the political views of faculty, including their record of supporting (or opposing) United States foreign policy. The united opposition from both public and private universities has easily defeated these proposals.

Financing Higher Education

Let me turn now to one final lesson from the American experience, which is this: to achieve excellence, universities, both public and private, must rely on private funding.

The financial underpinnings of the modern American university are complex. The federal government provides some support for students in the form of grants-in-aid based on financial need, but these grants, which can be used at both private and public institutions, cover only a small fraction of the tuition and fees. The federal government generously sponsors a large fraction of the research conducted on university campuses, and it also provides significant incentives for charitable donations through the tax laws. Historically, these charitable donations, either directly or indirectly when invested and accumulated in endowments that throw off an annual payout, provide operating support to most private universities. Charitable g ifts also support the construction and renovation of facilities. By contrast, in public institutions, the principal responsibility for developing and financing academic programs and facilities has historically rested with the 50 state governments.

Virtually all U.S. colleges and universities, public or private, rely upon tuition and fees to a substantial degree. Historically, public universities were able to set tuition and fees at low levels because they enjoyed substantial subsidies from state governments. Students also had access to federal and state scholarship grants that were awarded on the basis of financial need, as well as government-backed loans at below-market interest rates. Students attending private, non-profit universities were eligible for the same grants and loans but faced higher levels of tuition and fees. During the 1960s, Yale and other non-profit universities began to develop their own need-based scholarship programs, financed primarily with institutional, not government, funds. Today, Yale and other leading private institutions make admissions decisions without regard to an applicant’s ability to pay, and then provide grants sufficient to meet the full financial need of all admitted students. Yale is one of only a handful of U.S. schools that makes this full need-based financial aid available to international as well as domestic matriculants.

By the late 1960s, U.S. public and private universities seemed to be on a divergent path, with state governments keeping tuition in public universities low, sufficiently low that Federal grants covered most of the cost of education for low-income students and sufficiently low that full tuition was not a major burden on middle-income families. Private universities, by contrast, had much higher tuition charges, with much larger financial aid packages available on the basis of need. Consequently, for low-income families, the effective net price of attending public or private institutions was roughly the same, while for high-income families, private institutions were much more expensive.

Over time, state governments have slipped in their commitment to maintain first-rate universities with low tuition. Each cyclical downturn in the economy has put stress on the budgets of states that were already straining to accommodate increased spending on health care and social services. As a result, the share of public university budgets supported by state appropriations has declined dramatically over the past twenty years – from 49% to 27% at the University of California, Berkeley and from 39% to 14% at the University of Texas. Correspondingly, tuition for in-state students at public universities has increased substantially – by 8% per year over the last three decades at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. Public universities have also sought to attract larger numbers of students from other states, charging out-of state students tuition rates much closer to those of private universities. Twenty years ago, tuition accounted for 9% of the operating revenue at Berkeley; today, it accounts for 24%. And students are paying a much higher net price; tuition at most major public institutions is now well in excess of the support provided by federal grants.

Meanwhile, the most prominent and most financially viable private, non-profit universities have been moving in the opposite direction. Over the past decade, Yale has expanded its financial aid programs several times. We now waive any payments from parents earning less than $60,000 annually, heavily discount the required payments from parents earning up to $120,000, and offer some aid to almost all families with incomes below $200,000. As a result, low-income students and even many middle-income students now pay less to attend Yale than the University of California.

The budgetary pressures on public universities have had other adverse consequences; notably, public institutions have been disadvantaged in competition for faculty. They are hard pressed to pay competitive salaries and offer competitive research support packages. The difficulties in competing with private institutions for students and faculty have led state universities to turn increasingly to fundraising from private sources to maintain their excellence.

Considering the many demands on public resources in all the industrialized countries with aging populations and rising costs of health care, it seems inevitable that public support for universities will continue to diminish, and these institutions will need to rely on increased tuition charges and increased philanthropy to remain competitive. D ata from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development support this inference: expenditures on tertiary education as a percentage of GDP are higher in countries that have substantial tuition revenues and philanthropy.

I recognize that in many European countries, the notion that families with the ability to pay, and students themselves, should contribute considerable sums for tertiary education is highly controversial. But, in a certain sense, this view flies in the face of contemporary economic reality. Over the past thirty years, the private rate of return to higher education has risen considerably in industrialized nations. In the United States, each year of higher education increases lifetime earnings by more than 10%. Studies using Greek data produce a slightly lower estimate, about 8% per year , but this is still a return that would seem to justify some private investment in one’s own education.

There are, of course, social returns to higher education that exceed the private returns captured by individuals in the labor market. Many aspects of these returns are not easily quantified, such as producing a more informed citizenry with a deeper understanding of public issues. But economists have produced evidence that increasing the number of college graduates raises industrial productivity in a region, raises the wages of those without a college education, lowers public expenditures on health care, and reduces crime. All this evidence makes the case that governments should provide some level of subsidy for higher education, but the large private returns equally suggest that those who get the direct benefit of education should bear some of the cost.

Conclusion

I hope these three lessons from the study of American higher education will help to inform the debate you are having about the role of private universities in Greece. I believe that the United States’ system of higher education is stronger for its diversity. A mixed system makes it possible to accommodate large numbers of students, while at the same time delivering, at the best institutions, teaching and scholarship at the highest level. The presence of private institutions helps to ensure a greater degree of academic freedom and institutional autonomy within the public sector. And finally, the experiences of public universities in the United States also suggest that they will become increasingly similar to private universities in their reliance on a high-tuition, high-aid model, an outcome that can be justified on the grounds that the private return to higher education is substantial.

I thank you for the privilege of discussing this important issue with you this evening, and I wish you well as you ponder the future of higher education in Greece.

The University in Service to Society
May 5, 2008
Costis Palamas Hall, Athens University

Artemis, thank you for that kind introduction. To the students and faculty gathered today, thank you for joining me this morning. I am greatly honored by the invitation to speak to you today.

I have been asked to discuss how universities serve society. This is a question well worth asking at a time of active debate about changes to the Greek Constitution to liberalize the rules concerning non-profit universities. To answer the question, I will draw mainly on the experience of American universities, not because their contributions are unique or more important than those of universities elsewhere. I focus on the U.S. experience strictly because I know it best, and I do so in full recognition that some of the lessons learned in my country may not apply directly to Greece.

So let me go straight to the answer. I believe that universities serve society in many ways, but I will focus on the contribution that they make through three activities in particular: research, education, and institutional citizenship.

First, by advancing knowledge of science, technology, and medicine, universities create the foundation for economic growth, material well-being and improvements in human health.

Second, by educating students to be capable of flexible, adaptive, and creative responses to changing conditions, universities strengthen society's capacity to innovate.

And, third, by serving as models of institutional citizenship, universities make a direct contribution to social betterment and inspire their students to recognize an obligation to serve.

Let me discuss each type of service to society in turn.

University Research as an Engine of Economic Growth

In the modern economy, global competitive advantage derives primarily from a nation's capacity to innovate, to introduce and to develop new products, processes, and services. And that capacity depends in turn on the continued advance of science.

As the principal locus of basic research, universities play a key role in sustaining competitiveness and economic growth. Basic research, by definition, is motivated by curiosity and the quest for knowledge, without a clear, practical objective. Yet basic research is the source from which all commercially oriented applied research and development ultimately flows. I say ultimately because it often takes decades before the commercial implications of an important scientific discovery are fully realized. The commercial potential of a particular discovery is often unanticipated, and it frequently extends to many unrelated industries and applications. In other words, the development of innovative products and services that occurs today usually depends on advances in basic research achieved ten, twenty, or fifty years ago - most often without any idea of the eventual consequences.

The emergence of universities as America's primary basic research machine did not come about by accident. Rather, it was the product of a wise and farsighted national science policy, set forth in an important 1946 report that established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that has propelled the American economy. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for financing basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private industry - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone. This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success, scientifically and economically.

The second and third of these central principles are worth emphasizing because of the impact they have on education and well as research. To isolate the nation's best scientists in research institutes, as was common in the Soviet Union and to some extent in China, deprives the nation of important benefits. It limits the exposure of students, especially undergraduates, to first-rate scientists and, often, to state-of-the-art equipment and methods, which tend to concentrate in the institutes housing the top scientists. Moreover, by removing many of the very best scientists from the university environment, the quality of teaching suffers and the curriculum is less likely to incorporate the latest advances and novel thinking.

Allocating research resources by means other than peer review of proposals submitted by individuals and groups also imposes a huge cost on national systems. In most European countries, political considerations dominate the process of allocating research funds to institutions. There is a powerful tendency toward spreading resources across a large number of institutions. And, even in Britain, where there is rigorous peer review, the bulk of grant funding is awarded by considering the quality of departments taken as a whole rather than judging the merit of specific proposals from individuals. This also tends to shave the peaks of excellence.

Ensuring that world-class science is conducted in universities should be an important objective of national science policy. The three principles I have identified - adequate government funding, co-locating advanced research and teaching in universities, and peer review that focuses on the merits of individual investigators - have helped the U.S. achieve excellent performance.

To ensure that university-based scientific research truly contributes to national well-being, ideas must move from theory to practice. Historically, most U.S. universities did not actively seek to participate in the translation of discoveries into new products, processes, and services. An exception was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the mid-1990s, graduates of MIT had founded over 4,000 companies nationwide, and were continuing to create an additional 150 companies a year. Illustrating the impact a university can have on its local economy, more than 1,000 of those companies are based in Massachusetts, accounting for about 25 percent of all manufacturing activity in the state.

If engagement with industry was once the exception among U.S. universities, it is now the norm. Since 1980 over 5,700 companies have been formed based on technology licensed by a university. The shift occurred in part because in 1980 the federal government granted universities the intellectual property rights to inventions made during the course of government-funded research. This simple change created powerful incentives for faculty and their universities to commercialize faculty inventions in order to promote economic development and create additional sources of revenue for academic programs. Many universities in the U.S., like Yale, have sought to use their own research to stimulate the economic development of the city or region in which they are located.

Educating Students for Innovation and Leadership

The knowledge created by the enterprise of academic science is by no means the only important contribution that universities make to the welfare of their societies. By educating students and preparing them well for service across the range of occupations and professions, universities contribute at least as much through their teaching as they contribute through their research. The very best of America's universities and colleges educate students to be creative, flexible, and adaptive problem-solvers, capable of innovation and leadership.

The world we live in is constantly changing. New scientific discoveries are made every day, and new theories displace old ones with relentless regularity. Many successful companies produce products or services based on technology or marketing strategies that did not exist a decade or two ago. And government officials, too, confront a world radically altered by changes in communications technology and new tasks that are dictated by increasing globalization. In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; scientists, business leaders, and government officials alike must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

The methods of undergraduate education used by America's most selective and distinguished universities and liberal arts colleges are particularly well suited to prepare students for a changing world. These institutions are committed to the "liberal education" of undergraduates. The premise underlying the philosophy of liberal education is that students will be best prepared for life if they can assimilate new information and then reason through to new conclusions. Since any particular body of knowledge is bound to become obsolete, the object of liberal education is not to convey any particular content, but to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to think independently, to regard the world with curiosity and ask interesting questions, to subject the world to sustained and rigorous analysis, to use where needed the perspectives of more than one discipline, and to arrive at fresh, creative answers. Society gains most from a pedagogy that seeks to enlarge the power of students to reason, to think creatively, and to respond adaptively.

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that, in the best universities and colleges, education is not a one-way street. Information is not simply conveyed from faculty to students and reproduced on examinations. Even as recently as the 1930s and 40s in the United States, in many college classes, professors spewed forth information in lectures, students copiously took notes, memorized them, and then "recited" them back to the professor when called upon in class. Today, students cannot simply rely on a good memory to succeed in college. Although lectures are still used in many courses, they are supplemented by other forms of pedagogy, and students are no longer encouraged to recite back what they hear in class or read in a textbook. Instead, students are encouraged to think for themselves - to offer their own opinions and interpretations in participatory seminars, writing assignments, and examinations.

The participatory seminar is now a fundamental part of most undergraduate and graduate programs at America's top universities and liberal arts colleges. The purpose of small seminars is to challenge students to articulate their views and defend them in the face of classmates and the professor, who may disagree. The format forces them to reason through issues and to think critically for themselves, not just repeat what a professor has told them or what they have read. Often, these seminars are accompanied by in-depth research and writing assignments, where students are required to engage in independent study and write a paper articulating and defending their own conclusions.

Even most lecture classes for undergraduates have some form of discussion section attached to them, to give students the opportunity to discuss for themselves the materials being presented in lecture. Like the participatory seminar, these discussion sections consist of relatively small numbers of students, and, especially in the humanities and social sciences, they emphasize exchanging views and developing analytical skills, not memorization and recitation.

Professors also encourage critical thinking by the form of writing assignments they require and by the kind of examination questions they ask. Exams emphasize analysis and problem solving rather than description and memory. Many exam questions do not have a correct answer; they are designed to see how well a student can draw upon the facts and theoretical explanations at their disposal to fashion a coherent and defensible argument of their own.

This distinctive emphasis on critical thinking produces graduates who are intellectually flexible and open to new ideas, graduates equipped with curiosity and the capacity to adapt to ever-changing work environments, graduates who, in business, can convert new knowledge into new products and services and who, in government, can find innovative solutions to new challenges.

The University as a Local Institutional Citizen

I would like next to explore with you one more way in which universities can contribute to society - by being good institutional citizens both locally and globally. In both cases, acts of institutional citizenship make a direct contribution to human welfare, but they also contribute indirectly by modeling good citizenship for our students, thus helping to inculcate in them a sense of social responsibility.

When I became Yale's President in 1993, the city of New Haven, Connecticut was deeply troubled. It was suffering from the absence of industrial investment and job creation, a partially abandoned downtown, blighted neighborhoods, and an unflattering external image. Ten years later, a feature article in the New York Times travel section called New Haven "an irresistible destination."

When I took office, we decided to develop a comprehensive strategy for civic engagement, create administrative infrastructure to support that strategy, and make a substantial, long-term commitment to its implementation. We recognized that the most enduring contributions we could make would require partnership with public officials and neighborhood interest groups in New Haven, but we knew this would take time to develop. To signal emphatically to both the university community and the city the seriousness of our commitment, we took two important unilateral steps during the first year of my tenure. First, to demonstrate institutional endorsement of the prodigious volunteer efforts of our students, we established a program of paid summer internships to support the work of students in city agencies and nonprofit service organizations. Second, to stimulate immediately the process of strengthening neighborhoods, we announced what has become the most visible and successful of our urban initiatives: the Yale Homebuyer Program. The program, now widely imitated, subsidizes home purchases by our faculty and staff in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Of the nearly 835 employees who have participated in the program over the last 15 years, 80% were first time homebuyers.

One element of our strategy to become an institutional citizen was to accelerate Yale's effort to contribute to economic development through technology transfer. We sought out faculty with an interest in commercializing their results, used students at our School of Management to prepare business plans, drew upon Yale's extensive connections in the venture capital business to find financing, and helped to find real estate solutions in New Haven. We are seeing results. More than forty new companies have been established in the greater New Haven area, most of them in the field of biotechnology. These firms have attracted over $2.5 billion in capital.

The development of a strong biotechnology industry in and around New Haven augurs well for the long term, but it did little to address the immediate needs of the low income, inner city neighborhoods that surround our campus. To build trust and credibility, it was essential to establish working partnerships with grassroots organizations and community leaders. Neighborhood partnerships also provided an opportunity to coordinate the enormous talent and energy of our student volunteers and focus on a common purpose.

For example,we worked closely with community residents on plans to develop a large vacant site that sits directly between the university and a new, very attractive low-rise public housing project developed under a federal grant that we helped the city secure. We have built a facility that incorporates a community center, with a computer cluster for school children and heavily used meeting space for community organizations. We are now in the process of relocating the outpatient health care facility that serves our faculty, staff, and students to the site, where we will engage the neighborhood in numerous health outreach programs.

Several substantial public school collaborations complement our neighborhood efforts. At one high school, over 200 students participate in science courses taught by members of our medical and nursing school faculties, and 65 students live on campus during the summer to study science and work in laboratories. And at the local arts high school, students from our School of Music play an active role in the instructional program.

As a final component of our neighborhood outreach, we have endeavored to make our campus more accessible to local school children. In addition to opening our museums to school visits, which has been the practice for generations, we now make our extensive athletic facilities available to hundreds of children enrolled in the National Youth Sports Program during the summer, and we host a citywide science fair each year.

The University as a Global Citizen: Leading by Example

Let me point to one final example of institutional citizenship. The problem of global warming cries out for a multinational solution: reducing carbon emissions in a way that is equitable and efficient. Developing nations like China and India fear that serious limits on greenhouse gas emissions will unfairly constrain their future growth. Skeptics in the U.S. fear that controlling carbon will impose a large cost on our economy as well. Yet if we collectively fail to take action, future generations will likely face much larger costs from economic dislocation and environmental destruction.

Universities have an important role in the effort to curtail global warming. Much of the work on climate science that has led to the detection and understanding of climate change was done within our walls, and we have been at the forefront of modeling the economic, social, and environmental impact of rising global temperatures and sea levels. We will also participate in developing carbon-free technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, as well as in finding more efficient ways to use carbon-based fuels.

More recently, universities have begun to play a different role, taking the lead in setting standards for carbon emissions that are substantially more restrictive than those adopted by national governments. In 2005, Yale made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions to 10% below the 1990 level by 2020, which translates to a 43% reduction in our 2005 carbon footprint. This is a reduction in the range of what will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. It is an ambitious goal. If the nations of the world were to negotiate a reduction of this magnitude in Copenhagen in 2009, we would be taking a giant step toward saving the planet.

And here is the good news. We believe that a reduction of this magnitude is not only possible but also relatively inexpensive. We estimate that we can achieve this goal at cost of less than 1% of our annual operating budget, perhaps no more than one-half of 1%.

We have made this commitment because we believe that in so doing we are being faithful to our mission as a teaching institution. We are leading by example. We have encouraged our sister institutions in the Ivy League to join us in setting a specific goal for reducing carbon emissions. And we are working on eliciting similar commitments from our nine partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities and from the 34 Chinese universities with which we have been working on curriculum reform and other issues over the past four years.

We have no illusion that the collective action of universities will have a measurable impact on global carbon emissions. But we do hope that our action will inspire others to believe that significant carbon reduction is feasible and not exceedingly costly. In leading by example, we hope to make a global carbon compact more likely.

Conclusion

Our efforts to mobilize students and faculty in support of our local community, as well as our efforts to mobilize the global community of universities to demonstrate that greenhouse gas reduction is feasible and affordable, flow naturally from the mission and purposes of our institutions. On our campuses we are devoted to the development of full human potential of our students and faculty. But many outside our walls lack the opportunity to flourish. Locally, our neighbors face more limited opportunity than we. Globally, future generations are threatened by the possibility that climate change will leave them with greater burdens than we ourselves must manage. In both cases, we, with the privilege of education, can help. We can contribute through our citizenship, as well as through our research and teaching, to the betterment of society.

The Internationalization of the University
May 5, 2008
Athens, Greece

Thank you, Artemis (Zenetou), for your warm introduction. I would also like to thank the Minister of the Economy George Alogoskoufis and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Dimitris Platis for their participation in this event. I am grateful for the invitation of Ambassador Daniel Speckhard and the U.S. Embassy to represent the United States in the Great Ideas series of lectures. And I would like to thank Artemis Zenetou of the Fulbright Foundation of Greece and Epaminondas Farmakis of the Niarchos Foundation for their generous support of this event. It is a pleasure to be with you. My topic for this evening is the internationalization of the university.

It is now widely understood that the world has become smaller and more interconnected. The revolution in communications technology has brought the world closer together and changed the way we think about it.

The movement of capital across borders is now instantaneous, and the movement of products, people, and, unfortunately, pollution is freer and faster than ever before. These facts make comprehensive governance of the economy impossible at the level of the nation-state. International institutions are needed to regulate trade, capital flows, and environmental degradation. Isolation is not an option.

Cross-cultural influences have always been with us, but today they are more powerful because of their immediacy. Because we access the same web sites and television broadcasts, see the same advertisements and buy the same products, many fear a growing homogenization of cultures and values. The incipiency of a "global" culture has precipitated, in many parts of the world, a reaction to protect "local" values, heightening tensions among neighboring ethnic, religious, and cultural groups. Finding the right balance between the global and the local is one of the challenges of our time.

These developments create tremendous opportunities for the universities of the world. And universities are responding. In one respect, the internationalization of the university is an evolutionary development. Yale, for example, has drawn students from outside the United States for nearly two hundred years, and international issues have been represented in its curriculum for more than a century. But internationalizing the university is also a revolutionary development - signaling the need for transformational changes in the curriculum of the modern university, the flow of students across borders, the scope and breadth of international collaborations in research, and the engagement of the university with new audiences. Let me discuss in turn each of these aspects of the emerging global university.

The Curriculum

When I speak of the emerging global university, I envision a curriculum permeated by awareness that political, economic, social, and cultural phenomena in any part of the world can no longer be fully understood in isolation. And the curriculum in the social sciences, the humanities, and many of the professions has already begun to adapt. Take my own field of economics. Thirty years ago, I taught a course entitled "The Structure and Performance of American Industry." It was a standard topic in the U.S. economics curriculum throughout the nation. Today, there is no such thing as an American industry. Every sector of the economy is open to international competition. When students are taught to assess the structure and performance of an industry today, they must analyze global rather than national markets and weigh the strengths and weakness of global competitors. Supply chains, too, are rarely confined within one nation; they are thoroughly global. The price of concrete in New Haven, Connecticut is at record levels because of the volume of construction in China and Dubai. Such complete economic interdependence did not exist thirty years ago.

I also used to teach a subject called "Economic Regulation." It focused on the means used by national governments to intervene in markets and influence the behavior of private, for-profit companies. Among the cases studied were the regulation of public utilities, transportation, and environmental pollution. Today, even this subject cannot be taught without reference to global conditions. For example, in the 1970s, and even up to 1990, policy discussion about air pollution focused almost entirely on the sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and related particulates emitted by power plants and motor vehicles. Their effects were largely local and regional, and national regimes for their regulation proved to be an effective solution. Today, courses in environmental economics focus instead on the emissions of carbon dioxide and related greenhouse gases, where the effects are entirely global, and where global regulation is essential if we are avoid the severe economic, social, and ecological disruption caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in an atmosphere that is shared by the whole planet.To cite just one more example, a decade ago the required first year course on civil procedure at the Yale Law School covered only the procedures of the American courtroom. Today, every student is required to acquire a basic mastery of procedure in Europe as well.

I could give dozens of similar examples. Suffice it to say that the curriculum of the world's leading universities is adapting quickly to the growing interdependence among nations.

Why is it important that the curriculum adjust to the changes in the world that we are confronting? Global security is threatened by instability in the Middle East and by persistent terrorism that strikes almost randomly at civilized peoples around the world. Global prosperity is threatened. The global free trade regime that has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty in the past quarter century is in jeopardy because of the parochialism of nations unable to see the common good. And our global environment is threatened. Unless we resolve to cooperate and do something about it, the biodiversity of the planet will continue to diminish at an alarming rate, and global warming will transform the conditions of life and livelihood around the world.

Clearly, in this increasingly interdependent world, we need to understand each other better. Can Palestinians and Israelis coexist in peace? Why does Al Qaeda continue to attract young people willing to kill themselves and blow up trains, planes, and buildings? Why do Europeans and Americans refuse to open their agricultural markets, thus impeding the continued liberalization of trade that has contributed so much to the progress of developed and developing countries alike? And why isn't America leading the world's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than dragging its feet?

Increased interdependence requires that the leaders and citizens of tomorrow have cross-cultural awareness, a trait that Americans in particular have historically lacked. In both their private and public lives, the students of today will find that the outside world cannot be ignored. To an unprecedented extent, the careers of the next generation will be global in scope, whether in business, law, health care, or education. Students need to be prepared for interaction around the globe, in the personal challenges they confront as well as the public challenges we face together.

To confront these challenges, students will need to learn all the skills required of them in the past, and one more. As before, they will need to develop a capacity for close reading, critical and independent thinking, clear and effective writing, and quantitative and scientific reasoning. And they will need one essential new skill: the capacity for cross-cultural understanding. They will need the ability to recognize and appreciate that those from other nations and other cultures see the world differently, hold different assumptions and often reach different conclusions even when presented with the same facts. Without this capacity, students will not achieve their full potential in the inevitably global careers they will pursue, nor will we collectively realize the best aspirations of humanity in the interaction among nations.

The Flow of Students Across Borders

These observations lead naturally to my next point: perhaps the most dramatic adaptation of universities to globalization has been the increased flow of students across borders. Universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America are seeking students from around the world to represent the entire spectrum of cultures and values on their campuses, and they are sending their own students abroad to prepare them for global careers. The flow of students in both directions will go a long way to increasing the capacity for cross-cultural understanding.

Over the past three decades the number of students leaving home each year for study abroad has grown at an annual rate of nearly 4 percent, from 800,000 in 1975 to more than 2.5 million three decades later. Most travel from one developed country to another, but the flow from developing to developed countries is growing rapidly. The reverse flow, from developed to developing countries, is also on the rise. Today, foreign students earn 30 percent of the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States and 38 percent of those in the United Kingdom. And the number crossing borders for undergraduate education is increasing as well, to 8 percent of the undergraduates in America's Ivy League institutions and 10 percent of all undergraduates in the U.K. In the United States, 20 percent of newly hired professors in science and engineering are foreign-born. In China, the vast majority of newly hired faculty at the top research universities received their graduate education abroad.

Universities are also encouraging domestic students to spend part of their undergraduate experience in another country. In Europe, more than 140,000 students participate in the Erasmus program each year, taking courses for credit in one of 2,200 participating institutions across the continent. And in the United States, institutions are mobilizing their alumni to help place students in summer internships abroad to prepare them for global careers. Yale and Harvard have led the way, offering every undergraduate at least one international study or internship opportunity during their four years and providing the financial resources to make it possible. At Yale, we have created a superb infrastructure of serious summer work internships in seventeen cities: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Delhi, Accra, Cape Town, Kampala, Montreal, Monterrey, Buenos Aires, João Pessoa, Brussels, Budapest, Istanbul, London, Madrid, and Athens. In addition, we send hundreds abroad every summer for immersion language courses or Yale summer school courses taught at partner institutions. We expect that an increasing number of institutions will follow our lead in making an overseas experience available to every student, and eventually in making an overseas experience a requirement for the bachelor's degree.

Universities are also establishing more-ambitious foreign outposts to serve students primarily from the local market rather than the parent campus. The University of Nottingham has a campus in Ningbo, China, and the Sorbonne has inaugurated an extensive undergraduate program in Abu Dhabi. True educational joint ventures are also gaining favor, such as the 20-year-old Johns Hopkins-Nanjing program in Chinese and American Studies, the Duke-Goethe executive M.B.A. program, and the MIT-Singapore alliance, which offers dual graduate degrees in a variety of engineering fields. And the newly created King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, soon to be the third best endowed university in the world, is relying on engineering departments at the University of California, the University of Texas, Stanford University, and the Imperial College London, among others, to design its new curriculum and help in the recruitment of faculty.

What are the consequences of the movement of students across borders? Consider this: on the night after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Jewish students at Yale (most of them American) came together with Muslim students (most of them foreign) to organize a vigil. Or this: every year, the student-run Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES) organizes conferences in both China and at Stanford, bringing together students from both countries chosen to discuss Sino-U.S. relations with leading experts. The leaders of student groups promoting international collaboration are in touch with each other daily via e-mail and Skype, technologies that not only facilitate cooperative projects but also increase the likelihood of creating lifelong personal ties. The bottom line is this: the flow of students across national borders--students who are disproportionately likely to become leaders in their home countries--enables deeper mutual understanding, tolerance and global integration. It is reasonably likely that thirty years from now, when the leaders of the world's nations convene, the great majority of them will have spent some of their formative years in another country.

International Research Collaborations

Globalization is also reshaping the way research is done. One new trend involves sourcing portions of a research program to another country. Yale professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Tian Xu directs a research center focused on the genetics of human disease at his alma mater, Shanghai's Fudan University, in collaboration with faculty colleagues from both schools. The Shanghai center has 95 employees and graduate students working in a 4,300-square-meter laboratory facility. Yale faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students visit regularly, and scientists on both campuses participate in bi-weekly seminars by videoconference. The arrangement benefits both countries. Xu's Yale lab is more productive, thanks to the lower costs of conducting research in China, and Chinese graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty get on-the-job training from a world-class scientist and his U.S. team. The collaboration has led to a dramatic breakthrough in the technology of generating random mutations in laboratory mice, which has the potential to reduce significantly the cost of studying human disease in mouse models.

Yale has a similar facility at Peking University in Beijing, where Professor Xing-Wang Deng directs a program studying the biology of plant systems, aimed at improving crops. Like Xu, Deng is a graduate of the institution where he performs his research. This laboratory is of similar scale and comparable impact; Professor Deng won the prestigious Kumho Prize in plant biology for the collaborative research undertaken there.

Of course, international collaboration in science is not entirely new. Particle physicists have been collaborating in large numbers for decades on experiments at major national or international facilities like CERN and Fermilab. But this development of permanent joint research partnerships between two universities is relatively novel. In the Yale examples that I have cited, the collaborations took root because of personal relationships that linked Yale investigators to their undergraduate alma maters. It is only a matter of time before China starts to set up similar facilities for outstanding foreign scientists who have no prior connection to the country.

New Audiences

The same advances in telecommunications technology that have created the phenomenon we call globalization offer substantial opportunities for the global university to expand its educational mission.

We have already seen new technologies enable transformational changes in scholarly communication. To consult the periodical literature in humanities and the social sciences, one has only to go on line to access journal articles, bibliographies, and citation data bases linked to the original articles. The natural sciences are following suit, gradually overcoming the impediments to online publication imposed by monopolist publishers of the most prestigious journals. In fields like economics and physics, no one waits for publication; pre-publication versions of new papers are posted, distributed, and read worldwide years before they appear in journals. Indeed, the traditional journals in these fields are no longer a means of communication; they are merely a means of certifying the quality of papers through rigorous processes of review.

The Internet offers a whole new range of possibilities for universities seeking to expand and redefine their traditional mission of disseminating knowledge through publication. Harvard has committed to the online publication of the scholarly work of its faculty. Whether this ambitious strategy proves to be a substitute for or a complement of the traditional medium of print publication, it will achieve one radical objective: it will make original scholarly material universally available, free of charge.

Many universities, including Yale, have begun to make their valuable collections of art, rare books, and manuscripts widely available for study by digitizing them. We have only begun to appreciate the potential of this development.

MIT has taken a similar and highly successful approach to the dissemination of the materials used in 1800 of the courses it offers. MIT instructors post online their

lecture notes or outlines, reading lists, problem sets, exams, and other assignments. There is at present no support for students who want to "take" these courses. Instead, the site is accessed by students and adult learners who wish guidance in their own self-study, and, in equal numbers, by secondary school or college teachers who wish to improve their own courses by making use of, or taking inspiration from, the material used at MIT. The site has approximately one million visitors per month.

These opportunities to make both scholarly publications and course materials widely and freely available are impressive. Even more transformational is the potential that new communications media afford universities to expand and redefine their traditional mission of disseminating knowledge through teaching. These opportunities for reaching entirely new audiences range all the way from creating podcasts of occasional lectures to mounting and supporting credit-bearing courses to offering online degrees. At the far end of the spectrum are for-profit vendors, such as the University of Phoenix, who offer a wide array of courses and degrees and serve hundreds of thousands of paying customers.

What seems ultimately more promising are the measures taken by some of the world's leading universities to reach wider audiences. The School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University covers nearly the whole spectrum of possibilities. The School offers masters degrees for a limited number of students, who pay full tuition to take 80% of their courses online and 20% on the Johns Hopkins campus in Baltimore. The School also offers online customers smaller suites of specialized courses, for credit toward certificates but not accredited degrees. And Johns Hopkins has posted, free of charge, another group of courses for wider dissemination.

Johns Hopkins is just one of a number of leading universities that have taken a step beyond MIT's lead in the area of open courseware, posting not only course materials but videotaped lectures as well. The Indian Institutes of Technology have a significant number of courses posted, and the lectures given at one IIT can be taken as courses and counted toward the degree requirements at another IIT. The University of California, Berkeley also has a number of courses posted for free public access.

Last December, Yale posted the first seven of a contemplated suite of thirty undergraduate courses. These Open Yale courses not only include all course materials and a complete set of lectures in high-quality video, but the lectures are also transcribed, and the searchable text has been made available for ready translation into other languages. A novel feature of the Yale offerings is that we are not simply posting these courses and waiting to see who uses them. We have established partnerships with universities around the world, who are using all or part of our courses in their own undergraduate programs. Our partners include the University of Tokyo, Waseda University, Fudan University, the University of Bahrain, Jimma University in Ethopia, the University of Ghana, the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, and Monterrey Tec. We have about 160,000 visits per month to the Open Yale course website; 60% of these are from outside the United States.

Conclusion

In every nation, universities play a critical role in providing the human capital for business, government, and civil society, and the research generated by universities helps to drive the economy. As I have illustrated, internationalization can enhance these contributions that universities make to the wider society. By adapting our curriculum and encouraging the flow of students across borders, we can better prepare the next generation for leadership and citizenship in an independent world, developing in them the capacity for cross-cultural understanding that will be so important for the future peace and prosperity of the planet. By encouraging international collaboration in research, we can accelerate the advance of science and technology that will improve our health and material well-being. And, by utilizing modern communications technologies, we can provide the benefits of education to a far larger fraction of humanity. Such is the future of the global university.

The American Research University and the Global Agenda
April 15, 2008
Foreign Policy Association

It is a great pleasure to be with you this evening, and an honor to address members and guests of an association that leads the way in promoting international understanding. I thank you for the opportunity.

I am an economist by training and profession. Years ago, in addition to teaching survey courses in microeconomics and industrial organization, I also taught courses on such subjects as The Political Economy of Oil and The International Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing, reflecting a longstanding interest in the politics and economics of world affairs. Now I see these issues from the dual perspective of international economist and university president.

I suspect that you are not often inclined to put universities and foreign policy into the same sentence. So let me offer you a provocative hypothesis: namely, that the American research university is a highly effective instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It would be an even more effective instrument if our political leaders understood fully what a unique and powerful asset our country has in its great universities. I am going to state the case in six parts.

First, America's power, both hard and soft, derives from the strength of its economy, the current credit crunch notwithstanding. The strength of our economy depends in large part on our leadership in science, which in turn depends upon the strength of our research universities.

Second, the strength of our economy also derives from our capacity to innovate, which in turn depends upon the kind of education that America's top universities and liberal arts colleges provide.

Third, U.S. research universities are magnets for the most outstanding students from around the world. Those students either stay here or they go home. America wins either way. If foreign graduates stay, they strengthen the productive capacity of the U.S. economy. If they go home, they increase the capacity of their home economies, but they also serve as ambassadors for America and as advocates for openness, freedom of expression, and democracy.

Fourth, our nation's great universities are increasingly ensuring that American students gain exposure to the culture and values of another nation as a part of their educational experience. This offers the hope that our future leaders and engaged citizens will have greater global awareness in the future than in the past.

Fifth, our universities have broadened the conception of what constitutes a "student." Today, we provide leadership education to specialized audiences around the world, to help them address challenges to global political and economic stability, public health, and the environment.

Finally, with respect to at least one important item on the global agenda - how to respond to the threat of global warming - our universities have become laboratories to demonstrate that solutions are technically possible and economically feasible.

Let me discuss each of these points in turn.

Leadership in Science

For decades, America's competitive advantage in global markets has derived from its capacity to innovate - to introduce and develop new products, processes, and services. That capacity depends in large part on America's leadership in science, and the principle locus of scientific advance has been our research universities.

The emergence of universities as America's primary machine for scientific advance did not come about by accident. Rather, it was the product of a wise and farsighted national science policy, set forth in an important 1946 report that established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that has propelled the American economy. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for financing basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private industry - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone. This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success, scientifically and economically.

Oddly enough, for political and cultural reasons, no other nation has successfully imitated the U.S. system of supporting basic science, the source from which all commercially oriented applied research and development ultimately flows. In Europe, too much research has been concentrated in national institutes rather than universities, divorcing cutting-edge research from training the next generation of industrial scientists and engineers. And, in the U.K. as well as continental Europe and Japan, most research funding has been allocated by block grants to universities or departments, rather than by the intensely competitive process of peer-reviewed grants to individuals and research groups. As a result, our lead in science has been maintained. Even today, more than 30% of scientific publications worldwide are authored in the U.S., and nearly half the world's Nobel prizes in science go to Americans.

Our competitive advantage in emerging industries based on science - such as computers in the 1960s, software in the 1990s, and biotechnology today - should not be taken for granted. Yet federal funding in support of basic research has waxed and waned. The budget of the National Institutes of Health was doubled between 1998 and 2003, a 14% annual rate of growth. For the past five years, the NIH budget has grown at annual rate of less than 2%, failing to keep up with inflation. This means that much of the young talent we trained during the boom cannot get funding today. What we need to succeed as a nation is a steady, predictable growth in basic research, at the rate of long-term average growth in GDP. If we don't do this, we are likely to lose our wide lead in biomedical technology, and we will fail to establish ourselves as the world leader in the other major area of emerging importance - alternative energy technologies.

Leadership in Innovation

Our hard and soft power in foreign affairs depends on the strength of our economy. And the strength of our economy depends not only on having scientific leadership, as I have just argued, but also on our national capacity to translate cutting-edge science into commercially viable technologies. This capacity depends in turn on two principal factors: the availability of financial capital and an abundance of innovative, entrepreneurial human capital. Our highly decentralized financial system, despite its endemic cyclicality of which we are today painfully aware, has unique advantages in encouraging investment in innovation. Funding for start-up companies in the U.S. is more easily available, and more adequately supported by value-added services, than anywhere else in the world.

And, thanks to the kind of higher education we provide, the human capital required for innovation is more abundant and more effective in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Why? Because, at our best colleges and universities, we educate students to be creative, flexible, and adaptive problem-solvers, capable of innovation and leadership in science, business, and the professions. We are told constantly that China and India are training more engineers than we are. And it is true that we could and should invest more heavily in science, math, and engineering education at all levels to ensure that our graduates have the technical capacity to succeed. But if you look closely at China and India, you will see that their aspiration is to educate students who are more like ours - students with the capacity to think creatively and independently.

In the modern economy, many successful companies produce products or services based on technology or marketing strategies that didn't exist a decade or two ago. New scientific discoveries are made every day, and new theories displace old ones with relentless regularity. The radical changes in communications technology that we have experienced over the past two decades have opened up whole new industries and destroyed others. In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; scientists, business leaders, and government officials alike must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

The methods of undergraduate education used by America's most selective universities and liberal arts colleges are particularly well suited to prepare students for a changing world. These institutions are committed to the "liberal education" of undergraduates. The premise underlying the philosophy of liberal education is that students will be best prepared for life if they can assimilate new information and reason through to new conclusions. Since any particular body of knowledge is bound to become obsolete, the object of a contemporary liberal education is not primarily to convey content, but to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to think independently, to regard the world with curiosity and ask interesting questions, to subject the world to sustained and rigorous analysis, to use where needed the perspectives of more than one discipline, and to arrive at fresh, creative answers. While many other cultures favor passive education and technical mastery, we in America gain from a pedagogy that enlarges the power of students to reason, to think creatively, and to respond adaptively.

The elements of that pedagogy are undoubtedly well known to this audience: small classes with ample opportunity for student participation, exams and homework assignments that ask students to weigh conflicting points of view or to solve problems actively, rather than merely reciting facts or the opinions of authorities. For the past four summers, I have led a workshop for the leadership teams of China's top universities. The number one topic on their agenda is how to reform curriculum and pedagogy to reflect the best practices of American universities. Why? Because they see in the products of U.S. education, including those U.S.-educated Chinese who are coming to dominate their own faculties, greater creativity and an enlarged capacity for innovation. China's political leaders are encouraging this effort at university reform, because they recognize that creativity and the capacity to innovate are characteristics that China will need in order to compete when they can no longer rely on a steady stream of low cost labor migrating from the countryside to industrial employment. It is a sad fact that China's leaders have a more sophisticated understanding of the decisive advantages of U.S. universities than our own political leaders.

Educating International Students

Nearly one-quarter of all students who leave their home countries for higher education abroad come to the United States, and our nation's share of the very best students is much larger. Only the finest universities in the United Kingdom offer serious competition to the best institutions in the United States, although in recent years Australia and Singapore have made significant efforts to compete for strong international students. These countries made substantial gains in the first years after the passage of the Patriot Act, when failure of the Departments of State and Homeland Security to adjust rapidly to new requirements rendered many thousands of students unable to secure visas in time for the start of the academic year.

The problem with student visas has now largely been fixed, thanks to a felicitous high-level intervention. But it is seldom appreciated in policy circles how much America gains from this inflow of international students. Nearly half of America's Nobel Prize winners in science have been foreign born. In the current debate about immigration policy, almost all the public attention focuses on the inflow of low-income immigrants from Mexico and the Caribbean. Outside Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Route 128, we hear too little about the difficulty our most technologically sophisticated companies are having in attracting sufficient highly skilled scientists and engineers. Much of the outsourcing of R&D undertaken by high tech firms is not driven by cost considerations, as is the outsourcing in manufacturing, back office work, and call centers. Instead, much R&D outsourcing is forced by the absence of qualified, highly skilled engineers and scientists with graduate degrees.

The annual quota for H-1B visas, covering foreign students who seek to remain and work in the U.S. after graduation, has been fixed for years at 85,000, and the annual allocation is typically exhausted within days at the start of each year. Recently, a new rule has extended the period of stay under an H-1B to 29 instead of 12 months. But the number of visas to be allocated has not increased. The demands of high tech industry have been lost in the contentious debate about the illegal aliens and the immigration of unskilled workers.

There is no doubt that our nation would benefit from retaining more graduate engineers and scientists, and for them there's a simple solution: scrap the H-1B visa and staple a green card to the diploma!

As I mentioned before, our universities serve the nation well not only by educating those who stay in our country, but also by educating those who return to their home country. It's true that in some cases, we would gain even more by retaining highly skilled graduates. But it's also true that those who return home typically serve as ambassadors for American values, or at least they understand them. I have already cited one example: the pressures for curriculum reform and critical thinking in China, along with pressures for greater freedom of expression on university campuses, are coming in large measure from those educated in the United States. Again and again, I encounter international students at Yale who tell me that they have been astounded by the degree of openness and intellectual freedom they find in America. And when I travel abroad, I see senior leaders in influential positions whose views of the world have been transformed by their educational experience in the United States.

Sending Our Students Abroad

Increasingly, American universities are also encouraging domestic undergraduates to spend time in another country. Traditional junior-year abroad study programs remain widely available. They attract a large fraction of students at institutions like Dartmouth and Middlebury, but only a modest fraction of undergraduates at Yale. We have responded by offering every undergraduate at least one international study or internship opportunity either during the academic year or during the summer. And we provide the financial resources to make it possible. By mobilizing our alumni around the world, we have created a superb infrastructure of serious summer work internships in seventeen cities: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Delhi, Accra, Cape Town, Kampala, Athens, Brussels, Budapest, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Joao Pessoa, Montreal, and Monterrey. In addition we send hundreds abroad every summer for immersion language courses or Yale summer school courses taught at partner institutions. We expect that an increasing number of institutions will follow our lead in making an overseas experience available to every student, and eventually in making an overseas experience a requirement for the bachelor's degree.

I believe that a twenty-first century liberal education requires not simply the capacity to think critically and independently, but also the capacity to understand how people of different cultures and values think and behave. The world has grown smaller and nations have become more interdependent. Whatever profession they choose, today's students are likely to have global careers and deal regularly with collaborators or competitors who see the world differently. To be adequately prepared for such careers, exposure to another culture is necessary. And a single meaningful encounter with cross-cultural differences in one's formative years will typically make it possible to learn easily from subsequent encounters with other cultures later in life.

I also believe that providing American students with a meaningful overseas experience is the best way to escape the insularity and parochialism that has too often influenced American foreign policy. With international exposure, our students will not only become better professionals, but better citizens. By getting more U.S. students abroad, our colleges and universities will create a more informed citizenry and one capable of thinking about foreign policy issues with greater sensitivity and intelligence.

Educating Leaders to Advance the Global Agenda

Our universities serve not only those students who enroll full-time in courses of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, they are also increasingly engaged in the provision of short-term executive education. Many institutions, notably the Kennedy School at Harvard, make a substantive contribution to U.S. foreign policy by running short-term and even semester-length courses for foreign government officials. Recently, Yale has initiated a series of multi-disciplinary programs for senior governmental officials from China, India, and Japan. To cover effectively the complexity of the most important global issues, we draw upon faculty from throughout the university - from our professional schools of law, management, forestry and environmental studies, and public health as well as our departments of economics, political science, and history. The "students" in these programs typically have the rank of vice minister or, in the case of India and Japan, member of parliament.

Education programs such as these have very high impact, because we are working with students who already occupy positions of significant power and influence. Even at America's finest universities, only a small fraction of our regularly enrolled students turn out to have a significant influence on the affairs of the nation and the world.

Such high-level programs have an effect similar to that of "track two" diplomacy, informal interaction among senior government officials. Only here the contact is not government-to-government, but U.S. experts-to-foreign governments. Even if the views of our academic experts do not always align with the position of our government, the foreign ministers and parliamentarians who attend these programs leave with a deeper understanding of American perspectives.

Leading by Example

Let me point to one final, idiosyncratic way in which American universities can assist our nation in addressing the global agenda. The problem of global warming cries out for a multinational solution: reducing carbon emissions in a way that is equitable and efficient. Developing nations like China and India fear that serious limits on greenhouse gas emissions will unfairly constrain their future growth. Skeptics in the U.S. fear that controlling carbon will impose a large cost on our economy as well. And yet all recognize that, if we collectively fail to take action, future generations will likely face much larger costs from economic dislocation and environmental destruction.

Universities have an important role in the effort to curtail global warming. Much of the work on climate science that has led to the detection and understanding of climate change was done within our walls, and we have been at the forefront of modeling the economic, social, and environmental impact of rising global temperatures and sea levels. We will also participate in developing carbon-free technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, as well as in finding more efficient ways to use carbon-based fuels.

More recently, universities have begun to play a different role, taking the lead in setting standards for carbon emissions that are substantially more restrictive than those adopted by national governments. In 2005, Yale made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions to 10% below the 1990 level by 2020, which translates to a 43% reduction in our 2005 carbon footprint. This is a reduction in the range of what will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. It is an ambitious goal. If the nations of the world were to negotiate a reduction of this magnitude in Copenhagen in 2009, we would be taking a giant step toward saving the planet.

And here's the good news. We believe that a reduction of this magnitude is not only possible but also relatively inexpensive. We estimate that we can achieve this goal at cost of less than 1% of our annual operating budget, perhaps no more than one-half of 1%.

We have made this commitment because we believe that in so doing we are being faithful to our mission as a teaching institution. We are leading by example. We have encouraged our sister institutions in the Ivy League to join us in setting a specific goal for reducing carbon emissions. And we are working on eliciting similar commitments from our nine partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities and from the 34 Chinese universities with which we have been working on curriculum reform and other issues over the past four years.

We have no illusion that the collective action of universities will have a measurable impact on global carbon emissions. But we do hope that our action will inspire others to believe that significant carbon reduction is feasible and not exceedingly costly. In leading by example, we hope to make a global carbon compact more likely.

Conclusion

Let me recapitulate. I have argued that America's universities are a highly effective instrument of U.S. foreign policy, because they:

  • Have given America decisive leadership in science
  • Educate students with the capacity to innovate
  • Educate international students who strengthen our nation by staying here or serving as ambassadors when they return home
  • Give U.S. students a deeper understanding of foreign nations and cultures
  • Prepare international leaders to tackle the global agenda, and
  • Demonstrate solutions to global problems.

I hope that I have convinced you. Thanks for listening.

Statement: Tibet
April 6, 2008

Yale has long supported efforts to advance the rule of law and human rights in China. I have promoted the work of the Yale China Law Center, which has been at the forefront of legal reform in China through its extensive collaborations with Chinese scholars, practicing lawyers, judges and other government officials. Yale has also been deeply engaged in the process of reforming China's universities, where there has been steady progress in the direction of free expression and the encouragement of independent thinking.

Last week after I testified on Capitol Hill, I went to visit with the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong, with whom I have had many conversations in recent years about Yale projects in China. I went to update him on current initiatives involving numerous schools at Yale. I also used the occasion to discuss recent events in Tibet, and I urged that China seek peaceful resolution of the current situation through dialogue.

Some believe that disengagement from troubling situations is the preferred solution. But I do not. I remain deeply committed to educational exchange and scholarly collaboration with China. By providing abundant opportunity for our students and faculty to engage with their peers in China, we hope to develop among the future leaders of both nations a mutual understanding of cultural differences, a shared appreciation of our common human values, and the capacity to bridge differences through dialogue.

Committee on the Environment and Public Works: Testimony
April 2, 2008

Thank you Chairwoman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe, and members of the Committee for this opportunity to discuss Yale’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and advance sustainable development.

Let me begin by noting that there is no longer any doubt that we have a problem.  The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded last year that the evidence of global warming is “unequivocal.” 1  The Panel, consisting of 2500 leading climate scientists from around the world, determined with “very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.”2  And it concluded that “most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.”3  The Panel concluded that, in the absence of corrective measures, global temperatures are likely to rise between 1 and 6 degrees centigrade by the end of this century, with the best estimates ranging between 2 and 4 degrees.  Even a 1-degree increase in temperature will limit fresh water availability and cause coastal flooding in much of the world, but, as the Panel noted, economic, social, and environmental damages and dislocation will become much more consequential if global temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees.

Full audio of the testimony is available from the EPW web site.

Download the full text of the testimony.


1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, 2007, p.1

2Ibid., p. 4.

3Ibid., p. 5.

Statement: The Report of the Study Group to Consider New Residential Colleges
February 17, 2008

Introduction

I am pleased to furnish you with the Report of the Study Group that I established in February 2007 to examine the desirability of adding two residential colleges. I initially appointed two committees: one to examine the impact of increasing enrollment on our academic programs and the other to consider the impact on student life. Joseph Gordon, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Deputy Dean of Yale College, chaired the former committee, and Professor William Sledge, former Master of Calhoun College and former Chair of the Council of Masters, led the latter committee. Penelope Laurans, Associate Dean of Yale College and Special Assistant to the President, has served ably as the Vice Chair of both committees, and Peter Salovey, Dean of Yale College, oversaw the entire project. The two committees joined forces last summer to ensure that the academic and student support issues were reviewed in a coordinated fashion. Thirty-four students, faculty and administrators worked conscientiously during the past twelve months, and I want to thank all of them for their thoughtful work.

In my letter to the community introducing the study a year ago, I stated that "before we decide to proceed with new colleges, we want to be certain that the quality of the Yale College experience would be maintained or enhanced, and not diminished." The Study Group has explored this issue with great wisdom and depth. The Group has helped us to see what we must do to ensure that the quality of the Yale College experience is maintained, and it has also identified a number of areas where the current conditions in Yale College could be improved if we undertake an expansion of the student population. Among the areas are the availability of physical education and performing arts facilities, and an insufficiency of faculty resources in the undergraduate arts curriculum and in certain departments and programs with large enrollments. The committee also raises important questions about the role of teaching fellows in undergraduate education and the adequacy of freshman and sophomore advising, questions raised previously by the Committee on Yale College Education in 2003 but not yet fully resolved. The principal recommendations of the Study Group, listed in the Executive Summary of the Report, will be an invaluable guide should the Corporation decide to proceed with the planning for two new residential colleges. Many other recommendations contained in the body of the Report will provide useful guidance as well, although we should not consider the Report a definitive blueprint. Inevitably, some of the suggestions of the Study Group will prove infeasible, and some of the issues identified may yield solutions superior to those suggested in the Report.

The Report of the Study Group will be presented to the Corporation later this week with my enthusiastic endorsement. At the meeting, I will suggest that we take two additional steps prior to seeking final Corporation approval of the project at our June 2008 meeting:

  1. the Provost, with the assistance of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, will prepare an initial capital budget covering both the construction of the colleges and associated facilities in support of expansion of Yale College, and a pro forma operating budget detailing the increases in operating costs (new faculty positions, support staff, facilities maintenance, etc.); and
  2. the Vice President for Development will prepare a fundraising plan for soliciting the gifts in support of the project and related new expenses.

The benefits of increasing the enrollment of Yale College

Given the charge to the Study Group, the Report focuses in great detail on what must be done to implement a transition to new colleges that would not diminish, and would enhance, the Yale College experience. The Report does not elaborate on the very considerable positive benefits from expanding our undergraduate enrollment, benefits that the Fellows of the Corporation have articulated on several occasions in recent years.

The last significant increase in the size of the Yale College student body came with the admission of women in 1969. As the Report notes, when Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges were opened in 1962, enrollment in Yale College increased only slightly (from 3,860 to 3,978), since the new colleges were then intended to relieve the overcrowding of the ten original colleges. Enrollment crept up to 4,100 by the mid-1960s, but took a big leap in the fall of 1969, to 4,686. It increased again under the budgetary pressures of the 1970s, when the endowment lost nearly half its purchasing power. By 1978, undergraduate enrollment first reached 5,200, and it has fluctuated between 5,150 and 5,350 ever since.

When women were first allowed to apply to Yale College, the number of applications soared immediately from 6,781 to 10,039, and the number fluctuated between 9,000 and 13,000 until 2001, when it began a steady rise to its current level of 22,500, spurred by dramatic improvements in financial aid, wider awareness of Yale's accessibility, the extension of full need-based aid to international students, and a growing appreciation of the quality of a Yale College education. Along with the rise in applications has come an equally dramatic increase in yield (the percentage of those admitted who accept Yale's offer) from 53% when I became president to over 70% in recent years.

The principal result of these changes in the admissions picture is that Yale College has become significantly more selective. From 1969 to 2000, the percentage of applicants admitted to Yale College fluctuated between 18% and 27%. It was above 20% as recently as 1999. Today, Yale College admits fewer than 10% of its applicants. Long-serving admissions officers agree that in each of the past several years we have denied admission to hundreds of applicants who would have been admitted ten years ago. Despite the well-documented decline in the average performance of U.S. high school students compared with those in other nations, the number and quality of superbly qualified U.S. applicants to Yale continues to increase.

The mission of Yale College is to seek exceptionally promising students of all backgrounds from across the nation and around the world and to educate them, through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic and creative capacities. The aim of this education is the cultivation of citizens with a rich awareness of our heritage to lead and serve in every sphere of human activity. For three centuries, we have made this aspiration a reality, to the great benefit of the nation and, increasingly, the world. Today, we have a long queue of highly qualified applicants who would collectively allow Yale to make an even greater contribution to society if more could be educated here. We also have the financial resources and the capacity to raise funds that would make this expanded contribution possible. Since the late-1970s, when the undergraduate population ceased to grow, Yale is larger in virtually every dimension: faculty, staff, library and museum resources, and physical presence. I believe that it is time to use our augmented resources to prepare a larger number of the most talented and promising students of all backgrounds for leadership and service.

There are also other arguments favoring expansion, though each is distinctly secondary to the principal argument that is rooted so clearly in Yale's mission. As the Study Group's Report emphasizes, a larger student body would require a larger faculty, especially in departments and programs that are under enrollment pressure now. Expanding the faculty would have substantial benefit for undergraduates, but it would also strengthen graduate education, augment Yale's contribution to the advancement of knowledge through research, and enhance the standing of departments and programs relative to our peer institutions.

Building new colleges in the location that we are considering (in the triangle just north of the Grove Street Cemetery bounded by Prospect, Canal, and Sachem Streets) would also help to create a new sense of the geography of our campus by enlarging the footprint of Yale College. In time, I believe that the presence of undergraduate residences north of Grove Street would completely alter the perception that Science Hill is "too far away" from the "center" of campus, a point that I further develop below. In fact, the site proposed for the new colleges is only three blocks north of Elm Street, which divides the Old Campus and the Cross Campus. As the Report indicates, the new colleges have the potential of making the whole campus seem smaller, more effectively linking Science Hill with the historic "center" through the proper treatment of Prospect Street, the creation of appropriate "stepping stones" along the way, and the development of facilities for student activities at, near, and beyond the site of the new colleges.

A larger enrollment would also have positive and perennial benefits for the economy of New Haven, arising from the expenditures of students themselves and the University's expenditures on their behalf, including the creation of new employment opportunities. It is encouraging that both the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen have wholeheartedly supported the expansion of Yale College.

Parameters for the new colleges

Before commenting on the advice of the Study Group, let me clarify some of the important parameters that we have established for the proposed new colleges. First, each college would incorporate all of the major features of our existing colleges - separate dining halls and common rooms, courtyards, Masters' Houses, and student suites built on an entryway system, rather than on corridors.

Second, in our initial planning we determined, with the advice of the Council of Masters and the Dean of Yale College, that the new colleges should house their own freshmen, like Timothy Dwight and Silliman College. The Study Group Report affirms by a student poll what I have learned from casual empiricism over many years: students in Silliman and Timothy Dwight overwhelmingly favor four-year colleges while students in the other ten colleges overwhelmingly favor three-year colleges with freshmen on Old Campus. The Study Group, while not taking a position, has requested further consideration of this issue. I will confess that my personal view is that four-year colleges, with freshmen living in close proximity to one another within a larger community that includes upperclassmen, are better for the social and intellectual development of freshmen. In deference to the Study Group's recommendation, I will open-mindedly confer once again with the Council of Masters and the Yale College Dean's Office.

Third, for planning purposes I anticipate that each of the new colleges be approximately 235,000 square feet, which is about 10% smaller than Silliman College. As explained below, some space in the new colleges would be used to reduce the population of the existing colleges by approximately 175 students and eliminate the need for annex housing. The resulting increment in the overall undergraduate population will depend on the propensity of juniors and seniors to live off-campus and the total number of beds in the new colleges. The most likely result would be an increase in the number of students by 12 to 13%, from 5,300 to 5,950 or 6,000. By co-locating the two colleges (in the manner of Saybrook and Branford, or Pierson and Davenport), we would be able to achieve some efficiencies, such as having one kitchen support two serving areas and two dining halls, as well as sharing some of the amenities that are typically housed in the basements of the colleges.

Fourth, in accordance with the timetable that the Corporation discussed when I first charged the Study Group, if the project is given final approval this spring we would expect to break ground for the new colleges no later than the first half of 2011 and open them to students no later than the fall of 2013.

Lastly, it is not my intention to recommend any change in Yale College admissions practices, although we have ample time to address this issue before we start admitting students. For planning purposes, we expect that the percentage of international students and the distribution of intended majors will not change significantly. Because we do not expect to increase the number of varsity teams, the number of recruited athletes will not grow.

Response to the Study Group's Recommendations

In the reflections that follow, I respond to each of the 15 principal recommendations listed in the Executive Summary of the Study Group's Report. Instead of responding point-by-point, however, I have reorganized the material to try to capture some of the Study Group's major themes and to put their recommendations in context.

A. The addition of two new colleges would relieve some current pressures on Yale's physical and human resources.

  • The existing residential colleges
    The Study Group recommends that approximately 175 places in the two colleges should be devoted to alleviating overcrowding in the existing colleges by eliminating undesirable annex housing on the Old Campus and elsewhere. This is a worthy objective, as it is widely believed that the prospect of annex housing often drives off campus juniors who would prefer to remain in their colleges.
  • The Payne Whitney Gymnasium
    The Israel Fitness Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium is so popular that it is at capacity much of the day. We are already planning the creation of a second large exercise facility on Science Hill to serve not only the new colleges, but also faculty and students in the sciences as well as the professional schools on the northern end of campus. This should alleviate the crowded conditions at Payne Whitney for the rest of the community.
  • Faculty in departments with a large number of majors and in interdisciplinary programs
    Currently, there is a serious shortage of faculty in the Department of Political Science, and an insufficient number of junior and senior seminars taught by ladder faculty in the Departments of History and Economics. All three of these departments need to grow if majors are to be adequately served, and, indeed, there are already plans for significant growth in Political Science and Economics. The prospect of increased enrollment gives us added incentive to develop more ambitious growth plans for each of these departments.

    Similarly, we are currently pressed to find sufficient teaching resources to cover some of our most successful interdisciplinary teaching programs, such as Perspectives on Science and Directed Studies. There is also substantial excess demand for access to courses in Theater Studies, Film Studies, and Art. Whether we expand or not, we need to develop mechanisms to ensure that these programs are adequately staffed.

  • The advising of freshmen and sophomores
    The Study Group notes, as did the Committee on Yale College Education in 2003, that while students are typically well advised once they choose a major, we have too few faculty members sufficiently well-versed in the breadth of the curriculum to serve as helpful advisers for freshmen and sophomores. This has been a recognized problem in Yale College as long as I have been on the faculty. The Study Group is right in thinking that the prospect of expansion makes it imperative that we bring fresh and imaginative solutions to bear on the problem of freshman and sophomore advising. I will ask the Dean of Yale College to make this a high priority.

B. The location of the new colleges provides opportunity to enhance the entire campus.

The Study Group observes that most undergraduates are concerned that the colleges would be too far from the historic center of campus, and it has provided numerous recommendations that would turn the apparent liability of the location into an asset. For example, the Study Group recommends that we improve Prospect Street north of Grove Street to create both "stepping stones" along the way to the new college and amenities on or near the site itself. It is worth noting that some of the investments that are already in progress will help to shorten the perceived distance to the new site and to Science Hill and make the walk more attractive. For example, the recently completed Rose Center and the soon to be built new home of the Yale University Health Services will transform Lock Street behind the cemetery into an attractive, landscaped pedestrian passage from Morse, Ezra Stiles, and the Payne Whitney Gym to Science Hill and the site of the new colleges. And Rosenkranz Hall, the new home of the Political Science Department that is currently under construction on the east side of Prospect, will provide a much more attractive façade than the back of Luce Hall.

Among the facilities the Group recommends for Prospect Street are a student café, classroom space, exercise facilities, a theater suitable for musical comedy and dance performance, rehearsal space for singing and theatrical groups, and meeting space for student organizations. I believe that we should pursue all of these suggestions. A student café on the ground floor of Becton, possibly augmented by a convenience store, is a particularly attractive idea. It could serve as a lighted beacon at night and attract not only undergraduates but also graduate students and faculty from the north end of campus. A new building, soon to be planned for the current site of the University Health Services, will more than compensate the Faculty of Engineering for any temporary loss of space.

We will also act upon the Study Group recommendations to strengthen shuttle bus service, to enhance security in the entire area surrounding the new colleges, and to improve the sidewalks and intersections along Prospect Street to make them attractive, well lit and safe. We also should consider, as the Study Group suggests, how we could make the entire campus friendlier to the use of bicycles.

C. We will need to make a number of substantial investments beyond the construction and operation of the new residential colleges for the expansion of Yale College to be successful.

  • Faculty
    Increasing the size of Yale College by approximately 12% will require additional faculty to ensure that students continue to have access to small classes and personal supervision. But, as the Study Group notes, the need for increased faculty will differ from department to department and program to program. Some departments with excess teaching capacity will need no additional faculty; some will need a roughly proportionate increase in ladder faculty, while others, as noted above, are currently too small to meet their teaching demands and will need to grow by more than 12%. Certain programs, such as writing and foreign language courses, will require an increase in non-ladder teaching faculty.

    Should the colleges be approved by the Corporation, I will, as recommended by the Report of the Study Group, ask the Provost to work with the deans to set in motion a detailed review of each department and teaching program within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as the professional schools with teaching responsibilities in Yale College, to ensure that, by the time the student population is expanded, sufficient faculty are in place to maintain and strengthen the curriculum.

    The Study Group also notes that if traditional approaches to teaching are not modified, we would need additional teaching fellows to support lecture and laboratory courses. The Study Group echoes the recommendation of the Committee on Yale College Education in urging that we create new models for graduate student teaching that are in the best interest of both graduate student career development and of undergraduate learning. It is time to get on with this task. I will ask the Dean of the Graduate School to work with the departments to develop specific proposals that accomplish this dual objective.

  • Support Staff
    We must be committed to making such additions to the staffing of student services as necessary to preserve the quality of support. For example, we will need to assess the staffing requirements of the University Health Services, Undergraduate Career Services, and the Digital Media Center for the Arts, among many other organizations that provide academic and administrative support to Yale College students. It goes without saying that the new colleges would require staffing and funding at a level commensurate with the existing colleges. I will ask the Vice President for Finance and Administration to work with the Provost to ensure that sufficient staff are added to support not only student services, but the new faculty who are added as well.
  • Libraries
    The unanticipated popularity of the new Bass Library, which was planned to accommodate the possible expansion of the student body, makes clear that we will need to find more study space in the Sterling Memorial Library. As the Study Group notes, the coming renovation of Seeley G. Mudd Library also may offer possibilities for enhanced study facilities for undergraduate and graduate students alike, but the specialized nature of its collections may not make it as suitable for as many students as Sterling and Bass Libraries. I will ask the University Librarian to work with the Provost to develop plans to accommodate an expansion of the undergraduate population.
  • Classrooms
    It is clear that our current classrooms are not utilized efficiently, as the Study Group notes, but there are initiatives currently under way to spread the scheduling of classes across the week. Although much remains to be accomplished in improving and coordinating our classroom scheduling process, I nonetheless agree with the Study Group's observation that there will be need for additional classrooms, and it would be useful to locate them in the vicinity of the new colleges. Having students from the existing colleges who are not in science courses come to this precinct on a regular basis would help to mitigate the perception that the new colleges are remote and isolated. The size and configuration of new classrooms will warrant careful study by the Provost and the Classroom Planning Group.
  • The Arts
    In the past decade, we have added five new performance and multipurpose spaces within the renovated residential colleges, as well as the new Off Broadway Theater. But the artistic life of undergraduates is so lively that there is a pressing need for more, especially for space that is specifically designed for dance, music, and theater. I heartily concur with the Study Group's recommendation to create both performance and rehearsal space in the vicinity of the new colleges. This will animate the area in the evenings. It is clear, however, that we will still need additional arts space downtown. The need for additional music practice rooms is being addressed by the pending renovation of Hendrie Hall, but more space for theatrical productions, rehearsals, costume making, set construction, and storage is needed in the Chapel Street area, as is expansion space for the highly successful Digital Media Center for the Arts. We plan to address all these needs at the same time as investment in the new colleges proceeds.

    The Provost and I strongly support the Study Group's recommendation of a new Associate Dean in Yale College for the arts to give leadership to the development of the formal curriculum in the arts and to support and coordinate extracurricular endeavors. Such a person could help to fulfill the worthy but as yet unrealized curricular aspirations cited in the Report of the Committee on Yale College Education.

  • Intramural facilities
    We will need to study how and where to add outdoor playing fields as recommended by the Study Group. We will explore whether any possibilities exist in the vicinity of the new colleges, and, if not, we will consider how we might expand the capacity of fields in the vicinity of the Yale Bowl.

D. Adding new colleges will provide an opportunity to strengthen the existing residential college system.

The residential college system is one of the glories of Yale, and it is a major reason why students choose to come to Yale and a major reason why Yale College students report greater satisfaction with their education than students at most peer institutions. Yet, as the Study Group observes, the system is not perfect. Despite steps taken in recent years, students continue to express concern that some colleges have more financial resources than others. The Study Group urges that the college fellowships be strengthened, and that resident fellows and graduate students play a more active role in college life. I look forward to working with the Dean of Yale College and our devoted Council of Masters to address these issues. In particular, I will strongly encourage the new colleges, as well as those masters of existing colleges who wish to participate, to increase the opportunities for graduate and professional students to affiliate with the colleges and serve as mentors and advisers to undergraduates. And I will work to see that in the future each master ensures that resident fellows have specific and substantial responsibilities for service that would benefit the college.

V. Conclusion

I want to close by once again thanking the Study Group for a thoughtful and comprehensive report. As I have indicated, we will move quickly to tackle the numerous issues the Study Group identified, many of which need not await the construction of new colleges.

I am well aware that despite strong support from faculty and alumni, many students remain concerned that new colleges will inevitably diminish the intimacy and quality of the Yale College experience. I hope that the many suggestions of the Study Group, and our enthusiastic response to their recommendations, will help to address these concerns. By creating two new communities of roughly 400 students, intimacy can be preserved. By responding aggressively to the issues of adequate staffing, amenities in proximity to the new colleges, transportation, security, activity space, and support for student activities as outlined by the Study Group, I believe that the quality of education and extracurricular life will not only be undiminished but truly strengthened.

Most important, the expansion of our student population will give Yale the opportunity to deepen and enhance its contribution to society, fulfilling our vital mission to educate the most promising for leadership and service.

Download the Report of the Study Group to Consider New Residential Colleges

Leading by Example: From Sustainable Campuses to a Sustainable World
January 20, 2008
Climate Lecture Series, University of Copenhagen

I am greatly honored to participate in this distinguished series of lectures in preparation for next year’s UN Summit on Climate Change. Because Yale is among Copenhagen University’s founding partners in the International Alliance of Research Universities, I am especially delighted to have the opportunity to visit your campus and to advance our global collaboration.

There is no longer any doubt that we have a problem. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded last year that the evidence of global warming is “unequivocal.”1 The Panel, consisting of 2500 leading climate scientists from around the world, determined with “very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.”2 And it concluded that “most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.”3 The Panel concluded that, in the absence of corrective measures, global temperatures are likely to rise between 1 and 6 degrees centigrade by the end of this century, with the best estimates ranging between 2 and 4 degrees. Even a 1-degree increase in temperature will limit fresh water availability and cause coastal flooding in much of the world, but, as the Panel noted, economic, social, and environmental damages and dislocation will become much more consequential if global temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees.

Universities have an important role in the effort to curtail global warming. Much of the work on climate science that has led to the detection and understanding of climate change was done within our walls, and we have been at the forefront of modeling the economic, social, and environmental impact of rising global temperatures and sea levels. This work continues with increased focus and urgency. More recently, universities have begun to take the lead, along with enlightened corporations as well as municipal and provincial governments, in setting standards for carbon emissions that are substantially more restrictive than those adopted by national governments.

I want to devote the first half of my remarks to the work that universities are doing to improve our understanding of global warming and what can be done about it. In particular, I would like to highlight the ongoing efforts to demonstrate that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are both feasible and relatively inexpensive. Then I’d like to conclude with some reflections on what governments must do to secure the future of the planet. Designing a response to global warming is unusually complex, and the practical and political impediments are formidable. But these complexities and impediments are not an acceptable excuse for inaction. We need to address this problem now, for the sake of future generations.

The Role of Universities

So what roles should universities play in advancing sustainable development at the local and global level?

First, universities must continue to advance the science of climate change and its consequences. We will make further investments in science to refine our models of how climate change occurs and how it is likely to affect the economy and the environment. We will also sponsor policy research to illuminate the likely consequences of corrective actions. It is worth noting that nearly half of the 2500 scientists and policy experts who constitute the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are based in universities.

Around the world there are many significant university initiatives directed toward advancing the science of global warming. The University of Tokyo, for example, is committed to a major reorganization of its scientific effort to create an entire division of sustainability. This is an exciting interdisciplinary approach that holds great promise.

A second major area of university involvement is energy technology. MIT’s President, Susan Hockfield, declared in her inaugural address that alternative energy technology would be her institution’s foremost research priority. MIT is devoting significant resources to this vast area of research, which includes not only developing carbon-free technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, but also finding more efficient ways to use carbon-based fuels through improved building materials and design, as well as improved vehicle and power plant technologies.

MIT is not alone. The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois recently received a $500 million commitment to fund alternative energy research from British Petroleum – the largest corporate gift ever made in support of university-based research.

A third important role for universities is to educate students who will go on to be future leaders and influential citizens of the world. At Yale we take this part of our mission extremely seriously. We have greatly expanded our teaching programs in the environmental area. We now have over 60 courses available to undergraduates, who can choose either environmental studies or environmental engineering as a major subject. The study of the environment and sustainability is now embedded in the curriculum of our graduate schools of business, architecture, and public health. And our graduate School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which offers an interdisciplinary curriculum spanning science and policy, has for decades produced some of America’s most influential environmental leaders. Today, the heads of many of our leading environmental organizations – including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Conservation International, among others – are graduates of the School.

Finally, universities can demonstrate to the world that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are feasible and not prohibitively expensive. This fourth role of universities interacts with the third. In our efforts to demonstrate best practices in limiting carbon emissions we are teaching our students, who are full participants in this campus-wide effort, how to be responsible citizens of the world. Together, we are learning how to balance near-term economic considerations against the long-term health of the environment and future human generations.

I would like to illustrate how universities can reduce their carbon footprints by using Yale as a case study. But before I do, let me briefly outline the broader picture of sustainability at Yale. We have a comprehensive sustainability framework that includes protection of natural ecosystems, conservation of our water resources, recycling of materials, and the use of natural, locally grown food in our dining halls. We aspire to leadership in all of these dimensions of sustainability, and we hope to inculcate in our students a lasting consciousness of what it means to live on a planet with finite resources in full awareness of how human action today affects the future of both humanity and the natural environment.

Our sustainability program at Yale, in short, involves educating the next generation of leaders in our society to live in better harmony with the planet than prior generations. Our aspiration is to promote growing prosperity that is sustainable, in the sense that future generations will have no less opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the environment or the fruits of their own potential than we ourselves have enjoyed.

How did Yale set out on this path? First, we have always had a strong presence at Yale of environmentally conscious scholars and students. Just before the millennium, we created a task force, the Advisory Committee on Environmental Management, led by faculty, which was asked to suggest improvements Yale’s environmental practices. We then launched a series of small environmental projects and ultimately created an Office of Sustainability.

One of the events that significantly influenced me toward taking bolder action was a report prepared by three undergraduate students. These students thoroughly documented Yale’s environmental practices and pointed the way toward what might be done in the future to improve our policies. The student report appeared just as we hired Julie Newman as our first Director of Sustainability. We now had a vision, which I embraced, and a leader thoroughly up to the task of moving the university forward. Today, Julie Newman not only coordinates Yale’s efforts, but she has assumed a position of leadership in sustainability practices across the university community – regionally, nationally, and globally.

Now I would like to describe Yale’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll start by noting that Yale employs more than 12,000 people, making us the second-largest employer in our home state of Connecticut. There are 11,000 students on our campus and we have an annual budget of $2.5 billion. We are a large organization by any standard, large enough to be a model of responsible environmental practice for other universities and business organizations, large enough to demonstrate to political leaders that greenhouse gas reduction is feasible and affordable.

The centerpiece of our effort at Yale is our commitment to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions to 43% percent below our 2005 baseline by 2020, a goal within the range of estimates of what’s required to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees centigrade. Our target is more ambitious than the goal adopted at Kyoto, but has a longer timeframe, 2020 rather than 2012.

The good news is that we’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 43,000 metric tons in the first two years of our program. That’s a 17 percent reduction from our 2005 levels. This rapid process has given us confidence that we are going to achieve our reduction well before our 2020 deadline.

We have additional emissions-reducing projects currently planned for implementation within the next three years, the most important of which is a new co-generation plant on the campus of our School of Medicine. These projects will achieve an additional 17 percent reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions.

We plan to reduce our carbon footprint through a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on our campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Some of the specific steps we have taken to reduce emissions are worthy of mention:

In the last two years, we have retrofitted the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in 90 of our roughly 300 buildings. Heating and lighting is managed by automated controls.

We have installed thermally efficient windows in many of our largest existing buildings, and in all of the new buildings we have constructed in the last decade.

We have acquired new power plant equipment and modified some existing equipment to achieve substantial savings in fuel consumption. We are using a mix of conventional and renewable fuels in our power plant and our campus bus fleet.

All of our new buildings, and even most of our renovations, have achieved a Silver rating or better from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. We are constructing a new home for our School of Forestry and Environmental Studies that is designed to be carbon-neutral. It is truly a marvel of green architecture and it will be the second new building at Yale to gain the highest rating, LEED Platinum. Only 51 buildings worldwide have thus far achieved this standard; eleven of them are on university campuses. We are currently exploring, along with several sister institutions, an alternative standard for new construction that focuses more directly than LEED on greenhouse gas reduction.

In several of our existing and new buildings we have installed ground source heat pumps to help meet heating and cooling needs.

We have reduced aggregate electricity consumption by 10 percent in our residential colleges each of the last two years, by sponsoring a competition between the colleges. Part of this reduction is attributable to more conscientious behavior in turning off lights and computers, but we have also distributed thousands of compact fluorescent light bulbs. We intend to achieve another 5 percent reduction in student electricity consumption this year.

We are developing standards for the replacement of university-owned vehicles with hybrid models. As we replace the University’s buses and trucks, we want to minimize fuel consumption and also use renewable fuels where possible.

We are experimenting with solar and wind power as part of our effort. We are installing solar panels on a number of our buildings, both existing and new. And we are installing small wind turbines in the windiest sections of our campus.

Nearly all of these projects require up-front investment, but the good news is that most of the actions we have taken to date have brought sufficient energy savings to yield a positive economic return. Based on our experience, I am convinced that just about every large organization that carefully examines its energy sources and consumption will find many investments that have an economic payoff.

Nonetheless, some of the investments we are making, and some that we will make in the future, do incur some net economic cost. For example, our studies suggest that there is a significant premium associated with establishing LEED Gold as a minimum standard for new construction, relative to our current standard of LEED Silver. In part, this is why we are considering the development of an alternative standard more closely linked to carbon emissions.

Today, we usually pay a premium when we substitute renewable fuels for conventional fuels. That equation might change if there were a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To evaluate such situations, we calculate what the net cost or savings would be in the presence of a $50 or $100 per ton carbon tax.

In some cases, we will invest to achieve carbon savings even at a modest net economic cost, in part to demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies and in part to encourage policy change that would price carbon correctly. Recognizing that some of the steps we are taking produce economic savings while others impose a cost, we believe that we can reach our greenhouse gas reduction goal at a cost of less than one percent of our annual operating expenses. Indeed, in our most likely scenario the net cost is closer to one half of one percent of our operating expenses.

This is a price that we are more than willing to pay to achieve such a significant reduction in the Yale’s carbon footprint. I would ask each individual in this room the following question: would you pay a tax of one half of one percent of income to save the planet? Perhaps I am an incorrigible optimist, but I believe that when asked this question most people would answer “yes.”

I should mention that many of Yale’s peer institutions also are aggressively reducing their carbon footprints. Cornell University, for example, has a project using lake water for campus-wide cooling, and the University of Pennsylvania has purchased wind power to meet 30 percent of its electricity needs. And I am delighted that the University of Copenhagen has committed to reducing its energy consumption by 20 percent in the next decade. By the end of this academic year, we expect that every one of our sister institutions in the Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania) will adopt its own concrete and achievable greenhouse gas reduction goal.

Yale is also encouraging three groups of international universities to become leaders in reducing carbon emissions. The International Alliance of Research Universities, which includes Copenhagen, is working on a defining common metrics and similar policy goals. At Davos later this week a group of more than 20 international universities will convene at the Global University Leaders Forum to discuss adopting a common approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And next week, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Yale will conduct a workshop for officials from China’s top 34 universities on environmental best practices.

As we consider the contributions that universities around the world might make in the effort to address climate change, we need to recognize that important differences in our histories and stages of development might dictate different goals. It would be unfair, for example, to expect universities in China and India to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below their 1990 levels, as Yale has done. Chinese universities have grown dramatically since 1990. National enrollments tripled between 1998 and 2003, and many individual campuses have more than doubled their size in the last decade. It seems unreasonable to expect institutions that have experienced two-, five-, or ten-fold increases in energy consumption since 1990 to turn back the clock. Nonetheless, these universities can still adopt ambitious programs to reduce emissions significantly below current levels.

I would hope that as universities around the world set aggressive goals for carbon reduction and pursue them successfully, our students, regardless of the degrees they earn and the career paths they choose, will leave with an appreciation of sustainability that will govern their behavior in the workplace and their lives as citizens.

But the ultimate test of our collective efforts will be in the sphere of national and international policy. Voluntary climate commitments alone will not suffice to achieve the greenhouse gas reductions needed to save the planet. At best, these voluntary efforts can help raise consciousness among citizens and demonstrate to policy-makers the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of setting ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions. It is to the broader questions of public policy that I now turn.

Public Policy

There is an emerging consensus that to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases need to be stabilized in the range of 450 to 550 parts per million. In a widely noted report circulated in late 2006, Sir Nicholas Stern, the distinguished British economist and Treasury official, concluded that to reach this objective, global emissions of greenhouse gases would need to be reduced somewhere between 25 and 70 percent by 2050, depending on whether we aim for 550 or 450 ppm. Even the more modest target is a tall order, because the economy will be three to four times larger in 2050 than it is today.

The magnitude of the problem highlights one important fact: the solution must be global. Given current levels of emissions in the US and Europe, and the projected growth of the Chinese and Indian economies, we simply cannot make the reductions required on a global scale without the cooperation of the United States, the European Union, China, and India. If any one of these four economic powers refuses to participate in an international program to reduce carbon, we cannot succeed in stabilizing global temperatures. Any one holdout pursuing a business-as-usual strategy will make the cost of adequate global reduction prohibitive.

There is a broad consensus among economists that the most effective way to stop global warming is to ensure that decentralized decision-makers – consumers and business enterprises – pay a price for greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done either directly, by imposing a tax on carbon, or indirectly, by creating a “cap-and-trade” mechanism – that is, by imposing limits on total emissions and issuing tradable allowances. A tax or cap-and-trade scheme can be imposed either upstream (at the source where petroleum, coal, or natural gas is extracted or converted to fuel) or downstream (in power plants, factories, or motor vehicles where greenhouse gases are emitted). There is controversy about both issues: taxes v. quotas, upstream v. downstream. As an economist, I would enjoy exploring the nuances of these arguments in depth, but in the big picture neither of these questions is the most important. We can design taxes more or less efficiently and we can design a tradable allowance system more or less efficiently. And, while it matters, it doesn’t matter that much whether we tax fuels or issue quotas at the source, or at the point of combustion and atmospheric release. What matters more is this: will we set taxes high enough or emissions quotas low enough to elicit a sufficient response? If we set a carbon tax that is too low, or set emissions “caps” that are too high, we will fail to arrest global warming, and we will fail to minimize the net economic, social, and environmental cost of rising global temperatures.

Before commenting on the big question, let me make a couple of additional observations. First, whether one sets taxes or emissions quotas, most economists favor gradualism, for compelling reasons. Adjustment in the short run is much more costly than adjustment over a decade or two, when energy-inefficient capital equipment and motor vehicles can be phased out gradually in favor of more efficient alternatives. What is essential for the efficient operation of either a tax or a cap-and-trade regime is that individuals and businesses know what their taxes or allowances will be well into the future. A gradually rising tax on carbon or a gradually falling quota on carbon emissions that is credible will be sufficient to elicit socially optimal investment decisions, both in the deployment of existing technologies and in the development of new technologies. It is not necessary to impose high taxes or low quotas immediately.

Second, although there are good theoretical and practical arguments on both sides of the question, in the context of reaching international agreement, a cap-and-trade scheme may have a decisive advantage over a carbon tax. Developing countries will strongly resist a uniform global carbon tax, which they would perceive as placing upon them an unfair burden; yet different taxes across nations would distort investment incentives. By contrast, agreement on a global cap-and-trade system could take account of a country’s stage of development by assigning more stringent reduction targets to developed countries and less stringent ones to developing countries. Regardless of the equitable adjustments made in distributing national quotas, as long as allowances are tradable internationally, a uniform price for carbon will result, creating a solution that would be both equitable among nations and efficient in the allocation of investment.

So, how high a carbon price do we need? To reduce annual global emissions 25% by 2050, the Stern Review finds that we would require a carbon tax (or a market price of tradable emissions allowances) in the range of $350-400 per ton of carbon by 2015, rising to more than $600 per ton by 2050. Fortunately, my Yale colleague, William Nordhaus, demonstrates that Stern’s result should not be taken seriously; it is driven by a combination of extreme and internally inconsistent assumptions about the attitude of individuals toward risk and the rate at which the well-being of future generations is discounted. Nordhaus’ own model indicates the same reduction in emissions can be achieved by a carbon price that rises gradually from $35 per ton in 2015 to about $100 per ton in 2050.

But can we be confident that a 25% global reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 is enough? Martin Weitzman, the Harvard economist, highlights this question by pointing out that we may be missing the boat if we set emissions goals and price carbon according to “expected” or “best guess” scenarios when in fact there is a huge penumbra of uncertainty surrounding the quantitative effect of carbon emissions on temperature, and similar uncertainty surrounding the impact of rising temperature on human well-being, broadly, and the economy, more narrowly. Perhaps, he suggests, we should price carbon as if we were taking out insurance against the most catastrophic scenarios, rather than paying for the “expected” or “most likely” consequences of global warming. This approach would yield a carbon tax significantly in excess of Nordhaus’ range, though probably still below Stern’s. The principal of gradualism, however, suggests that one would adjust slowly to paying high insurance premiums, and invest along the way in acquiring, through better science, knowledge that would permit a narrowing of the range of uncertainty.

Finally, there remains the question: is the cost to society of reducing carbon emissions so high as to be politically infeasible? Our best economic estimates suggest that it will cost between ½ of one percent and one percent of global output to reach reduction goals in the neighborhood of 25% by 2050. Voluntary efforts at Yale and elsewhere are demonstrating that the low end of that cost range may be achievable. Again I ask: is a tax of ½ of one percent too big a price to pay to save the planet? I think not.

But there is an even more convincing refutation of the proposition that fighting global warming is too costly, and it is this: we have already experienced something that looks very much like a carbon tax, and a very large one. In fact, we have demonstrated that we can absorb a carbon tax as high as the implausibly high one that Stern’s model dictates. In 2002, the price of crude oil averaged $25 per barrel. Today it is close to $100 per barrel, an increase of $75 per barrel. If, counterfactually, the demand for crude oil were perfectly inelastic, a $600 per ton tax on carbon, the tax recommended by Stern in the year 2050, would increase the price of crude oil by about $70. And of course demand is not perfectly inelastic, so the actual effect of a carbon tax on the price of oil would be considerably below this level. A carbon tax at the more realistic level proposed by Nordhaus – $100 by 2050, would increase the price of oil by less than $12 a barrel.

I am not saying that we already have a carbon tax, because a proper carbon tax would apply equally to coal, natural gas, and other sources of combustible carbon. But I am saying that we have over the past five years absorbed an increase in the price of oil more than six times larger than the increase we are likely to need to curtail global warming.

What have we learned from this “natural experiment” with oil prices? Let me note just two lessons. First, until the recent credit crunch in the United States – an event largely unrelated to the increase in oil prices – the world economy has prospered. Despite the fact that all are importers of oil, Europe and the United States have experienced robust growth since 2002 while China and India have shot out the lights. So it is clear that we have the capacity to absorb a carbon tax. Second, just as our economic models of climate change predict, investment in alternative energy technologies has accelerated dramatically in response to rising oil prices. Venture capital investment in clean technology in the United States has increased by a factor of 11 since 2003, and “clean-tech” investment as a share of all venture capital funding has grown from just over 1% to 12%.

When the delegates to the UN Summit on Climate Change convene in Denmark next year, let us hope that they take inspiration from the work that is being done by universities around the globe to advance the science of climate change and its consequences, to develop new carbon-free and energy-efficient technologies, to educate the next generation to a new consciousness about sustainability, and to demonstrate to the world that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is both feasible and affordable. Let us also hope that they will absorb the lessons of the recent past and not shrink from their responsibility to reach a global agreement on carbon reduction that is meaningful and effective. Our future depends on what happens next year, here in Copenhagen.


1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, 2007, p.1

2Ibid., p. 4.

3Ibid., p. 5.

Statement: Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 17, 2008

As we mark the national holiday for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, we are reminded of his visit to Yale in June 1964 to receive an Honorary Degree. Dr. King's citation noted that his "eloquence has kindled the nation's sense of outrage" at the racial discrimination that remained tragically embedded in so many parts of America.

We take stock of the progress made in the last four decades - progress made possible by his work before his tragic assassination 40 years ago and by the inspiration of his living legacy ever since. We remind ourselves of the conditions of violence and struggle that marked the civil rights era of the 1960s, and at the same time we are mindful of the stubborn reality that our nation has not yet achieved the dream to which Dr. King gave so much inspiration, as well as his own life.

We should, of course, celebrate progress. But we should also rededicate ourselves to the still unfinished work that Dr. King called upon all of humanity to pursue - to overcome "the long night of racial injustice" and establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice for all people.

Although we at Yale and elsewhere observe the King holiday as a day without classes or normal staff duties, I encourage all of us to take this not as a mere "day off" but to make it a special day to renew our personal and collective commitment to racial, social, and economic justice and to reflect on how our collective diversity contributes to the strength of our institution and the richness of our individual lives. We should resolve to deepen our efforts to promote inclusion and to build on our campus a community where diversity of all types is celebrated and recognized as a precious asset. I hope you will take advantage of the numerous commemorative events on campus this weekend and Monday; for information see the press release "Yale University Honors the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr."

This past fall, we were reminded that our work to bring unity and justice is not finished as the campus saw two acts of disturbing racist and homophobic graffiti. I was gratified by the widespread concern expressed by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in response to these incidents. Our community will best rid itself of hateful attitudes by speaking out against them.

Dr. King had a dream that one day all children would live in a nation where they were judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and this dream has particular importance for our academic community. We can all be proud that Yale was home to Edward Bouchet, the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in 1876, but we must remember that for most of the institution's history, Yale was not a diverse place and Bouchet's personal achievement was an extraordinary one.

In the 1960s, moved by Dr. King and others, Yale among many academic institutions recognized the need to overcome a history of discrimination and began in earnest to identify and encourage African-American and other minority group applicants. The diversity of our matriculants has increased markedly over the decades, and we now have a deeply-rooted and broad commitment to maintaining that diversity. This year's freshman class is the most diverse in Yale's 306-year history. Yale College students come from many races and ethnic groups, represent numerous religious faiths and hail from all 50 states and 42 nations. From these diverse backgrounds come varied points of view, and each student's education is enriched by respectful encounters with those who have had different experiences and who hold different beliefs.

Our commitment to diversity has been a priority for the faculty. As Yale's tercentennial neared, then Provost Richard and I renewed our dedication to Dr. King's dream by expanding our efforts to achieve greater diversity among the faculty. Provost Hamilton and I reaffirmed that commitment two years ago. Through collaboration with individual departments, the representation of women faculty and faculty of color has since increased. Under the leadership of the newly appointed Deputy Provost for Faculty Development, Judith Chevalier, we are further increasing our focus on inclusion of faculty members of all races. We will persist in these efforts among the faculties in the Arts and Sciences and in the professional schools.

Most recently, I have made recruitment of more men and women of color to the administrative ranks an important priority. As is the case with the student body, we strive to make the presence of exceptional staff from diverse backgrounds the rule rather than the exception in management. All of the Officers of the University are committed to building on the current foundation and to working with the Deans and Directors to recruit and hire outstanding women and people of color for senior management positions throughout the University. Nydia Gonzalez, Yale's first Chief Diversity Officer, was appointed last year, and she has been developing plans to realize this objective.

Our actions to strengthen inclusion and diversity on campus complement our work with our neighbors throughout New Haven to make our hometown a better place to live and work for all its citizens. In this area, too, we have made great progress and have helped give life to the dreams that Dr. King left for us. As recently as 1985, a journalist writing about campus and community relations noted that Yale was "impervious" to the Dixwell neighborhood, a historic heart of the African-American community.

Today, we and our neighbors are removing those barriers and have forged a lasting partnership. This new era is reflected in our Dixwell-Yale University Community Learning Center, a Yale facility at the new University Police headquarters featuring large glass walls that welcome hundreds of children and adults every week for learning and recreation programs. The center is part of our comprehensive community investment program that was described by the New York Times in December in an article titled "Yale and New Haven Find Common Ground." Roxanne Condon, chair of the neighborhood management team in Dixwell, was quoted in the Times saying, "Now everybody is realizing that we are in this together, that if the community improves, that improves Yale because Yale benefits from the improvement of the community. It's a whole new mind-set." This perspective is one that we all share, as good neighborliness has become our rule and routine.

At this time of reflection and rededication for the King Holiday, I am heartened by the progress our society and our university have made. We owe thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., since more than almost any other American, he gave the enduring inspiration for opening wide the doors of opportunity and possibility for all people. As we reflect now, 44 years since Dr. King came to Yale and became an honorary alumnus, let us take inspiration from his living legacy, let us appreciate the progress that has been made because of his service and sacrifice and, most importantly, let us rededicate ourselves to persist in the work that remains to make the American dream a reality for all.

2007

Freshman Address: The Questions that Matter
August 31, 2007
Yale University

Members of the class of 2011, I am delighted to join Dean Salovey in welcoming you to Yale College. And I want to extend a warm welcome also to the parents, relatives, and friends who have accompanied you here. To parents especially, I want to say thank you for entrusting your very talented and promising children to us. We are delighted to have them with us, and we pledge to do our best to provide them with abundant opportunities to learn and thrive in the four years ahead.

Three weeks ago, as you were beginning to prepare yourselves for your journey to New Haven, I spent a very pleasant weekend reading a new book by one of our distinguished Sterling Professors, the former Dean of the Yale Law School, Anthony Kronman, who now teaches humanities courses in Yale College. I had one of those experiences that I hope you have time and again during your four years here. I was disappointed to finish reading the book. It was beautifully written, closely reasoned, and utterly transparent in its exposition and its logic. I was disappointed because I wanted the pleasure of my reading to go on and on, through the lovely summer afternoon and well into the evening.

Professor Kronman’s book, Education’s End,1 is at once an affirmation of the essential value of the humanities in undergraduate education and a critique of the humanities curriculum as it has evolved over the past forty years. Professor Kronman begins with a presumption that a college education should be about more than acquainting yourself with a body of knowledge and preparing yourself for a vocation. This presumption is widely shared. Many who have thought deeply about higher education – including legions of university presidents starting most eloquently with Yale’s Jeremiah Day in 1828 – go on to argue that a university education should develop in you what President Day called the “discipline of the mind” – the capacity to think clearly and independently, and thus equip you for any and all of life’s challenges.2

Professor Kronman takes a step beyond this classical formulation of the rationale for liberal education. He argues that undergraduate education should also encourage you to wrestle with the deepest questions concerning lived experience: What constitutes a good life? What kind of life do you want to lead? What values do you hope to live by? What kind of community or society do you want to live in? How should you reconcile the claims of family and community with your individual desires? In short, Professor Kronman asserts that an important component of your undergraduate experience should be seeking answers to the questions that matter: questions about what has meaning in life.

Professor Kronman then divides the history of American higher education into three periods, and he argues that the quest for meaning in life was central to the university curriculum during the first two, but no longer. In the first period, running from the founding of Harvard in 1636 to the Civil War, the curriculum was almost entirely prescribed. At its core were the great literary, philosophical and historical works of classical Greece and Rome, as well as classics of the Christian tradition – from the Bible to the churchmen of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages to Protestant theologians of the Reformation and beyond. In the minds of those who established Harvard and Yale and the succession of American colleges that were founded by their graduates, the classics were the ideal instruments, not only for developing the “discipline of the mind,” but also for educating gentlemen of discernment and piety. In this era, Kronman argues, the proposition that education was about how to live a virtuous life was never in doubt. Through their mastery of the great texts, the faculty, each of whom typically taught every subject in the curriculum, were believed to possess authoritative wisdom about how to live, and they believed it their duty to convey this wisdom to their students.

After the Civil War the landscape of American higher education changed dramatically, as new institutions like Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and the University of California took German universities as their model. For the first time, the advancement of knowledge through research, rather than the intergenerational transmission of knowledge through teaching, was seen to be the primary mission of higher education. As faculty began to conceive of themselves as scholars first and teachers second, specialization ensued. No longer did everyone on the faculty teach every part of a prescribed curriculum; instead the faculty divided into departments and concentrated their teaching within their scholarly disciplines.

Amidst this transformation, explicit discussion of the question of how one should live was more or less abandoned by the natural and social sciences and left to the humanities. Humanists, like scientists, became specialists in their scholarship, but they recognized that the domain of their expertise, the great works of literature, philosophy and history – modern as well as classical – raised, argued, and re-argued the central questions about life’s meaning. And they continued to see their role as custodians of a tradition that encouraged young people to grapple with these questions as a central part of their college experience. But humanities professors no longer had the moral certainty of their predecessors. They saw the great works of the past not as guidebooks to becoming a steadfast and righteous Christian, but rather as part of a “great conversation” about human values, offering alternative models of how one should live, rather than prescribing one true path. Engagement with the “great conversation” remained an important component of college education in the century between the Civil and Vietnam Wars, a period which Kronman labels the era of “secular humanism.”

Kronman goes on to argue that since the 1960s, the tradition of secular humanism has been eroded – he would even say defeated – by two forces. The first of these forces is a growing professionalization, discouraging humanists from offering authoritative guidance on the questions of value at the center of the “great conversation.” The second is politicization, challenging the view that the voices and topics engaged in the “great conversation” of western civilization have any special claim to our attention and arguing for increased focus on the voices and topics, western and non-western, that have been excluded from the western canon.

Kronman’s argument about the contemporary state of the humanities will be welcomed by some and met with fierce resistance from many others. But the inevitable controversy about the current state of the humanities should not obscure for us this most important point: that the question of how you should live should be at the center of the undergraduate experience, and at the center of your Yale College experience.

The four years ahead of you offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue your intellectual interests wherever they may lead, and, wherever they may lead, you will find something to reflect upon that is pertinent to your quest for meaning in life. It is true that your professors are unlikely to give you the answers to questions about what you should value and how you should live. We leave the answers up to you. But I want to make very clear that we encourage you to ask the questions, and, in seeking the answers, to use the extraordinary resources of this place – a brilliant and learned faculty, library and museum resources that are the equal of any campus anywhere, and curious and diverse classmates who will accompany you in your quest.

Because of their subject matter, the humanities disciplines have a special role in inspiring you to consider how you should live. But I also want to suggest to each of you that questions that bear on the shaping of your life will arise in whatever subjects you choose to study. You will find that virtually every discipline will provide you with a different perspective on questions of value and lead you to fresh insights that will illuminate your personal quest.

Your philosophy professors, for example, aren’t likely to teach you the meaning of life, but they will train you to reason more rigorously and to discern more readily what constitutes a logically consistent argument and what does not. And they will lead you through texts that wrestle directly with the deepest questions of how to live, from Plato and Aristotle to Kant and Nietzsche and beyond.

Your professors of literature, music, and art history will not tell you how to live, but they will teach you to read, listen, and see closely, with a keener appreciation for the artistry that makes literature, music, and visual art sublime representations of human emotions, values, and ideas. And they will lead you through great works that present many different models of how, and how not, to lead a good life.

Neither will your professors of history instruct you on the values that you should hold most close, but, by giving you an appreciation of the craft of reconstructing the past, they will lead you to understand how meaning is extracted from experience, which may help you to gain perspective on your own experience. And history, too, provides models of how one should, and should not, live.

In your effort to think through how you wish to live and what values matter most to you, you will find that challenging questions arise not only in the humanities. Long ago, I taught introductory economics in Yale College. I always began by telling the students that the course would change their lives. I still believe this. Why? Because economics will open you to an entirely new and different way of understanding how the world works. Economics won’t prescribe for you how society should be organized, or the extent to which individual freedom should be subordinated to collective ends, or how the fruits of human labor should be distributed – at home and around the world. But understanding the logic of markets will give you a new way to think about these questions, and, because life is lived within society and not in abstraction from it, economics will help you to think about what constitutes a good life.

Dean Salovey has already given you some insights gleaned from his study as a professor of psychology. His discipline probes many fundamental questions. What is the relationship between your brain and your conscious thoughts? To what extent is your personality – both in its cognitive and emotional dimensions – shaped by your genetic make-up, your past experiences, and your own conscious decisions. The answers to these questions have an obvious bearing on the enterprise of locating meaning in life.

Your biology and chemistry professors will not tell you how to live, but the discoveries made in these fields over the last century have already extended human life by twenty-five years in the United States. As the secrets of the human genome are unlocked and the mechanisms of disease uncovered, life expectancy may well increase by another decade or two. You may want to ponder how a longer life span might alter your thinking about how to live, how to balance family and career, and how society should best be organized to realize the full potential of greater human longevity.

Finally, it is at the core of the physical sciences that one finds some of the deepest and most fundamental questions relating to the meaning of human experience. How was the physical universe created? How long will it endure? And what is the place of humanity in the order of the universe?

For the next four years, each of you has the freedom to shape your life and prepare for shaping the world around you. You will learn much about yourself and your capacity to contribute to the world not only from your courses, but also from the many friends you make and the rich array of extracurricular activities available to you. Your courses will give you the tools to ask and answer the questions that matter most, and your friendships and activities will give you the opportunity to test and refine your values through experience.

Let me warn you that daily life in Yale College is so intense that it may sometimes seem that you have little time to stop and think. But, in truth, you have four years – free from the pressures of career and family obligations that you will encounter later – to reflect deeply on the life you wish to lead and the values you wish to live by. Take the time for this pursuit. It may prove to be the most important and enduring accomplishment of your Yale education.

Welcome to Yale College.


1 Anthony T. Kronman, Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007.

2Reports on the Course of Instruction in Yale College. New Haven: The Yale Corporation, 1828, p. 7.

Statement: British University and College Union Boycott
August 6, 2007

I certainly agree with the sentiments expressed in President Bollinger's statement, and I am happy to say so. But I am not comfortable signing group statements or petitions, in this case and as well as in hundreds of other similar situations where my participation has been requested.

A boycott of Israel's educational institutions serves no useful purpose. It violates the principle of academic freedom that all universities should practice and defend. We should continue to promote to the fullest extent the opportunity for discussion, collaboration, and exchange with Israeli institutions, as well as with other universities in the Middle East and around the globe.

Baccalaureate Address: Journeys
May 26, 2007
Yale University

Prelude to Baccalaureate

Good morning. Before I begin my remarks, I want to ask the proud families and friends of our graduates to join those of us on the stage in offering warm congratulations to the Yale College Class of 2007.

And now I would like to ask the class of 2007 in turn to reflect for one moment on how you came to reach this milestone.

One of the things that may have occurred to you during that moment of reflection is that there are many people here today - your parents, siblings, relatives, and friends - whose support and encouragement made your achievements here possible. Let me suggest that you rise and show them your appreciation.

Baccalaureate Address: Journeys

Three years before you arrived here, on the eve of this university's 300th birthday, we took the bold step of declaring that Yale would transform itself into a truly global institution in its fourth century. You and your successors deserve no less. Like your predecessors, you will lead lives of consequence, but unlike them, you enter a world that has become increasingly interdependent economically and geopolitically. The world, and not merely this nation, will be the stage on which your lives and your careers play out.

Many of you have been the beneficiaries of our recent efforts to internationalize the university. We have strengthened the curriculum in international studies and extended to international students our policy of awarding full need-based financial aid to all students admitted to Yale College. The year you were admitted, we announced our intention to offer to every undergraduate an overseas experience, and, a year later, we introduced a new financial aid program to ensure that every student would have sufficient resources to spend a term or summer abroad.

Today, the fruits of these initiatives surround us. Since the year 2000, we have added 47 new scholars in international studies to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the number of international applicants to Yale College has more than doubled. You are the first class in Yale's history in which the number of nations represented equals the number of states of the union; you come from 50 nations and 50 states. And you are the first Yale class in which a majority took advantage of overseas study programs, independent research grants, or work internships.

Dean Salovey and I have just returned from an extraordinary journey to China. We led a delegation of 100 Yale students and faculty, invited by China's President Hu Jintao as a gesture of friendship when he visited our campus a year ago. The invitation was no accident. Yale has a long association with China, dating back to 1850 when the first Chinese to study in a Western university enrolled in Yale College. And today we have the broadest and deepest set of collaborations and programs in China of any Western university.

On our first evening in Beijing, we were received by President Hu in the Great Hall of the People and treated to an exquisite banquet. In the days that followed, the Yale 100 met with top government officials, visited four universities, dined with families, explored a rural village, and saw many of China's most significant historical sites - the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the ancient Terra Cotta Warriors and bronze chariots of Xi'an, and the soaring postmodern skyscrapers of Shanghai. We witnessed the sunset from a pavilion in the northwest corner of the Forbidden City, overlooking dozens of fifteenth century buildings as if we ourselves were the dinner guests of some bygone Ming emperor. We were accorded an extraordinary level of respect and visibility; the visit of the Yale 100 was reported daily in the press, and, for the first two days, we were the top story on the evening news. Eighty-five members of our delegation had never before been to China, but after this magnificent introduction I imagine that most will return.

In a curious way, this trip, which provided such a rich education for faculty and students alike, reminded me of the experience that all of you have had during your time here in New Haven. Just as you were challenged by new ideas in the classroom, those encountering China for the first time were challenged by a relentless barrage of new ideas and new experiences. And, just as you found in your first weeks and months in New Haven, prejudices were shattered, and preconceptions replaced by observation and analysis. As one Yale student walked with my wife Jane along Chang'an Avenue, twelve lanes wide, after lunch with Chinese students at an elegant hotel adjacent to a shopping mall filled with boutiques representing the finest French, Italian, Japanese, and American designers - he remarked, "I thought that China was still a backward country, where everything would be primitive and disorganized, and that the Olympics next year would be a fiasco." The next day, with the rest of us, he gaped in awe at our close-up view of the magnificent new Olympic stadium, perhaps the most beautiful sports arena constructed in modern times. Similarly, many of our faculty, expecting China's universities to be miles behind Yale and its peers, were amazed by the state-of-the-art new laboratories at Tsinghua and Fudan Universities, and the Deputy Dean of our School of Management, who is in the midst of planning a new campus, said, upon seeing Tsinghua's new business school, "Let's just hire their architect and get started!"

As impressed as we were by China's rapid development, the trip also gave us some proud and poignant moments, as we heard about Yale from the perspective of the Chinese. An undergraduate at Peking University, Zhang Xinyue, spoke to our group, describing her experience at Yale last summer in terms that I am sure resonate with your own. "The experience," she said, "opened a door to a wider mind and a brighter future. ... Yale is a place [that] encourages independent thinking and [the] courage to pursue dreams. ... Yale students believe in a better world, and they are making efforts to achieve that." She went on to conclude: "Yale is not only a name. It is a kind of spirit handed down from generation to generation. Yale not only provides knowledge, it gives you confidence, courage, and a caring heart. The Yalies care about life, their nation, and the whole world." Zhang Xinyue's emphasis on the importance of independent thinking was echoed by both her university's president and the Vice Minister of Education, who recognize that encouraging the free inquiry that has been the essence of your experience here at Yale is the surest way to realize the full potential of China's human resources.

 It was not only the new ideas and experiences we encountered that reminded me of your journey through Yale. Our students and faculty were also exhilarated by making new friends within the group, just as you were when you first met your Yale classmates. Our group, in its way, resembled your class. We were a diverse assembly - two or three students from each residential college, two from each professional school, a half dozen from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and about three dozen faculty and staff from all over the university. Very few people knew more than two or three others. Yet, just as you did in your first days at Yale, most discovered new friends with whom they shared a lot, as well as those whose perspectives and interests differed sharply from their own.

Remember how amazed you were to discover the astonishing talents of your otherwise unpretentious and friendly classmates? I was reminded of this when I happened to overhear a fragment of conversation between a student in the directing program at the Drama School and a professor in the School of Music. The student-director said, "I am considering doing a production next season about a musician, so I need an actor who can really play an instrument, preferably the cello." And the music professor gave this astonishing reply: "There are two brilliant cellists on this trip, one of whom is standing next to you!" The cellist in question was a six-foot, three-inch young man who might easily have been mistaken for a varsity football player. China's modernity was not the only stimulus that shattered our preconceptions on this trip! The wealth of talent and human potential throughout this university never ceases to astonish me, and I am sure that each of you will leave here with vivid memories of extraordinary people, many of whom will remain your lifelong friends.

As remarkable as the development of modern China is, all is not bliss. There are many paradoxes. What appeared to us as rampant capitalism is still officially described as "socialism with Chinese characteristics." And even as students and university leaders advocate freedom of inquiry and independent thinking, one very successful Chinese businessman - a capitalist through and through - told us that he thought the Communist party had become too democratic, too prone to compromise in the face of public opinion, rather than simply "doing the right thing." Chinese citizens remain subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, and, though the press is noticeably freer than it was a few years ago, the Internet is heavily censored. Still, there have been some major achievements in advancing the rule of law. Recently, private citizens have won court judgments against the state. And, as a powerful example of how we all might use our education to advance the public good, the Vice President of China's Supreme Court, a graduate of the Yale Law School, told us how he, amazingly, introduced into the Chinese courtroom the practice of cross-examination!

Some of China's problems are unique, but some are so inextricably bound up with those facing the United States that neither nation can succeed without the other. Protecting our environment is one such example. Global warming cannot be avoided unless both China and United States take dramatic action. Yale is doing its part, with its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But it will fall to your generation, acting as global citizens in concert with your counterparts in China and around the world, to show the way.

You might ask: why have I given you a travelogue as my final parting words? The answer is: to reassure you, and to encourage you. It is natural to feel sad right now about the Yale you are leaving behind, but I hope that my narrative suggests that there will be many more journeys in your lives.

Women and men of the Class of 2007: Everywhere you go, you will encounter new experiences and new people, some of whom will become fellow travelers on your journeys. If you leave here, as we know you will, with open minds and generosity of spirit, you will find every one of life's journeys a new adventure - not unlike your four years at Yale College, but rather just like it. And on every journey, you will need to employ the powers of critical thinking you developed here to learn as much as you can, and the passion and empathy you displayed here to give to others more than you take. As you go forth from here, I urge you to use your natural gifts and the education you have been given to seek fulfillment in your own lives, and to seek the betterment of life for all with whom we share this small and shrinking planet.

Confronting China’s Challenges
May 22, 2007
Asia Society, Hong Kong

It is a great honor to address the distinguished members of the Asia Society of Hong Kong once again.  Your entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy have helped to propel the astonishing rise of China, and I am by no means alone among American economists who admire and value your accomplishments. I am especially grateful to my good friend Ronnie Chan for offering me this opportunity to meet with you.

In April 2006, during his address at Yale University, President Hu Jintao invited 100 Yale faculty members and students to visit China as his guests "to enhance mutual understanding between young people and educators of the two countries."  Last week, in response to President Hu's generous display of friendship, I had the opportunity to lead a delegation of 62 Yale students and 38 faculty and staff to Beijing and Xi'an.  Most of our delegation had never been to China before; many had never been beyond the borders of the United States.  All of us were awed by the remarkable progress China is making, and truly inspired by your nation's history, culture, and dynamism.

China's economic growth is impressive, and in its magnitude historically unprecedented.  Since 1978 more people have been lifted out of poverty than over the entire course of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America between 1780 and 1850. To sustain rapid growth over the coming decades, however, China must confront some major challenges, and it is about this topic that I want to speak to you today.  In particular, I'd like to discuss three challenges to sustaining rapid economic growth: the need to develop a more robust rule of law, the need to encourage the independent and creative thinking that supports innovation, and the need to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of rapid growth.

Establishing a Rule of Law

China's remarkable growth has been fueled, in substantial part, by opening the country to trade and foreign investment.  Outside investors everywhere are most attracted to environments that offer stable and predictable business relationships, enforceable contracts, and freedom from arbitrary and unforeseen intervention by government. China's decision to enter the World Trade Organization signaled its awareness of these requirements by obligating itself to numerous conditions requiring reform of Chinese law.

China has made remarkable progress in the past decade toward establishing a rule of law.  The reform of administrative law, enacted by the National People's Congress in 2004, has introduced increased regularity and new processes to the decision-making of government agencies.  Some administrative decisions now involve notices of rulemakings and the opportunity for public comment; many actions of government agencies are now subject to appeal and review by courts.  Limited rights of private ownership have been established by law, and for the first time, individuals have been empowered, and have, in a few cases, succeeded in defending their property rights against the state. 

These changes are impressive, but not yet comprehensive.  Despite steady progress in the spheres of commercial and administrative law, Chinese leaders are well aware that the judicial system is still incompletely developed, corruption is pervasive, and certain types of legal protection expected in modern commerce, such as enforceable intellectual property rights, are still for the most part absent. Freedom of expression remains unprotected, and arbitrary arrests and detention continue to inhibit China's development in the political sphere.

As China continues to grow, the demands for a stable and predictable rule of law will come increasingly not from outside investors, but from its own rising class of businessmen and women.  As Chinese companies develop valuable trademarks and media products, enforceable intellectual property rights will no longer seem like an unreasonable imperative proffered by the U.S. government.  China's leaders recognize that they will need to respond to the demands for an increasingly robust and pervasive rule of law, and take measures to reduce the corruption of government officials, or else the pace of investment and GDP growth will slacken.

At Yale, we have been honored by the Chinese government's interest in collaborating with us on legal reform. The China Law Center at the Yale Law School, established in 1999 by former U.S. State Department official Professor Paul Gewirtz, is deeply engaged with China's courts, law schools, administrative agencies, and the National People's Congress - bringing prominent U.S. officials, scholars, and judges into contact with their Chinese counterparts and encouraging their collaboration on issues of reform.  Among the Center's most significant contributions have been working with the People's Supreme Court on the structure of the Chinese judicial system and working with the National People's Congress on the reform of administrative law. 

Later this month the China Law Center, in collaboration with the China National School of Administration, will sponsor the third annual session of the China-Yale Senior Government Leadership Program, an intensive training program on how the "rule of law" functions in the United States.  This program regularly attracts to Yale the most senior group of Chinese government officials to participate in executive education outside of China.  Participants in the program have included Yale scholars from a variety of fields, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, current and former U.S. cabinet secretaries, the Governor of New York, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and, last year, the President of the United States.  At Yale, we consider our involvement with China's efforts to widen the rule of law to be one of our most significant global undertakings.

Innovation & Creativity

Twenty years ago, many commentators in the United States were extolling the virtues of Japanese management practices, worrying about Japan's large trade surpluses, and predicting that Japan would soon overtake the United States as the world's leading economic power.  In the first four decades after the Second World War, Japan's productivity and GDP rose more rapidly than that of the United States; yet after 1990, Japan stagnated for fifteen years, only recently resuming a reasonable pace of economic growth.

What happened? The conventional story is that excessive corporate debt and a rigid financial system, hampered by an unwise deflationary monetary policy put the brakes on Japanese growth.  This is a partial truth; but if we end the explanation there we would fail to recognize a more profound underlying cause of Japan's slowdown. In the 1950s and 1960s Japan's growth was propelled by the same fuel that drives China today, a high savings rate and a large pool of underemployed labor, which allows manufacturing to boom without driving up wages.  By the 1970s, Japan had absorbed its surplus labor, and a new growth dynamic took over: attention to quality and efficiency in manufacturing.  But Japan's edge did not survive the IT revolution of the 1990s.  Innovation in software and communications technology gave the United States a decisive productivity advantage.  Japan could not innovate fast enough, and it fell into a 15-year slump.

If you are not convinced by this argument, try the following mental experiment: imagine that Microsoft, Netscape, Apple, and Google were Japanese companies.  Would Japanese growth in the 1990s have lagged so far behind the United States?  I think not.

The brilliance of China's leadership is that it has farsightedly recognized the reasons for Japan's failure to innovate, and it is already taking steps to prepare China for a future, perhaps two decades away, in which it can no longer compete globally and win on the basis of low labor costs.  Understanding that China must learn to innovate, President Hu Jintao has made innovation and creativity the centerpiece of his current five-year plan.

Avoiding the fate of Japan won't be without its challenges.  The secret lies in acknowledging the three principal factors that have contributed to America's decisive advantage in innovation, and then doing something about each of them.  The first requisite is for China to achieve world-class stature in basic scientific research, not just in applied engineering, because basic science is the ultimate source from which all applied technology flows.  The second requisite is that China's educational system must encourage its graduates to think creatively and independently, and the third is for China to develop a financial system with the flexibility to support high-risk start up enterprises, which generate a disproportionate share of transformational innovations.  In this third area, China is already taking measures that Japan long resisted, by gradually opening its major financial institutions to foreign partnerships and encouraging the rise of a new venture-capital sector.  Let me dwell a bit longer on China's approach to the first and second requirements for innovation.

China is investing heavily in science and higher education.  Total central government expenditure on universities grew by a factor of seven between 1995 and 2002.  To cite a couple of striking examples, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has built more than 275,000 square meters of state-of-the-art science and engineering labs on its sprawling new campus, while IBM, Intel, and Microsoft built major facilities in the adjacent industrial park.  And Peking University's Institute of Microelectronics has built two state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication lines, each employing a different advanced technology.  No U.S. university has a comparable facility.

China's leading universities are also making a conscious effort to attract back the best of those who have gone abroad for Ph.D.study.  For established faculty from the West, several top schools are now offering salaries and housing allowances designed to match the standard of living on U.S. campuses.  Peking and Fudan Universities have established large laboratories for leading U.S. scientists of Chinese origin, in both cases Yale geneticists.  This type of investment creates tremendous spillovers for China as it permits younger faculty and graduate students to work in close proximity with some of the best scientists in the world.

Even more interesting than China's investment in science is its recognition that its pedagogy needs to change.  Some senior national leaders have come to believe that the traditional Chinese deference to the authority of the professor discourages independent thinking and thus potentially limits China's development as an innovator.  These leaders note that the top colleges and universities of the West encourage their students to speak up in class, challenge their professors, question conventional wisdom, develop problem-solving skills, and think independently. This pedagogical approach is believed to be more conducive than passive learning to producing the kind of flexible, adapative, and creative engineers and business leaders who drive innovation.

Elite universities in China are also looking with interest at abandoning the specialized undergraduate curriculum imported from Europe and the Soviet Union in favor of the American-style liberal arts curriculum, in which students study a variety of subjects to gain breadth and flexibility, before specializing in a major field of study.  Some of the top universities are also experimenting with criteria other than scores on national examinations to admit students, in order to favor candidates with high potential for creativity and contribution to society.

Yale has been pleased and privileged to play a central role in all these educational reforms that I just outlined.  In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we have worked with the presidents, party secretaries, and vice presidents of China's top universities for each of the past three summers, sharing with them best U.S. practices in the areas of strategic planning, recruiting faculty, supporting world-class research, curricuum, and pedagogy.  Over the years the focus has gradually migrated from a study of U.S. practices to a dialogue on the very impressive progress of reform in China.  We look forward to continuing involvement in this very exciting evolution.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Economic Growth

China's economic growth labors under a handicap that did not burden those nations that developed earlier.  Western Europe, North America, Russia, Japan, and South Korea all achieved industrialization at a time when the environmental impact of growth was below the radar screen.  The impacts were severe, to be sure, but global awareness of these impacts was limited until, roughly, forty years ago.  China, unlike its more developed neighbors, must make its transition from an agricultural to an industrial and eventually to a knowledge economy in an atmosphere of worldwide pressure to mitigate the adverse environmental consequences of growth.  And it must do so with full knowledge of the adverse public health consequences of air pollution and contaminated water supply for its own citizens -- consequences of which earlier industrializing nations were unaware, or could ignore.

The burden is huge.  China will soon surpass the United States as the largest producer of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing harmful climate change.  To accommodate rapid growth, China is building coal-fired power plants at the rate of one per week, and it is expected to account for one-third of the worldwide growth in energy demand between now and 2020.  As many as 500 million people will migrate from countryside to city by mid-century, and hundreds of new satellite cities will be built.  It matters enormously for the future of the planet whether these cities are sprawling, automobile-dependent and energy inefficient, or alternatively, "smart" cities - dense and reliant on public transport.

It would be entirely unfair to place the full burden of mitigating environmental impacts on China and other emerging economies.  The West must do its part.  I agree entirely with the view of Professor Lu Zhi of Peking University, who, during a recent visit to Yale, stated that China's environmental dilemma is the world's dilemma, and that if we want China to change, we all have to change. The United States and the rest of the developed world cannot ask China and other developing countries to halt their economic and social progress because we have already filled the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and because we do not want competition for the natural resources on which we all depend.

We need to work together. Global warming cannot be averted unless both China and the United States make substantial reduction in their emissions of greenhouse gases.  While Europe has taken this challenge seriously, the United States still lags, paralyzed by powerful interest groups supporting continued dependence on carbon-based fuels and by a public that resists the imposition of high taxes on gasoline that is a reality elsewhere in the world.  We need courage and leadership to confront this issue back at home, but we must.  The last twelve months have offered the first signs of hope that a bipartisan coalition may be developing to take global warming seriously.

China has certain advantages in pursuing environmental remediation.  It will be planning large cities from scratch, opening a wide range of possibilities for innovations that would be much harder to retrofit in established cities.  And, because it will soon be the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, it has a powerful incentive to develop new technologies for the conversion of coal and the sequestration of the carbon by-products of its combustion.  China could easily become the worldwide leader in these technologies, which will have a huge market worldwide.

International collaboration will be essential in confronting the environmental challenge, and here, too, Yale is proud to be doing its part to work with China, along with a number of leading U.S. NGOs including the Energy Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  For the past three years, in partnership with Tsinghua University, our School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has been training Chinese mayors and vice-mayors responsible for urban planning and development.  And, along with Tsinghua, Shanghai Jiaotong, and China's Center for Environmentally Sustainable Technology Transfer, we have developed executive training courses in industrial ecology, promoting a comprehensive approach to recognizing, measuring, and managing the environmental impacts of an enterprise's total activity.

Conclusion

Thank you for permitting me this opportunity to address you today. The challenges confronting China's efforts to sustain economic growth are substantial, but they are surmountable.  We need only hope for more of the farsighted leadership that China has displayed since 1978, for continued openness to international collaboration, and for recognition elsewhere that China's continued rise benefits the whole world.

Welcome Remarks at the Japan and the World: Domestic Politics and How the World Looks to Japan’s Conference
March 8, 2007
Yale University

Ambassador Kato, Consul General Suzuki, distinguished guests and friends, I am pleased to welcome you this morning to Yale University and to this conference in honor of the memory and legacy of Professor Asakawa Kan'ichi. I know that all of us are grateful to Professor Frances Rosenbluth of Yale and to Professor Masaru Kohno of Waseda University who collaborated to organize this conference, and to the East Asian Studies Council of Yale University under the leadership of Professor Mimi Yiengpruksawan and the Japan Foundation's Center for Global Partnership for their support. And we are greatly honored that our good friend and alumnus, Ambassador Ryozo Kato, is with us to celebrate the legacy of Professor Asakawa.

Yale's connections to Japan are as old as the history of the relationship between Japan and the United States. When Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived in Japan in July 1853, an 1823 graduate of Yale College, George Jones served as an interpreter and as chaplain for the expedition. Another interpreter, Samuel Wells Williams, was later appointed to the Yale faculty in 1877 as a professor of East Asian languages and literatures. Both Jones and Wells participated in the negotiations that culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854 between Japan and the United States and which marked the opening of bilateral relations.

By the time Asakawa Kan'ichi came to New Haven in 1899 to enter the Yale Graduate School to study history, sixty students from Japan had studied at Yale. Courses about Japanese language, history and literature had been introduced in the 1870s. Today, academic attention to Japan at Yale spans the full range of humanities and social science disciplines.

Over the past two years, as Yale has re-invigorated its longstanding ties to Japan, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the life and the ideals of Asakawa Kan'ichi. At a time when universities are engaged in internationalizing their curriculum and research, I am struck by how farsighted Professor Asakawa was and how comfortable he would have been in the Yale of 2007. Professor Asakawa recognized that an education without exposure to other cultures from around the world was necessarily incomplete - well before this opinion became widely held.

Having seen how little Japan was understood in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, Professor Asakawa dedicated his life to the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. He reflected this commitment through scholarship and to teaching. Through his curatorship of the Yale University East Asia Library from 1907 to 1948, through his involvement in public affairs to promote peace, and through teaching Yale students over a career spanning 1907 to 1942, Professor Asakawa did his utmost to promote the connections between his homeland of Japan and his adopted home of the United States.

I believe that Professor Asakawa would be pleased by Yale's efforts to educate a new generation of leaders appreciative of Japan's history and its role in the world, and he would be doubly pleased by Yale's recent efforts to strengthen the ties between her and Japan. The Japan - Yale Senior Government Leadership Program, inaugurated in 2006, brought more than twenty Japanese government leaders to Yale's campus to explore topics that increasingly are important to Japan's future. Through such programs as the Bulldogs in Tokyo Internships, the Yale Summer Session in Japan, and the Richard U. Light Fellowship, Yale has committed to exposing the current generation of its students to Japan. Through such programs as the University of Tokyo at Yale Summer Session and other growing connections with the University of Tokyo, Waseda University, and other leading Japanese universities, Yale is promoting the cross-cultural understanding that was so important to Professor Asakawa.

The affection that Professor Asakawa felt for Yale was mutual. In December 1941, following the start of war between Japan and the United States, my predecessor, Yale President Charles Seymour wrote a wonderful letter of support to Professor Asakawa. I quote President Seymour: "I can understand how painful these days must be for you and I write merely to tell you of my understanding and to assure you of my intense desire to do all that I can to make them a little easier. You can count upon the appreciative affection of your friends. All that lies in the power of the university will be done to keep your external life normal; anything that any one of us can do to ease the spiritual load you carry, we shall want to do. Yale can never repay with any adequacy your service to her and to scholarship."

To this day, those of us at Yale remain indebted to Professor Asakawa for his work and for his legacy, as we take up the challenge that he has left us: to inspire students to become global citizens who appreciate and engage with ideas and cultures other than their own.

2006

Statement: Hospital Election
December 13, 2006

Although Yale New Haven Hospital is not a part of Yale University, I serve on the hospital's board of trustees, and I am dismayed by the recent actions of the hospital that violated the letter and spirit of its agreement with SEIU's District 1199. Yale University assisted the two parties in negotiating this agreement to conduct a free and fair election, and I have consistently urged hospital management to abide by its terms. When the staff meetings reviewed by the arbitrator first came to my attention last week, I called for their immediate cessation.

I urge the hospital and the union to sit down and find a resolution that would restore a climate in which a fair, secret ballot election can be held. The University stands ready to assist the parties in finding a constructive solution.

Globalization and the University
November 7, 2006
Poder Conference, Washington, D.C.

Thank you President Moreno for your insightful opening remarks and for hosting today's conference.

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to address this distinguished audience, filled as it is with an unusually diverse and accomplished group of leaders. Over the next several hours, you will explore the essential trends in the Americas today. Whether the focus is on macroeconomic developments or the fate of particular business sectors - such as the media and telecommunications, there is no doubt that the Americas cannot be understood in isolation from the rest of the world. The forces of globalization are being felt in every sector. It is my task this morning to illustrate for you how globalization is affecting higher education, and how in turn universities can be a positive influence, helping to turn the power of globalization in a constructive direction.

As never before in their long history, universities have become both instruments of national competition and instruments of peace. They are the locus of the scientific discoveries that move the economy forward, and the primary means of educating the talent required to obtain and maintain competitive advantage.

At the same time, the opening of national borders to the flow of goods, services, information, and especially people, has made universities a powerful force for global integration, mutual understanding, and geo-political stability. This tension is reflected in policy debates around the world.

University research as a driver of economic growth

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, technological change has been the principal source of economic growth and a rising standard of living. But most inventions that propelled the economy of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century resulted from the efforts of individuals working in isolation, without the support of large-scale formal programs of research and development.

Only in the past half century has the pace of technological progress become dependent on recent advances in science and their translation to practice, a process that requires both public and private investment in research and development. In such an environment, governments have increasingly come to view universities as an instrument of national economic policy.

After the Second World War, the United States recognized that maintenance of its leadership in defense technology required substantial public investment in university-based science. As a result, by the mid-1950s the U.S. had developed an infrastructure for public support of university research across the full spectrum of basic sciences, as well as applied research in health, agriculture, defense, and energy. The major European countries followed suit, although they failed to recognize certain advantages of the U.S. system.

In Europe and the Soviet Union, too much research was concentrated in national institutes rather than universities, divorcing cutting-edge research from training the next generation of scientists and engineers. And most research funding was allocated by block grants to universities, rather than by the intensely competitive process of peer-reviewed grants to individuals, which helped boost the quality of U.S. science. As a result of its strength in science and active capital markets, the U.S. has consistently led the world in the commercialization of major new technologies as they emerge: from the mainframe computer and the integrated circuit of the 1960s to the personal computer and operating software of the 1980s to the Internet infrastructure and applications software of the 1990s.

The linkage between university-based science and industrial application is often indirect, but it is sometimes highly visible, as in the case of Silicon Valley, an intentional creation of Stanford University, and Route 128, long populated by companies spun-off from MIT and Harvard.

The model is taking hold in Latin America. Tec de Monterrey, surrounded by an impressive array of companies such as CEMEX, plays a key role in the developing cluster of technology companies in Jalisco, sometimes called the "Silicon Valley of Mexico." At the University of Costa Rica, the Technological Institute created a Center for Enterprise Incubation in 1994 that provides infrastructure and services to ten firms in the area of food products, biotechnology, electronics, software, forestry services and chemical products. And in Brazil, the Technological Development Company (CODETEC), established at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in 1978, was the first incubator project in a Brazilian academic institution. It had the explicit goal of creating the Brazilian version of the high-tech region around Stanford University and has encouraged new companies to commercialize research conducted on campus.

The University as a Force for Global Stability

Over the past three decades the number of students leaving their home countries each year for study abroad has grown at an annual rate of 3.9%, from 800,000 to 2,500,000. The principal flows have always been among developed countries with a substantial and growing flow from developing to developed countries. More recently, the flow from developed to developing countries has increased.

Today, foreign students earn 30% of the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States and 38% of those awarded in the United Kingdom. And the number crossing borders for undergraduate study is growing as well, to 8% of the undergraduates at Ivy League schools in the U.S. and 10% of all undergraduates in the U.K.

Since the first Latin American students begin arriving to study in the U.S. in the early 1800s, the number of students from the region has grown dramatically. Currently, there are 152 students from 18 Latin American countries at Yale, and we are extremely fortunate to have former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo leading the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. In addition, the University now offers an increasing number of options for students to study and work in the region, such as our new Bulldogs in Monterrey Internship Program.

In addition, the Yale Law School sponsors student exchanges with several universities in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile through its Linkages program. At workshops in Buenos Aires, Santiago and Saõ Paulo, these students focus on human rights issues and collaborate with local NGOs. Students in Argentina and Chile attend a faculty seminar that draws participants from the entire continent.

Naturally, the leaders of these and other student groups promoting international collaboration are in touch with each other daily via email and Skype, technologies that not only facilitate cooperative projects but also increase the likelihood that lifelong personal ties will be created.

The bottom line: the flow of students across national borders, students who are disproportionately likely to become leaders in their home countries, enables deeper mutual understanding, toleration, and global integration.

Responding to Globalization

Like business enterprises, universities everywhere are adapting to an interconnected world by becoming ever more self-consciously global. That students are recruited worldwide is only the starting point.

Universities also are encouraging increasing numbers of their domestic students to spend a portion of their undergraduate experience in another country. In Europe, more than 140,000 students participate in the Erasmus program each year, taking courses for credit in one of 2200 participating institutions across the continent. And in the United States, institutions are mobilizing their alumni to facilitate overseas placements of their students in summer internships in business or service organizations to prepare them for global careers. Yale and Harvard have led the way by offering at least one international study or internship opportunity abroad to every undergraduate and providing the financial resources to make this possible.

Just as globalization is redefining the educational programs of leading universities around the world, it also promises to reshape the way research is done. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a partnership with the Tec de Monterrey to stimulate collaboration between Mexico and the United States, as well as agreements with the Global Entrepreneurship Laboratories in Brazil and Uruguay to focus on innovative technologies.

Through its partnership in the Magellan Telescopes - located at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile - Harvard University works with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Universidad de Chile, as well as the University of Arizona, MIT, the University of Michigan and the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The private sector, too, is playing an important role in this process. Via the IBM Latin American Grid Computing Initiative, faculty, students and researchers from the world-renowned IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Centers across the U.S., Latin America and Spain now collaborate on a wide range of projects. Potential applications stretch across key areas such as health care, life sciences and nano-technology. They also address regionally-specific concerns, such as hurricane mitigation.

Adopting and Adapting Global Best Practices

According to Newsweek's recent ranking of global universities, eight of the world's top ten universities are located in the United States. So it should come as no surprise that nations seeking to improve the quality of their universities are introducing elements of the U.S. research university model and adapting them to the local context.

A prime example is the Universidad de las Américas Puebla's (UDLA) adoption of the residential college system, the first in Latin America. A time-tested institution at Oxford, Cambridge, and Yale, the residential colleges help UDLA better integrate students into the university, uniting the processes of living and learning. Similarly, residential colleges at the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) allow students to establish social and academic relationships with their peers and, most importantly, gain a strong sense of community.

Many North American universities also are sharing best practices - and learning from their Latin American counterparts - through joint educational and research programs, such as the recently renewed Yale-Universidad de Chile astronomy and astrophysics program. This program began in 1999 under the auspices of Yale, the Universidad de Chile, and the Andes Foundation. Yale astronomers and students have had access to the large and excellent telescopes in Chile, while graduate students at the Universidad de Chile have had access to theoretical training and facilities at Yale.

Public Policy and the University

In deciding whether to treat universities as instruments of national competitive advantage or forces for global integration, governments around the world have differed sharply.

Europe has embraced the idea that universities can be a source of regional if not global integration by focusing on easing barriers to the flow of students across nations within the EU. But, according to a recent devastating critique by Richard Lambert and Nick Butler, European governments have systematically weakened their top universities, once the pride of the world, by investing too little in research, spreading limited resources too thinly across too many institutions, expanding enrollments without commensurate increases in faculty, and refusing to allow universities sufficient autonomy. Without concentrating more resources in the hands of the strongest universities, or allowing these universities the opportunity to generate resources by charging tuition fees comparable to their U.S. counterparts (and, like them, awarding financial aid to those in greatest need), there is little hope that Europe's universities will be a strong source of national competitive advantage.

Latin American institutions, by contrast, are investing in their top institutions and placing an emphasis on research, and the result has been enhanced by collaborations across the Americas.

Take the U.S.-Brazil Consortium for Environmental Studies. Originally funded by a federal grant in 2001, Northern Fluminense and the Amazonas Federal University in Brazil joined a consortium with Washington and Lee University and Fairfield University to study the relationship between the environment, economic development and quality of life. To cite another example, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora-ITSON are collaborating on environmental protection systems for the Sonoran desert region, as well as education and technology transfer for the aerospace industry.

Yet if Latin America is increasingly enthusiastic about both the competitive and integrative possibilities of universities, the United States remains deeply ambivalent.

Most politicians recognize the link between investment in science and the nation's economic strength, but support for research funding has been fitful and sporadic rather than steady. The budget of the National Institutes of Health was doubled between 1998 and 2003, but given sub-inflationary increases since. Support for the physical sciences and engineering barely kept pace with inflation during the period the NIH budget grew - although legislation is now pending that would double these expenditures over the next ten years.

The attempt to make up lost ground is welcome, but the nation would be better served by steady, predictable increases in science funding at the rate of long-term GDP growth, which is on the order of inflation plus 3% per year.

American politicians have great difficulty recognizing the extent to which increasing the flow of students across borders promotes the national interest by increasing international understanding. Adjusted for inflation, public funding for international exchanges and the study of foreign languages is well below the levels that prevailed forty years ago.

In fact, in the wake of September 11, changes in the process of obtaining visas caused a dramatic decline in the number of foreign students seeking admission to U.S. universities, and a corresponding surge in enrollments in Australia, Singapore, and the U.K. Objections from university and business leaders led to improvements in the process and a reversal of the decline, but the U.S. is still seen in some regions as unwelcoming to international students. An abortive attempt last year by the Commerce Department to extend the scope of export control regulations in university research labs reinforced this unfortunate signal.

Most Americans recognize that universities contribute to the nation's well being through their scientific research, but many fear that foreign students threaten American competitiveness by taking their knowledge and skills back home. They fail to grasp that welcoming foreign students to the U.S. has two overriding positive effects: (1) many of the very best stay here and strengthen the nation as immigrants have for its entire history, and (2) foreign students who study in the U.S. become ambassadors for many of its most cherished values when they return home. Or at least they better understand them. In the U.S. as elsewhere, few instruments of foreign policy are as effective in promoting a stable and peaceful world as welcoming international students to one's universities.

That's why universities across the Americas should be given every opportunity to attract the most talented students and engage in the most ambitious collaborations.

Amendment to the University's Equal Opportunity Statement
October 16, 2006

I am pleased to say that the Yale Corporation at its most recent meeting approved a measure amending the University's Equal Opportunity Statement explicitly to protect gender identity and expression. With this step, the University expressly affirms that discrimination on the basis of these factors is unacceptable at Yale, as is discrimination based on any of the other listed grounds, and that all members of the University community enjoy the protection of the policy as so amended.

The Equal Opportunity Statement now reads as follows:

"The University is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, Yale does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual's sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."

Please be sure that any publications in your schools and programs (including any web pages) that carry the Statement reflect the new language, which consists of the final phrase, "or gender identity or expression." Web pages should be modified immediately; print publications at the next scheduled printing. Should there be any questions as to the effect of this change in particular circumstances where sex-based distinctions exist in facilities or programs, you should bring these to the attention of the Provost or the Vice President and General Counsel.

Remarks delivered at the Thematic Debate: UNESCO Executive Board
October 3, 2006
Paris, France

International Cooperation in Higher Education and the Role of UNESCO

Good morning. I am honored by the invitation of your Chairman to participate in this important Thematic Debate on the strategies that UNESCO might employ to carry forward its important mandate of "contributing to peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information." Your task is worthy, and it warrants strong support by all governments and their citizens.

I must apologize in advance that my expertise permits me to tackle only a very narrow band of the broad spectrum of possibilities available. I speak from the perspective of higher education, and therefore I will not address directly the fundamental problem of ensuring literacy and basic education for all, a problem that has motivated most of UNESCO's efforts in the sphere of education. But I do believe that the forces of globalization have made possible greater international cooperation in higher education, and I also believe that such cooperation can indeed contribute to peace and security among nations.

Thus, I would like to offer observations about where UNESCO's efforts might make a difference: first, by encouraging the flow of students across national borders; second, by facilitating international cooperation in research; and third, by supporting efforts to make educational and scholarly resources freely available on the Internet. UNESCO might consider not only direct support for such activities, but also efforts to reduce the barriers imposed by national legal systems upon each type of activity.

The flow of students across borders

Of the forces shaping higher education none is more sweeping than the movement across borders. Over the past three decades the number of students leaving home each year to study abroad has grown at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, from 800,000 in 1975 to 2.5 million in 2004. Most travel from one developed nation to another, but the flow from developing to developed countries is growing rapidly. The reverse flow, from developed to developing countries, is on the rise, too. Today foreign students earn 30 percent of the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States and 38 percent of those in the United Kingdom. And the number crossing borders for undergraduate study is growing as well, to 8 percent of the undergraduates at America's Ivy League institutions and 10 percent of all undergraduates in the U.K. In the United States, 20 percent of newly hired professors in science and engineering are foreign-born, and in China the vast majority of newly hired faculty at the top research universities received their graduate education abroad.

What are the consequences of these shifts among the highly educated? Consider this: on the night after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Jewish students at Yale (most of them American) came together with Muslim students (most of them foreign) to organize a vigil. Or this: every year the student-run Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES) organizes conferences in both China and at Stanford, bringing together students from both countries chosen to discuss Sino-U.S. relations with leading experts. The leaders of student groups promoting international collaboration are in touch with each other daily via e-mail and Skype, technologies that not only facilitate cooperative projects but also increase the likelihood of creating lifelong personal ties. One more example: earlier this year the United Arab Emirates convened a conference for undergraduate women from around the world to discuss perspectives on the advancement of women as leaders. The bottom line: the flow of students across national borders - students who are disproportionately likely to become leaders in their home countries - enables deeper mutual understanding, tolerance and global integration.

Many universities are encouraging their own students to spend part of their undergraduate experience in another country. Yale and Harvard are moving in the direction of requiring all their students to have an international work or study experience before they graduate. And in Europe, more than 140,000 students participate in the Erasmus program each year, taking courses for credit in one of 2,200 participating institutions across the continent. Universities are also establishing more ambitious foreign outposts to serve students primarily from the local market rather than the parent campus. And true educational joint ventures are gaining favor, such as the 20-year-old Johns Hopkins-Nanjing program in Chinese and American Studies, the Duke Goethe executive M.B.A. program and the MIT-Singapore alliance, which offers dual graduate degrees in a variety of engineering fields.

UNESCO can advance its mission of contributing to peace and security by encouraging all nations to open their borders to the flow of students. Even a temporary restriction on the flow of students can cause persistent damage. For example, in the wake of September 11, changes in the visa process caused a dramatic decline in the number of foreign students seeking admission to U.S. universities. Objections from American university and business leaders led to improvements in the process and a reversal of the decline, but the United States is still seen by many as unwelcoming to international students. National governments need to understand that the flow of students, because it encourages cross-cultural understanding, is an investment in national security, not a threat to it.

International cooperation in research

International cooperation in research is well established in many disciplines. For example, particle physicists from Asia, Europe, and the Americas regularly collaborate on major experiments. There are several critically important partnerships in astronomy between the United States and Chile. And international collaboration in archaeological work has gone on for more than a century. Today, Yale has extensive activity with local partners in Egypt, Syria, and Mexico.

But I want to focus on a new trend in research that has great potential for advancing the scientific capacity of developing countries. This trend involves sourcing portions of a research program to another country. Yale professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Tian Xu directs a research center focused on the genetics of human disease at his alma mater, Shanghai's Fudan University, in collaboration with faculty colleagues from both schools. The Shanghai center has 95 employees and graduate students working in a 4,300-square-meter laboratory facility. Yale faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students visit regularly and attend videoconference seminars involving scientists on both campuses. The arrangement benefits both countries; Xu's Yale lab is more productive, thanks to the lower costs of conducting research in China, and Chinese graduate students and faculty get on-the-job training from a world-class scientist and his U.S. team.

Yale has a similar facility at Peking University in Beijing, where Prof. Xing-Wang Deng directs a program studying the biology of plant systems, aimed at improving crops. Like Xu, Deng is a graduate of the institution where he performs his research. But it is only a matter of time before China sets up similar facilities for outstanding foreign scientists who have no prior connection to the country.

UNESCO could play an important role in encouraging the diffusion of this form of international research collaboration to other developing countries. From a developing country point of view, it is difficult to imagine a more effective method of capacity building in science and technology. With an initial investment in training a cadre of technicians and investing in laboratory facilities, developing countries can create a platform for the conduct of world-class research. Then, by attracting a small number of leading scientists on a part-time basis to supervise research in these facilities, the host country can benefit from having its students and faculty gain direct experience with state-of-the-art research and eventually build an independent capacity to undertake such work.

Internet Access to Educational Resources

The revolution in communications that has propelled the globalization of the economy has created a new set of opportunities to advance education and research in developing countries. The advent of the Internet makes possible the virtually costless distribution of academic course materials around the world, potentially enriching the education of both individual learners and students enrolled in colleges and universities. Electronic access to books and scholarly journals that might enhance both education and research is expanding rapidly. These developments have great potential, and UNESCO could have an important role in making possible the realization of that potential.

In 2002 MIT inaugurated its Open Course Ware project. Today, two-thirds of its courses have materials available on line, free of charge. The course materials include syllabi, study guides, examinations, problem sets and assignments given to students, lecture notes in some cases, and, in a few cases, videotaped lectures. About 50 institutions around the world have followed MIT's lead in putting course materials on line, and the University of Texas has established a Web site that allows faculty anywhere to submit their course materials for posting. A recent survey showed that 77% of the off-campus users of MIT's materials are from outside the United States. It also revealed that 47% of the users are individual learners, 32% are students enrolled in classes at another educational institution, and 16% are teachers seeking to design or improve their own courses.

Materials such as those posted on line by MIT have great potential for enhancing the quality of education around the world, especially if used judiciously by faculty to strengthen the content of their offerings. There is similar potential in the use of entire lecture courses from world-class institutions. Until now, most audio or video taped versions of entire courses have been available only commercially from the many on-line universities that have sprung up around the world. Currently, Yale is experimenting with the production and on-line distribution of six of its best-taught lecture courses in the arts and sciences. The material, which will be posted in the fall of 2007, will be protected by copyright, but available for wide use under a novel form of royalty-free license, allowing the unlimited re-use and distribution of the material for non-commercial and educational purposes, as long as the source of the material is acknowledged. The combination of on-line lectures and course materials developed by global experts with a local instructor to interact with students could become an exciting and effective new approach to strengthening the curriculum in universities around the world.

Scholarly materials are also becoming increasingly available on line. In 2004 Google announced plans to digitalize and make freely available the library collections of Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford Universities, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library. Works from the public domain will be available in their entirety; excerpts will be available from works still under copyright. Publishers have sued Google in an effort to block the implementation of its plans, claiming that the project violates copyright law.

Scientific and scholarly journals have become frightfully expensive, making access prohibitively expensive for most individual scholars and for many if not most university libraries around the world. But there are efforts under way in the United States to ensure the free availability of recently published articles. Last year the National Institutes of Health, the largest source of medical research funding, requested that all its grantees submit their research papers for posting on a centralized, searchable data base within 12 months of publication. Compliance was limited for technical reasons, but legislation currently under consideration would require and provide funding for on-line posting of research papers supported by any federal agency within six months of publication.

It seems clear that UNESCO should do whatever it can to encourage these growing tendencies toward making instructional materials and scholarly publications freely available on-line. These trends could have a major positive impact on the quality of tertiary education in developing countries. In some cases achieving wider access may require the modification of existing copyright law, but in many cases the need to change the law may be avoided by encouraging scholars and publishers to use more creative forms of licensing, which allow royalty-free re-use and distribution for non-commercial and educational purposes. UNESCO could be very helpful in disseminating information to its member nations about the availability of free on-line resources, and it could help to educate scholars and publishers about the new forms of licensing that are emerging to facilitate access.

I wish you well in your efforts to set a new course for UNESCO in the years ahead. I hope that my suggestions may stimulate your thinking about UNESCO's role in higher education, one small corner of the broad domain of your important responsibilities.

Campaign Launch: Yale Tomorrow
September 29, 2006
Yale University

Good evening. And welcome one and all. What a fabulous day this has been!

I want to begin by thanking the marvelous and talented members of our faculty who made presentations today, who gave you all a taste of the excitement of their subjects: ranging from the art and music to biomedical engineering, from American foreign policy to women's health. Would all those who made presentations today please rise so that we can let you know how much we appreciate your work?

Putting together an event like this is a very big job. I know that you will want to join me in thanking Vice President Inge Reichenbach and her fabulous team for their meticulous planning and brilliant execution.

Today's lectures were intended to remind us of what we are about - the endless quest for a better and deeper understanding of nature and culture, the challenge of encountering new ideas and learning to think for oneself. To guide us on this quest, we are blessed with more than our share of the world's greatest scholars and teachers. How fortunate are the students who get the daily benefit of their knowledge, their commitment, and their passion.

We are gathered here tonight to launch the Yale Tomorrow campaign, in the fourteenth year of my presidency. All those who were my counterparts at America's leading institutions when I began have returned to their scholarship or retreated to the relative quiet of running a foundation or professional organization. Yet I'm still at it, and I'll tell you why. Because this is a time of enormous opportunity for Yale.

Your support has enabled us to do so much. We have literally rebuilt this campus over the past thirteen years, treating its magnificent architecture with the respect that it deserves. We have transformed the city of New Haven from a liability into an asset - with a thriving downtown that is cleaner, safer, and filled with new shops and restaurants. And, finally, after years and years, the world is beginning to understand what most of us in this room have known for a long time - that Yale College offers the finest, richest, deepest undergraduate educational experience in the world.

Yet there remains so much more to do. Now we are in the midst of another great transformation -- transforming the Yale that was once a tiny college for the Connecticut colony into a truly global institution, serving not only America but the world. The revolution in communications technology has brought the world closer together, heightening the potential for cultural conflict even as national economies become more interdependent. Never before in human history has it been so important to understand one another. And here Yale is leading the way, demonstrating to our peers that universities are capable of building bridges of mutual understanding more durable than governments could ever build. Ensuring that all Yale students have an overseas experience during their time here is not only an investment in their futures, it is an investment in the future harmony of the planet.

Let me make the point even more concretely. Last week, I was privileged to attend a meeting in Washington involving President Bush and Madam Chen Zhili, a member of China's highest governmental body, the State Council, who has sponsored many of our most successful programs in China. At one point in the conversation, President Bush remarked: "Because of the efforts of schools like Yale, when our successors, the leaders of America and China, meet thirty years from now, they will have worked or studied in each other's country. It will make a huge difference."

Yale's contribution to the future of the planet goes beyond the education of its leaders. From the life sciences to nanotechnology to the study of the environment, today's Yale has the capacity to make discoveries that will enhance dramatically the quality of human life. We must invest heavily in science, medicine, and engineering to ensure that Yale remains at the forefront. At the same time, we must ensure that the global citizens we educate - especially the large majority who don't pursue careers in science, engineering, or medicine - develop a rigorous understanding of science and its role in society.

Yale is fortunate to have within its midst four superlative schools of fine arts and two world-class art museums. No other university has a comparable array of cultural treasures. Our schools of art, architecture, music, and drama not only help to define the standards of their respective crafts, they and our great museums enrich the campus for all of us - so that students in law, management, divinity, forestry, medicine, nursing, the graduate school and the college can deepen and broaden their education through attendance at exhibitions and performances. We need to invest in these fine but traditionally under-supported schools to ensure their continued leadership. And we need to expand the role played by the arts in the curriculum of Yale College.

The Yale Tomorrow campaign is organized around four central themes: the College, the sciences, the arts, and the world - each of which I have just touched on briefly. But I want to emphasize that this is a comprehensive university-wide campaign. We want to advance Yale's excellent in every domain that you wish to support - from graduate education to our superlative libraries to scholarship in the social sciences and humanities, from athletics to the Peabody Museum to the environmental science and policy that is so crucial to our collective future. And, in all our schools, we want to make a Yale education accessible to the most talented and affordable for all.

And now we are ready for the official launch of the Yale Tomorrow campaign. A great enterprise requires great leadership. So, before I make my solemn declaration, I want to invite onstage those volunteer leaders who are helping to lead this noble effort.

First, please join me in welcoming and thanking our campaign co-chairs: Len Baker, Ed Bass, Josh Bekenstein, Roland Betts, and Susan Crown. They have been unfailing sources of good advice and counsel in mapping out our plans. And each of them has embraced this campaign with extraordinary enthusiasm and great personal generosity.

Next, I want to recognize Charley Ellis, for his special efforts in chairing the campaign for the School of Management. Despite being an alumnus of "that other business school," Charley has been tireless in his dedication to SOM, helping to get the School off to a flying start, raising for its nucleus fund over the past two years more than ten times the amount ever raised in a single year.

Finally, I'd like to recognize the leaders of our Alumni Fund, which provides vital ongoing support in the form of unrestricted funds. These efforts will of course continue throughout the campaign. Bill Wright has led the Fund during the silent phase of the past two years, and Biff Folbreth has just recently assumed the reins.

And now, I am pleased and proud to announce the launch of the five-year public phase of the Yale Tomorrow campaign. Our goal is to raise a grand total of $3 billion.  (And those of you who know me know that we are unlikely to stop there!).

Over the past two years, we have worked quietly to enlist the support of some of Yale's most generous supporters. This work has been rewarded by extraordinary gifts in support of all of our campaign priorities. With great pleasure, I am able to report to you that we have at this point received new gifts and pledges equaling 43% of our campaign goal. Or, to come right out and say it, with your magnificent support, we have raised a total of $1,304,000,000.

Through three centuries Yale's achievements have been made possible by people like those gathered here tonight - graduates and friends whose generosity provides the resources to make continuous innovation and improvement a reality. I'm sticking with this job because I know that you will rally to the cause, that you will support Yale's grand aspirations to serve the nation and the world through the advancement of knowledge and the education of leaders. This is our calling. Together we will shape a Yale even greater than the Yale of today. Together we will build Yale Tomorrow.

Thank you.

Statement: Early Admissions
September 11, 2006

Yale ended its binding Early Decision program in 2002 and substituted an Early Action Program to reduce the pressure on high school students. Under our Early Action Program, high school students can learn in December that Yale will accept them for entry the next September, but the students are free throughout the spring to decide to attend another college or university. This takes pressure off high school students to make a decision that they may later regret.

It is not clear that eliminating Early Admissions will result in the admission of more students from low-income families. Since such students are underrepresented in the Ivy League applicant pool, what is really needed is what Harvard, Yale and others have been doing in recent years: that is making efforts to increase the pool of low-income students who apply and strengthening the financial aid packages they receive.

Freshman Address: Preparing for Global Citizenship
September 1, 2006
Yale University

Members of the class of 2010, I am delighted to join Dean Salovey in welcoming you to Yale College. And I want to extend a warm welcome also to the parents, relatives, and friends who have accompanied you here. To the parents especially, I want to say thank you for entrusting your very talented and promising children to us. They are going to have a great time here!

There is so much in store for you. Nearly 2000 courses, a library with endless treasures, fabulous museum collections, one of the world's most distinguished faculties, abundant athletic opportunities, and over 250 student organizations that encourage your participation in music, theater, journalism, debate, politics, and community service. There are caring masters, deans, faculty, and freshman counselors to help and advise you. And a campus architecture that is as inspiring as any in America. When it comes to deciding how to exercise your mind, your body, or your voice, the choices are entirely your own. And you will get back what you put in; the benefits from the activities and pursuits you choose will be proportionate to the effort, commitment, and passion that you devote to them.

By the way, the extraordinary array of curricular and extracurricular options available to you didn't get here by accident. The cost of providing them, believe it or not, is only half paid for by those of you whose families are paying the full tuition, room and board bill without financial aid. We can offer you so much because tens of thousands of students who have preceded you have recognized the unique value of their Yale College experience, and it is they, though their generous gifts past and present, who are footing half the bill for your education. Future generations will count on your contributions in the decades to come, but, for now, Yale's resources are all yours, for four glorious years.

Why, you might ask, do we shower you with such an abundance of learning and living opportunities? Why do we invest in you?  

The answer is simple: because you are the future. You are immensely talented, and you have the capacity to make the world a better place. Most of you will think I am talking not about you but about your amazing suitemate who seems to have accomplished so much, or the person in the next entry way who seems so much better prepared and so much more self-confident. But, no, I am talking about each and every one of you. Every one of you has the potential to make a difference.

And we need you. There is so much to be done. Global security is threatened by a new war in the Middle East and a persistent terrorism that strikes almost randomly at civilized peoples around the world. Global prosperity is threatened. Just six weeks ago, the global free trade regime that has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty in the past quarter century was placed in jeopardy by the parochialism of nations unable to see the common good.  And our global environment is threatened. Unless we resolve to cooperate and do something about it, the biodiversity of the planet will continue to diminish at an alarming rate and global warming will transform the conditions of life and livelihood around the world.

Thanks to a revolution in communications, our world is more interconnected and interdependent than ever before in human history. Clearly, we need to understand each other better. Can Hezbollah and Israel coexist in peace? Why does Al Qaeda continue to attract young men willing to kill themselves and blow up trains, planes, and buildings? Why are the Europeans refusing to open their agricultural markets, thus impeding the continued liberalization of trade that has contributed so much to the progress of developing and developed countries alike? And why isn't America leading the world's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than dragging its feet?

How can your Yale College experience prepare you to address questions like these? How can you use your time at Yale to prepare for global citizenship? Dean Salovey has already given part of the answer. He offered evidence that people with different cultural backgrounds and different languages see the world differently. And he suggested that bringing together classmates of diverse national origins or cultural backgrounds enriches the learning experience for everyone, improving our understanding of common subjects of inquiry. But this is not the only virtue of creating an internationally diverse student body. It also helps us to understand one another.

For Americans, understanding the thinking and beliefs of people living in China, India, the Middle East and Africa is crucial if we are to secure peace, promote prosperity, and protect the environment throughout the 21st century. Understanding Americans is no less important to Chinese, Indians, Arabs, and Africans. As Yale students, your opportunity to get to know students from other countries is far greater today than it was even very recently. When I greeted my first freshman class as President of Yale thirteen years ago, only one student in fifty came from a foreign country other than Canada. Today, the number is one in twelve.

The increased representation of students from around the world has a major implication for those of you who are Americans or Canadians. It means that each of you can, without much effort, become close friends with at least one classmate from a country quite different from your own. This can be a very important start in broadening your perspective on the world. You each have a chance to begin your exploration of the world - its peoples and their diverse values - right here in New Haven. And for those of you who come from abroad, you have an extraordinary opportunity to get to know America and some very talented and promising Americans. We will do all we can to make you welcome here.

But forming friendships is only the beginning of the work that each of you needs to do to become an informed global citizen capable of bringing the world closer together. You also need to educate yourself about the world. Fortunately, you will find that over 600 of the courses available to you deal with the language, literature, art, music, history, religion, culture, politics, economics, and sociology of other nations. I hope you will explore these subjects for the pure joy of learning about them, but I also hope that you will take time to reflect on how learning about other cultures informs your thinking about the issues that we as global citizens must confront.  I'd recommend, most of all, that those of you who are native English-speakers master at least one foreign language to the point of true fluency. Your understanding of a foreign culture will be so very much deeper if you know the language.  

Finally, let me urge you to spend time abroad. With the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Yale College Education in 2003, it became an expectation that all Yale College graduates will spend a year, a semester, or at least a summer engaged in study programs or work experiences overseas. To make this expectation feasible for all, we announced in 2005 that additional funding would be provided during summers to make it possible for students on financial aid to work or study abroad. This past academic year and summer over 900 undergraduates participated in Yale-sponsored work internships, study programs, or independent research projects overseas, and by the time you finish your sophomore year, we expect that there will be a Yale-sponsored overseas opportunity for every member of your class.

There is simply no substitute for spending time in another country, immersed in another culture. Very few experiences in life provide greater insight into the strengths and limitations of one's own culture and values; very few experiences teach more about how to understand others. My wife and I spent two and a half of our undergraduate and graduate student years abroad. Our experience in Italy inspired a lifelong interest in the aesthetics of the visual arts and architecture, and our time in England exposed us to a degree of commitment to the life of the mind barely imaginable to pragmatic Americans. And yet our experience abroad also helped us to savor all the more the optimism, toleration, and democratic impulses of Americans unencumbered by the historical legacy of social class and status. We not only learned to appreciate Botticelli and the Oxford don, but Whitman, too.

If you take the time to get to know one another and the diverse points of view and values that you represent, if you inform yourselves about the world through your studies and your daily reading, if you learn a language, and if you study or work abroad - preferably for more than a single summer, you will be a more fully educated person. And you will be far better prepared for the global careers that will be possible, indeed inevitable, for your generation.

But I am suggesting more, because a Yale education is not just for your own personal benefit. Given the enormous investment that we, and your families, are making in you, you will leave here not only with abundant opportunities but also responsibilities, responsibilities akin to those borne by generations of Yale graduates before you, but different. Your predecessors were the stewards, first of the Connecticut Colony, then of the young Republic occupying part of the east coast of North America, and then of the vast nation spanning a continent and seeking to spread its message of freedom around the globe. Your responsibility will be different. You will be the stewards of a small planet, an interconnected world with a diverse array of peoples, cultures, and beliefs coexisting interdependently. The challenge before you is immense and without precedent. But it is a challenge worthy of your talent and promise. Seize every moment of these next four years. Take advantage of all that Yale offers. Pursue your passions, and prepare yourselves for global citizenship. Welcome to Yale.

Keynote Address: Chinese-Foreign University Presidents’ Forum
July 17, 2006
Shanghai, China

I am greatly honored by the invitation of the Ministry of Education to participate in this important biannual forum involving the presidents of China's leading universities and others from around the world. This is a propitious time for such a gathering, as those of us outside China continue to watch with admiration the enormous investment your country is making to improve the capacity, quality, and international standing of your universities. I want to express my gratitude to Minister Zhou Ji for taking the initiative to organize this event. I am delighted to participate.

I have been asked to discuss how universities serve their society. This is a question well worth asking, at a time of such massive investment and growth here in China. To answer the question, I will draw mainly on the experience of American universities, not because their contributions are unique or more important than those of universities elsewhere. I focus on the U.S. experience strictly because I know it best, and I do so in full recognition that some of the lessons learned in my country may not apply directly to China. I have spent parts of the past two summers engaged in an intensive seminar with the leadership teams of fourteen of the universities represented here today, and I have seen how eager my colleagues are to learn about the experience and perspective of other nations - not to mimic foreign practices, but to understand them, digest them, and reflect upon how to adapt them when appropriate for use in a Chinese context.

So let me go straight to the answer. I believe that universities serve their society in many ways, but I will focus on the contribution that they make through three activities in particular: research, education, and institutional citizenship.

First, by advancing knowledge of science, technology, and medicine universities create the foundation for economic growth, material well-being and improvements in human health.

Second, by educating students to be capable of flexible, adaptive, and creative responses to changing conditions, universities strengthen their society's capacity to innovate.

And, third, by serving as models of institutional citizenship, universities make a direct contribution to social betterment and inspire their students to recognize obligation to serve.

Let me discuss each type of service to society in turn.

University Research as an Engine of Economic Growth

In the modern economy, global competitive advantage derives primarily from a nation's capacity to innovate, to introduce and develop new products, processes, and services. This has clearly been the foundation of America's economic leadership in the period following the Second World War. And one important element in sustaining that leadership has been the strength of American science.

As the principal locus of basic research, America's universities play a key role in sustaining our nation's competitiveness and economic growth. Basic research, by definition, is motivated by curiosity and the quest for knowledge, without a clear, practical objective. Yet basic research is the source from which all commercially oriented applied research and development ultimately flows. I say ultimately because it often takes decades before the commercial implications of an important scientific discovery are fully realized. The commercial potential of a particular discovery is often unanticipated, and often extends to many unrelated industries and applications. In other words, the development of innovative products and services that occurs today usually depends on advances in basic research achieved ten, twenty, or fifty years ago - most often without any idea of the eventual consequences.

The emergence of universities as America's primary basic research machine did not come about by accident. Rather, it was the product of a wise and farsighted national science policy, set forth in an important 1946 report that established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that has propelled the American economy. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for financing basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private industry - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone. This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success, scientifically and economically.

The second and third of these central principles are worth emphasizing as China accelerates its rate of public investment in science. To isolate the nation's best scientists in research institutes, as was common in the Soviet Union and to some extent in China, deprives the nation of important benefits. It limits the exposure of students, especially undergraduates, to first-rate scientists and, often, to state-of-the-art equipment and methods, which tend to concentrate in the institutes housing the top scientists. Moreover, by removing many of the very best scientists from the university environment, the quality of teaching suffers and the curriculum is less likely to incorporate the latest advances and novel thinking.  

Allocating research resources by means other than peer review of proposals submitted by individuals and groups also imposes a huge cost on national systems. In most European countries, political considerations dominate the process of allocating research funds to institutions. There is a powerful tendency toward spreading resources across a large number of institutions. And, even in Britain, where there is rigorous peer review, the bulk of grant funding is awarded by considering the quality of departments taken as a whole rather than judging the merit of specific proposals from individuals. This also tends to shave the peaks of excellence.

Ensuring that world-class science is done in universities should be an important objective of national science policy, and the three principles - adequate government funding, co-locating advanced research and teaching in universities, and peer review that focuses on the merits of individual investigators - have helped the U.S. achieve excellent performance.

To ensure that university-based scientific research truly contributes to national well-being requires that ideas move from theory to practice. For much of the period following World War II, most U.S. universities did not actively seek to participate in the translation of discoveries into new products, processes, and services. An exception was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the mid-1990s, graduates of MIT had founded over 4,000 companies nationwide, and were continuing to create an additional 150 companies a year. Illustrating the impact a university can have on its local economy, more than 1,000 of those companies are based in Massachusetts, accounting for about 25 percent of all manufacturing activity in the state.

If engagement with industry was once the exception among U.S. universities, it is now the norm. Since 1980 over 4,000 companies have been formed based on technology licensed by a university. The shift occurred in part because in 1980 the federal government granted universities the intellectual property rights to inventions made during the course of government-funded research. This simple change created powerful incentives for faculty and their universities to commercialize faculty inventions in order to promote economic development and create additional sources of revenue for academic programs. But the policy change also encouraged a stronger sense that universities could contribute to society by facilitating the commercialization of their research. Many universities in the U.S., like Yale, have sought to use their own research to stimulate the economic development of the city or region in which they are located.

Educating Students for Innovation and Leadership

The knowledge created by the enterprise of academic science is by no means the only important contribution that universities make to the welfare of their societies. By educating students and preparing them well for service across the range of occupations and professions, universities contribute at least as much through their teaching as they contribute through their research. The increase in the number of well-trained engineers here in China has been staggering, and providing students with the requisite skills to obtain and retain productive jobs is important. But I want to talk about a more subtle and profound objective of university education, one that has been achieved with distinction by the very best of America's universities and colleges. And that is educating students to be creative, flexible, and adaptive problem-solvers, capable of innovation and leadership.

The world we live in is fast-paced and constantly changing. New scientific discoveries are made every day, and new theories displace old ones with relentless regularity. Many successful companies produce products or services based on technology or marketing strategies that didn't exist a decade or two ago. And government officials, too, confront a world radically altered by changes in communications technology and new tasks that are dictated by increasing globalization. In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; scientists, business leaders, and government officials alike must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

The methods of undergraduate education used by America's most selective and distinguished universities and liberal arts colleges are particularly well suited to prepare students for a changing world. These institutions are committed to the "liberal education" of undergraduates. The premise underlying the philosophy of liberal education is that students will be best prepared for life if they can assimilate new information and reason through to new conclusions. Since any particular body of knowledge is bound to become obsolete, the object of liberal education is not to convey any particular content, but to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to think independently, to regard the world with curiosity and ask interesting questions, to subject the world to sustained and rigorous analysis, to use where needed the perspectives of more than one discipline, and to arrive at fresh, creative answers. Society gains most from a pedagogy that seeks to enlarge the power of students to reason, to think creatively, and to respond adaptively.

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that, at America's best universities and colleges, education is not a one-way street. Information is no longer simply conveyed from faculty to students and reproduced on examinations. Consider the following description of Woodrow Wilson's teaching, from the days when he was a professor at Princeton University. It provides a good example of a style of pedagogy that is no longer used at the best American institutions.

"Professor Wilson habitually stood during his lectures. Speaking from a mere skeleton of notes, he hammered in his teachings with an up-and-down, full-armed gesture. Thus he was a perpendicular lecturer, his talking nose and his oscillating Adam's apple moving up and down with speech, along with his pump-handle gestures. He gestured as if operating the handle of a spray pump. He was there to spray students with a shower of knowledge, his superior mind acting downward upon the mass - a Scotch Covenanter bent upon describing how man acts politically, hammering information into reluctant minds . . .1"

Even as recently as the 1930s and 40s, in many college classes, professors spewed forth information in lectures, students copiously took notes, memorized them, and then "recited" them back to the professor when called upon in class. Today, students cannot simply rely on a good memory to succeed in college. Although lectures are still used in many courses, they are supplemented by other forms of pedagogy, and students are no longer encouraged to recite back what they hear in class or read in a textbook. Instead, students are encouraged to think for themselves - to offer their own opinions and interpretations in participatory seminars, writing assignments, and examinations.  

The participatory seminar is now a fundamental part of most undergraduate and graduate programs at America's top universities and liberal arts colleges. The purpose of small seminars is to challenge students to articulate their views and defend them in the face of classmates and the professor, who may disagree. The format forces them to reason through issues and to think critically for themselves, not just repeat what a professor has told them or what they have read. Often, these seminars are accompanied by in-depth research and writing assignments, where students are required to engage in independently study and write a paper articulating and defending their own conclusions.  

Even most lecture classes for undergraduates have some form of discussion section attached to them, to give students the opportunity to discuss for themselves the materials being presented in lecture. Like the participatory seminar, these discussion sections consist of relatively small numbers of students, and, especially in the humanities and social sciences, they emphasize exchanging views and developing analytical skills, not memorization and recitation.  

Professors also encourage critical thinking by the form of writing assignments they require and by the kind of examination questions they ask. Exams emphasize analysis and problem solving rather than description and memory. Many exam questions don't have a correct answer; they are designed to see how well a student can draw upon the facts and theoretical explanations at their disposal to fashion a coherent and defensible argument of their own.  

This distinctive emphasis on critical thinking produces graduates who are intellectually flexible and open to new ideas, graduates equipped with curiosity and the capacity to adapt to ever-changing work environments, graduates who, in business, can convert new knowledge into new products and services and who, in government, can find innovative solutions to new challenges. 

The University as an Institutional Citizen

I'd like next to explore with you one more way in which universities can contribute to society - by being good institutional citizens of their communities. In this way universities can contribute directly to local economic development, neighborhood improvement, public education, health care, social services, and environmental awareness. But they also contribute indirectly by modeling good citizenship for their students, thus helping to inculcate in them a sense of social responsibility.

When I became Yale's President in 1993, the city of New Haven, Connecticut was deeply troubled. It was suffering from the absence of industrial investment and job creation, a partially abandoned downtown, blighted neighborhoods, and an unflattering external image. Ten years later, a feature article in the New York Times travel section called New Haven "an irresistible destination."

When I took office, we decided to develop a comprehensive strategy for civic engagement, create administrative infrastructure to support that strategy, and make a substantial, long-term commitment to its implementation. We recognized that the most enduring contributions we could make would require partnership with public officials and neighborhood interest groups in New Haven, but we knew this would take time to develop. To signal emphatically to both the university community and the city the seriousness of our commitment, we took three important unilateral steps during the first year of my tenure. First, to provide appropriate support for the implementation of our strategies, we established an Office of New Haven and State Affairs. Second, to demonstrate institutional endorsement of the prodigious volunteer efforts of our students, we established a program of paid summer internships to support the work of students in city agencies and nonprofit service organizations. Third, to stimulate immediately the process of strengthening neighborhoods, we announced what has become the most visible and successful of our urban initiatives: the Yale Homebuyer Program. The program, now widely imitated, subsidizes home purchases by our faculty and staff in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Of the nearly 900 employees who have participated in the program over the last 12 years, 80% were first time homebuyers.

One element of our strategy to become an institutional citizen was to accelerate Yale's effort to contribute to economic development through technology transfer, a strategy that has also been successful adopted by many Chinese universities. In our case, the lack of critical mass in electrical engineering and computer science had caused Yale - and consequently New Haven - to miss out on the technological revolution that spurred the development of Silicon Valley around Stanford and Boston's Route 128 in the vicinity of MIT and Harvard. But Yale has impressive strength in biomedical sciences, and thus in 1993 we had tremendous unexploited potential to build a biotechnology industry in and around New Haven.  

We sought out faculty with an interest in commercializing their results, used students at our School of Management to prepare business plans, drew upon Yale's extensive connections in the venture capital business to find financing, and helped to find real estate solutions in New Haven. We are seeing results. More than thirty new biotechnology companies have been established in greater New Haven area. These firms have attracted over $2 billion in capital.  

One of the major constraints in the initial years of this economic development effort was real estate. We worked closely with state and city officials to revive a long moribund Science Park at a factory location abandoned more than two decades ago by the Olin Corporation. Once the initial, publicly funded facilities had been fully leased, and it was clear that Yale was continuing to generate two or three new companies each year, private capital moved in to develop one million square feet of new space.

The development of a strong biotechnology industry in and around New Haven augurs well for the long term, but it did little to address the immediate needs of the low income, inner city neighborhoods that surround our campus. To build trust and credibility, it was essential to establish working partnerships with grassroots organizations and community leaders. Neighborhood partnerships also provided an opportunity to coordinate and focus on a common purpose the enormous talent and energy of our student volunteers.  

In one nearby neighborhood to the west of our campus, we mobilized faculty and students from the schools of architecture, law, and management to help neighborhood residents develop a comprehensive plan for revitalization. We sought and won a sizeable federal grant to allow implementation of this resident-led plan that support job training, housing improvements, and support for the neighborhood elementary school. With the assistance of our Law School's clinical program and another federal grant we helped to secure, a new community development corporation was formed. Among the results of our collaborative efforts in this neighborhood are an addition to the neighborhood elementary school designed by Yale architecture students, the first new urban supermarket in the state of Connecticut in a generation - an effort facilitated by the work of management school students, an extensive literacy program staffed by undergraduate volunteers, community gardens planted with the assistance of Forestry School students, and improvisational children's theater programs mounted by Drama School students.

We have also worked extensively in another neighborhood to the northwest of campus. We rehabilitated a substantial number of residential properties we own and lease to graduate students, setting in a motion a process that has encouraged other neighbors - including participants in our Homebuyer program - to invest in the upgrading of their own homes. We have worked closely with community residents on plans to develop a large vacant site that sits directly between the university and a new, very attractive low-rise public housing project developed under a federal grant that we helped the city secure. We have used a portion of this site for a new headquarters for our University Police, which provides safety and security to those nearby. The new facility incorporates a community center, with a computer cluster for school children and heavily used meeting space for community organizations. We are now relocating the outpatient health care facility that serves our faculty, staff, and students to the site, where we will engage the neighborhood in numerous health outreach programs.  

Complementing our neighborhood efforts are some very substantial public school collaborations. At one high school over 200 students participate in science courses taught by members of our medical and nursing school faculties, and 65 students live on campus during the summer to study science and work in laboratories. And at the local arts high school, students from our School of Music play an active role in the instructional program. We also take pride in the twenty-eight year old Yale New Haven Teachers Institute, an innovative program now being disseminated nationwide, where professors work during the summer with public school teachers as partners in curriculum development.

As a final component of our neighborhood outreach, we have endeavored to make our campus more accessible to local school children. In addition to opening our museums to school visits, which has been the practice for generations, we now make our extensive athletic facilities available to hundreds of children enrolled in the National Youth Sports Program during the summer, and we host a citywide science fair each year.  

It has been most heartening to me in conducting an Internet search to discover the extent to which Chinese universities are also reaching out to serve the residents of their local communities. Over 30 educational institutions in China have provided legal services to people with difficulties. The East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai has helped of 60,000 people, and the Center for the Protection of Rights of Disadvantaged Citizens at Wuhan University has served more than 30,000. Sichuan University defends criminal suspects who cannot afford lawyers, and a legislative clinic at the Northwest University of Politics and Law in Xian helps the local government conduct legal research and write new laws.  

Student volunteerism is apparently as robust on Chinese campuses as it is in the United States. At Northwestern Industry University, students gave more than 100,000 hours of tutoring to 2800 children of recently laid off workers. At the Shanghai Second Medical School, students have conducted AIDS education programs that reach over 18,000 people. Recently, students at Fudan University established a Student Volunteer Union to bring together the volunteer groups on campus that work on issues ranging from disaster preparedness to community development.

Volunteerism in China seems also to focus on the problems of the nation's rural areas. For example, Student Volunteers for Rural Support, a network connecting rural volunteer societies in 120 different institutions of higher education, has encouraged 20 of these societies to adopt specific villages, where students assist in tutoring and the construction of public buildings. And Tongi University is sending more than 200 students to 28 rural locations to work on health and environment issues.  

Yale's China Law Center has been privileged to collaborate with several Chinese law schools in public service projects. For example, at Peking University, we have worked with the Center for Public Participation Research on reforming the transparency and responsiveness of systems of administrative rulemaking at the local and national level. And at the China University of Political Science and Law we have collaborated on projects to promote the oversight role of China's legislature and reform in the regulation of the media.  

Such efforts to mobilize students and faculty in support of worthy civic causes, as well as efforts by the leadership of institutions to contribute directly to the betterment of the broader community that surrounds us, flow naturally from the mission and purposes of our institutions. On our campuses we are devoted to the development of full human potential of our students and faculty. But many of our neighbors lack the opportunity to flourish. We, with the privilege of education, can help those without privilege gain access to greater opportunity. Thus, universities contribute through their citizenship, as well as through their research and teaching, to the betterment of society.


1Alfred Pearce Dennis, "Princeton Schoolmaster," in Houston Peterson, ed., Great Teachers, Portrayed by Those Who Studied under Them 134 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1946).

Baccalaureate Address: Curiosity, Independence, and Public Service
May 19, 2006
Yale University

Four years ago, in this very hall, I welcomed you to Yale. I began by telling you about Yale's tradition of pioneering new fields of study, its magnificent collections, its extraordinary faculty and their scholarly accomplishments. Then, as one example of Yale scholarship, I cited Edmund Morgan's just-completed biography of Benjamin Franklin. I identified several of Franklin's personal qualities and suggested that during your time here you might find them worthy of emulation. To remind you, these particular virtues were curiosity, independent thinking, and devotion to public service. I thought I would return to these themes today, in part to reflect on how you have practiced these virtues here at Yale, but more importantly to suggest how these traits of Franklin might serve you well in the years ahead, and enable you to contribute significantly to the well-being of our globally interdependent human society.

Returning to Franklin seems altogether fitting and proper this year, as we celebrate the 300th anniversary of his birth.

First among the virtues I cited was curiosity. Franklin wondered where the air that went up chimneys came from, and why oil droplets held their shape on solid surfaces but spread to a thin film on water. When crossing the Atlantic, he charted the location of the Gulf Stream and designed new hulls, riggings, propellers and pumps for sailing vessels. He advised Robert Fulton on adapting the steam engine for use in ships, and he figured out which materials conduct electricity and which don't. He rarely sat in meetings without doodling, and sometimes he designed elaborate math puzzles. He would have loved Sudoku!

As far as I can tell, you have not been lacking in curiosity. More than three-quarters of you decided on a major different from the one you announced as your intention during the summer of 2002. And I would venture to say that most of you have discovered new passions that will last a lifetime. Seventy of you have served as docents or assistants in the University Art Gallery or the Center for British Art, and hundreds more have taken classes in these two extraordinary museums. Three hundred of you worked in science, engineering, or medical laboratories on research projects with faculty guidance. And well over four hundred of you went overseas for study or work internships. These are only a few of the ways you have exercised your curiosity; the years ahead will offer you many more opportunities.

Independent thinking was the second of Franklin's traits I encouraged you to emulate when we met four years ago. Franklin was not only curious; he very definitely had a mind of his own. As the outbreak of the Revolutionary War approached, while serving as an emissary in Europe, he believed that his mission was to convince Britain to allow its American colonies more liberty, and he opposed his fellow colonials who wished to separate from Britain. But Franklin had an open mind; when he returned home, he was persuaded by new evidence of British heavy-handedness to take up the cause of independence.

I expect that you would agree that we've encouraged you to think independently here at Yale. From the papers you've written, the exams you've taken, and the seminars you've attended, you know that the teachers you've most admired didn't encourage you to recite back their opinions. They wanted you to question everything and think for yourself. I imagine that the students most praised by the faculty were not those most adept at simply remembering what they read. Instead, they were the students with interesting and original ideas about what they read, or what they learned in the lab. I would imagine that you, too, have admired most those classmates whose ideas challenged you to think again.

Encouraging your curiosity and independence, along with originality and open-mindedness - these were the goals that Yale set for you these past four years, and they are the major objectives of undergraduate education not only at Yale but at other leading American colleges and universities as well.

Interestingly, the power of the American approach to higher education has only recently been recognized by other nations for what it is: a central reason for the prosperity of the United States and its leading position in global markets for the past sixty years.

The secret is simple. In the modern world, economic leadership does not depend on an abundance of natural resources or an abundance of cheap labor - although it's true that oil-producing states experience waves of prosperity at times like the present one, and the combination of cheap but literate labor and the elimination of barriers to trade and investment can produce dramatic growth, as we've seen in China for the past quarter century. Nonetheless, sustained worldwide growth depends on advances in science and technology, and thus global economic leadership depends on a nation's capacity to innovate.

Other nations have begun to understand the links between higher education, innovation, and economic success. In China, Japan, and elsewhere, universities are abandoning their traditional pedagogy and seeking to encourage curiosity and independent thinking, in order to develop scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who have the creativity and capacity for innovation that is required to compete effectively in the knowledge-based industries that will drive the 21st century economy.

Let's turn now to the third of Benjamin Franklin's admirable traits - his devotion to public service. He served as the first postmaster of the American colonies and subsequently devoted 25 years to service as an ambassador abroad, first for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, later for the confederated colonies, and ultimately for the new United States of America.

You have already shown an interest in service here at Yale. More than four hundred of you participated as tutors or mentors in the New Haven public schools, and many more of you have involved yourselves in other community service activities of the widest variety. And contrary to the prevailing perception that your generation is disengaged from public issues, many of you worked as volunteers in the 2004 elections, and more than one hundred of you served as interns last summer in Washington D.C.

Some of you took up important causes here on campus - urging the university to strengthen its commitment to protecting the environment, to refrain from investment in companies contributing to the Darfur genocide, and to increase the financial aid available to low-income families.

I want to encourage you to stay engaged with public issues, and to consider public service. Many important issues will fall to your generation for resolution. Can we sustain the health and well-being of an increasingly aging population? Can we live in peace and prosperity as emerging nations rise to share center stage with America? Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert the environmental catastrophe toward which we seem headed? To secure the future for yourselves and your children, your involvement with these issues is essential.

I remind you of what Alexander Hamilton had to say about this, in The Federalist, no. 1, page 1:

"It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies ... are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend ... on accident and force."

This is a powerful argument for public engagement. In Franklin's generation, and in Hamilton's, it called forth to public service citizens of the highest caliber, the most highly educated, the most morally principled. The questions facing us as global citizens today are no less weighty than those confronting America's founders. The world needs your commitment to public service. We at Yale expect it.

You may not have thought about your education this way, but the economist in me hastens to point out this fact: other people have made a big investment in you. I refer not only to your parents, whose sacrifice was considerable. I refer also to the generations of Yale alumni who - even when your parents have paid full tuition, room, and board - have supported half the cost of your education through their gifts to Yale's endowment and through their annual donations to the alumni fund. The thousands of alumni who have made your education possible did not invest only for the pleasure of seeing you lead fulfilling and rewarding private lives. They also invested because they expected, and continue to expect, that, like Yale graduates who preceded you, you will make valuable contributions to the wider society - by advancing science, scholarship, the arts, and the professions, and, above all, by taking responsibility for the future, by serving as leaders in your communities, in the nation, and around the world.

Tomorrow, I will confer upon you the degrees in Yale College as recommended by your Dean and admit you to all their "rights and responsibilities." This idiosyncratic formulation is not an accident. In modern democratic societies we are accustomed to speaking about rights, but at the moment of your commencement we remind you that with rights come responsibilities. And take note that we speak of "rights and responsibilities," not "rights and privileges." Attending Yale College was a privilege; being a graduate of Yale College is a responsibility - a responsibility to share the fruits of your education with a wider humanity, through leadership and service.

Women and men of the class of 2006: Never cease to exercise your curiosity. Seek out new experiences; approach them with an open mind, and form your own independent judgments. And, as the qualities of mind that you have developed here propel you past obstacles and setbacks to personal fulfillment, never forget that you have a broader responsibility. You are among those who are capable of ensuring that the fate of humanity is decided not by accident and force, but by reflection and choice. Rise to the challenge.

Introduction of President Hu Jintao
April 20, 2006
Sprague Hall, Yale University

Mr. President, it is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to you and Mrs. Liu on behalf of our entire community. We are deeply honored that you have chosen to visit Yale.

Your country has an ancient tradition of reverence for education, and your actions affirm this tradition. During the past decade, you have made massive investments in your universities, strengthening the most excellent of those institutions while broadening access to higher education from less than 5% to more than 15% of your college-age population. Your nation's focus on education has contributed substantially your historically unprecedented success in lifting more than 200 million of your citizens out of poverty in the past quarter century. We admire these achievements, and, like most Americans, we are hopeful that the development of your economy will be accompanied by continued expansion of the rule of law and strengthening the rights of individuals.

These past two summers, Yale has been privileged to host presidents and vice presidents from fourteen of your leading universities for an intensive ten-day seminar on the policies and practices of the world's most respected institutions. Our conversations have acknowledged deep differences on important questions of values and national policy. But we also share values in common, chief among them the belief that only through education can one acquire the capacity to think creatively and independently, and thus contribute to scientific and material progress as well as to the humanistic and artistic expression that enriches society. We also agree on the power of personal encounter to deepen mutual understanding among those who start from different traditions, norms, and values. Our experience mirrors that of thousands of U.S. and Chinese scientists and scholars and tens of thousands of students whose interactions with one another can be a foundation for a lasting peace between our nations.

Yale is proud of its extensive connections with China. Scholars from our Faculty of Arts and Sciences and faculty from nearly all of our professional schools are currently engaged in more than 80 research and educational collaborations with Chinese counterparts. In addition to our seminar for university leaders we are currently involved in training programs for your environmental officials, mayors, senior executives of state owned enterprises, and senior governmental leaders. We are collaborating with Fudan and Peking Universities on major scientific research programs, and with your alma mater Tsinghua University on both cultural and environmental projects. Our China Law Center, directed by Professor Paul Gewirtz who helped to orchestrate the Rule of Law Initiative launched by President Jiang Zemin and President Bill Clinton, is deeply engaged with your courts, law schools, administrative agencies, and the National People's Congress - helping to advance legal reform.

Our American students are eager to learn about China. They learn from study: enrollment in our first-year Chinese language courses increased by more than 50% this past year, and each time Professor Jonathan Spence offers his course in Modern Chinese History over 300 students enroll. And they learn from encounter: from getting to know the more than 600 Chinese students and scholars currently in residence here at Yale, who teach us even as they pursue their own studies.

We look forward to your address, Mr. President. By your presence today, you honor the long association between China and Yale, and you honor the place of the university in both Chinese and American society. We are deeply grateful.

Statement: Yale's Special Student Programs
April 16, 2006

Yale's non-degree Special Student Program was introduced in 1977 to permit a small number of individuals, typically local residents not of traditional college age, to take courses without earning credit toward a Yale degree. The program was intended to offer educational opportunities to older students who wished to earn credit toward degrees at other institutions, who contemplated career changes, or who wanted to enrich their personal lives. About 50 to 60 students are admitted each year.  These students do not live on campus, do not receive financial aid, and do not compete for admission with the 1300 members of the freshman class in Yale College.

Yale College also sponsors a bachelor's degree-granting Special Student Program, recently renamed the Eli Whitney Program.  This program, started in 1982, also serves students who are not of traditional college age.  The 8 to 12 individuals admitted each year enroll part-time; they, too, do not live on campus, do not receive financial aid, and do not compete for admission with the 1300 members of the freshman class in Yale College.

When media attention began to focus on the non-degree Special Student Program in February of this year, I asked Dorothy Robinson, Vice President and General Counsel of the University, and Jeffrey Brenzel, the newly-appointed Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, to review the program's admissions process.  In the paragraphs that follow, I summarize their findings and draw my own conclusions.

The criteria for admission to both the non-degree and degree-granting special programs, as published on the web, are: "Yale seeks applicants whose academic background, work experience, and community involvement are particularly suited to study at Yale.  All candidates must present evidence of high academic potential, maturity, and clear motivation for their proposed course of study."  It is also noted that "Candidates should have a compelling educational reason to attend as a non-degree student."

The published criteria are adequate in some respects, but they fall short of the standard that we should require for admission to Yale College.  In the process of admitting a regular undergraduate for four years of study in Yale College, we look for character and achievement sufficient to predict that the candidate will make substantial and meaningful contributions to the betterment of society.  We seek to admit not simply candidates who can do the academic work required for graduation, but rather those with the capacity to lead and to serve society with distinction.  Evidence of an applicant's character, as well as his or her academic potential, is always given substantial weight.

Our review has raised questions whether the admissions practices of the non-degree Special Student Program have been consistent with the published criteria, let alone the standard that should prevail.  In recent years, while fewer than ten percent of the applicants to the regular undergraduate program have received offers of admission, more than three-quarters of the applicants to the non-degree program have been admitted.
The procedures for admitting students to the degree-granting Eli Whitney Program have been more rigorous and have resulted in somewhat greater selectivity. Yet, here too, the rate of admission seems high when compared with regular admission to Yale College; almost 30% of recent applicants have been admitted.  It is difficult to understand why the standard for this program should be any lower than that used to judge the qualifications for regular admission to Yale College, since the same degree is granted in both cases.

Over the years, both the non-degree Special Student Program and the degree-granting Eli Whitney Program have served many students of whom the University is justly proud.  But, the initial review I requested concluded that both the programs suffer from lack of clarity about mission, purpose, and standards.  As a next step, the Dean of Yale College, and I, as co-chairs of the standing Committee on Yale College Admissions Policy, will convene a subcommittee to consider the appropriate size of these programs, give their mission and purpose clear articulation, and define admissions criteria consistent with the high standards and moral purposes of a leading institution of higher learning.

Pending the outcome of this further review, decisions on admission to the non-degree program for 2006-07 will adhere to the published standard, and the standard for admission to the degree-granting Eli Whitney program will be equivalent to that applied to candidates for regular admission to Yale College, recognizing that in assessing more mature candidates, relatively more weight should be given to achievement than potential.

2005

Reform, Innovation, and Economic Growth
November 28, 2005
University of Tokyo

President Komiyama, faculty, students, and staff of the University of Tokyo, ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful to have this opportunity to address you this afternoon.

Yale is honored by its long historical connection with your University. Our first Japanese graduate, Kenjiro Yamakawa of the class of 1875, served as your president. During his presidency he advanced the modernization of university administration in Japan. He later served as the president of Kyoto Imperial University and as the founding president of Kyushu Imperial University, now Kyushu University.

Much more recently, after earning his Ph.D. in economics at Yale, Professor Koichi Hamada launched his distinguished career here at the University of Tokyo, serving full-time on your faculty from 1965 to 1985. We have been fortunate to have him on our faculty ever since, although he has maintained a close connection here. He has done seminal work on international economic policy, and he has become one of the wisest and most respected commentators on the Japanese economy. I am delighted that Professor Hamada is here with us today.

*  *  *  *  *

Many reasons are given for the slowdown of the Japanese economy that began in 1990. Some argue that macroeconomic policy was responsible; others cite a precariously weak financial system. As a micro-economist and longtime student of industrial innovation, I prefer another explanation. Although Japan led the world in process engineering and product quality control, its scientific and financial infrastructure did not provide Japanese companies and entrepreneurs with adequate fuel to drive the kind of radical product innovation in science-based industries that was responsible for the success of the United States economy in the 1990s.

Today, Japan is in the midst of restructuring the funding of its university-based scientific research and it has taken a dramatically new approach to the governance of its universities. I believe that these changes, if carried through with sufficient vigor, hold great promise for strengthening the innovative capacity of the Japanese economy. In these remarks, I'd like to explain why I hold this belief, an explanation that will require first an examination of how universities function in the United States as a steady and reliable engine of innovation and economic growth.

It would come as a surprise to most Americans that Japan's universities and research-funding institutions are engaged in a period of intense reform. By standard measures of educational performance, and attainment, Japanese students are competitive with the best in the world. A recent study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in September 2005 confirmed that graduation rates among Japanese high school students are among the highest in the world, as is the percentage of those graduates who go on to complete a college degree or other post-secondary education course. Performance scores in mathematics, problem solving, science, and reading for Japanese students are significantly ahead of their peers elsewhere; and the Japanese public and private financial commitment to education is also among the strongest. Taken together, the result has been that Japan has one of the best-educated workforces in the world, particularly in science and technology.

The superior education of the labor force and a large and well-trained pool of engineers contributed mightily to Japan's rapid growth from 1945 to 1990. In the early years, a high savings rate and a pool of low wage, underemployed labor in agriculture fueled Japan's growth. By the 1970s and 80s, once its surplus labor was absorbed, Japan had developed a new source of competitive advantage that rested on superior education: it led the world in the engineering of manufacturing processes and the control of product quality. But Japan's leadership in process innovation and incremental product innovation did not prepare it for the IT revolution of the 1990s. With successive waves of radical innovation in software and communications technology, the U.S. gained a decisive advantage throughout the sector that dominates the world's most developed economies - the services. Today, Japan's capacity for radical product innovation in leading-edge technologies such as software and biotechnology is much weaker than the quality of its science and engineering workforce would lead one to expect. The recent reform efforts have begun to address this problem.

For those who are skeptical about my claim that the failure to make radical product innovations explains Japan's protracted stagnation, consider the following mental experiment: imagine that Microsoft, Netscape, Yahoo, and Google were Japanese companies. Is there any doubt that the Japanese economy would have grown more rapidly after 1995?

The Contribution of University Research to Innovation and Economic Growth

To understand how the current reforms might benefit Japan, it is instructive to examine the U.S. experience of the past sixty years. The Japanese slowdown of the 1990s, and the contrasting U.S. productivity surge, made clear what many commentators had missed in the 1980s: the source of American economic leadership is its capacity to generate advances in science and translate them into entirely new products, processes, and services. To underscore the point, America's lead is widest in those industries in which innovation is based on relatively recent scientific advance, such as pharmaceuticals, microprocessors, and software.

Historically, this source of global competitive advantage is new. Although commercial and industrial innovation have played an important part in determining world economic leadership since at least the opening of the Age of Exploration and surely since the first Industrial Revolution, innovation based on recent scientific advance emerged as a major economic force only in the second half of the 20th century.

In fostering science-based innovation, the United States has drawn upon two national characteristics that have long been a source of advantage: the ready availability of capital and the relative absence of barriers to the formation of new firms. These institutional features help with the rapid translation of science into industrial practice. But the United States government also recognized, in the immediate aftermath of World War II, that public investment was essential to generate steady progress in basic science. Scientific discoveries are the foundation of industrial technology. But the economic consequences of these discoveries are rarely understood immediately and may take decades to be fully worked out. Thus, private firms have little incentive to undertake the long-term, unpredictable work of basic science. Government must take the lead.

A 1946 report established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that secured and maintained American economic leadership. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for the financial support of basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private companies - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the Federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone.

This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success. Over the past three decades the U.S. has been the source of about 35% of all scientific publications worldwide, and more than 60% of the world's Nobel Prizes in science have been awarded to Americans or foreign nationals working in American universities. And it is clear that publicly funded basic science has been critical to technological innovation. A recent study prepared for the National Science Foundation found that 73% of the main science papers cited in industrial patents granted in the U.S. were based on research financed by government or nonprofit agencies and carried out in large part in university laboratories.

The deliberate decision to locate most fundamental research in universities rather than government laboratories or private research institutes has another equally significant benefit. It enables the next generation of scientists to receive its education and training from the nation's best scientists, who are required to teach as they pursue their own research. This model of graduate education enhances both the creativity of students and the vitality of the research enterprise.

Some of these well-trained graduate students become professors after they complete their degrees and post-doctoral study, thus ensuring that the academic research engine is continually replenished with new, skilled scientists. But the many who enter industrial employment after graduation take with them invaluable assets-state-of-the-art knowledge obtained by working at the frontiers of science and experience with the most advanced research tools and equipment. They also take with them a particular way of thinking, a topic to which I turn next.

The Contribution of Liberal Education to Innovation and Economic Growth

The knowledge created by the enterprise of academic science is by no means the only contribution of American universities to industrial innovation and economic growth. By engaging students in intellectual inquiry, encouraging them to question received wisdom, developing their capacity to think independently, and fostering their problem-solving abilities, universities and colleges contribute to economic growth through their teaching as well as their research. And it is not only the education of industrial scientists and engineers that has an impact on economic performance, it is the education of all those engaged in the business sector-executives, entrepreneurs, financiers, and consultants alike.

Many successful companies deliver products or services based on technology or marketing channels that didn't exist a decade or two ago. In such a world, knowledge of a given body of information is not enough to survive, much less thrive; students who aspire to leadership in business or government must have the ability to think critically and creatively, and to draw upon and adapt ideas to new environments.

The methods of undergraduate as well as much professional education used by America's most selective and distinguished universities and liberal arts colleges are particularly well suited to prepare students for a changing world. Unlike most European and Asian universities, which require students to specialize early, America's finest research universities and liberal arts colleges are committed to the "liberal education" of undergraduates. Liberal education exposes to students to a variety of subjects and perspectives, giving them intellectual breadth as well as the depth that comes from concentration in a single discipline. Its object is not to convey any particular content, but to develop certain qualities of mind: the ability to sift through information to extract what is useful, to ask questions, to think critically and independently. Just as the largest social benefits derive from scientific research that is driven by a wide-ranging curiosity rather than a particular commercial objective, so, I would argue, the largest social benefits derive from a pedagogy that enlarges the power of students to reason and think creatively rather than master a specific body of knowledge.

How is this accomplished in practice? Even as recently as the 1930s and 1940s, students copiously took notes on their professors' lectures, memorized them, and then "recited" them back to the professor when called upon in class. Today, students cannot rely on a good memory to succeed in college. Although lectures are still used in many courses, students are not encouraged to recite back what they hear in class or read in a textbook. Instead, students are encouraged to think for themselves-to offer their own opinions and interpretations in classes, writing assignments, and examinations.

The participatory seminar is now a fundamental part of most undergraduate and graduate programs at America's top universities and liberal arts colleges. The purpose of small seminars is to challenge students to articulate their views and defend them against classmates and the professor, who may disagree. The format forces them to reason through issues and to think for themselves, not just repeat what a professor has told them or what they have read. Often, these seminars are accompanied by in-depth research and writing assignments, where students are required to engage in independent study and write a paper articulating and defending their conclusions.

A distinctive emphasis on critical thinking produces graduates who are intellectually flexible and open to new ideas, graduates equipped with curiosity and the capacity to adapt to ever-changing work environments, graduates who can convert recently discovered knowledge into innovative new products and services. By producing thinking and engaged graduates capable of innovation, liberal education prepares students for the challenges that we can't even imagine today, challenges we must address if we wish to continue to grow and prosper.

Recent Japanese Efforts to Reform Science Funding and University Governance

The reforms currently under way here have the potential to move Japan toward worldwide best practice, especially in the funding of basic scientific research. Since 2000, grant funding subject to competitive review has grown by 57%. And, at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), the largest funder of university-based research, the process of awarding grants has been transformed to resemble more closely U.S. system of peer review. Centered in the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) since 1998, the Japanese approach to competitive research funding got off to a rocky start. Career public servants who were not themselves scientists controlled the process initially, and the reviewers were picked from a list of candidates nominated by academic societies. The results, reported in a 2003 study, were a dramatic skewing of grant recipients toward the most senior scientists, replicating the allocation produced by the traditional politics of the academy. Since one of the objectives of moving toward competitive review was to provide opportunity for young scientists to succeed strictly on the merits of their proposals, the JSPS system was quickly overhauled. Now government program officers are highly qualified scientists recommended by universities and research institutes, serving three year terms. And the process now draws its external reviewers from a database of those in the nation's scientific community who have been most successful in winning grants and publishing papers.

Still, Japan has a long way to go. Only $4.4 billion, or 13%, of the government's $34.1 billion spending on research is subject to competitive review. In the United States, 73% of government research funding is subject to competitive review.

Over time, changes in the system of funding basic science could have a substantial impact on Japan's capacity for major science-based innovation in commercial products and services. But strengthening basic science alone is not enough to ensure success. The American experience suggests that two other factors are significant.

First, the Japanese financial system needs to have the flexibility to allow small, science-based start-up enterprises sufficient access to capital. According to a recent study, Japan ranks second to last among 27 OECD countries in venture capital investment as a percentage of GDP. And only 23% of Japan's venture capital is directed toward the leading science-based sectors - communications, information technology, and biotechnology. By contrast, more than half of U.S. venture investment is in these sectors.

Second, Japan needs to consider whether it wishes to reform the pedagogical practices of its leading universities to encourage its future scientists and business leaders to be more independent and creative. Interestingly, China is already moving in this direction - at least in the education of its elites. Two of China's leading universities have recently begun to abandon the completely specialized European model of undergraduate education in favor of the American model, with a year or two of general liberal arts education followed by concentration on a major subject. A larger number of China's top universities have radically changed their hiring and promotion policies in an effort both to improve the quality of the faculty and to speed the rate at which the system absorbs younger scholars trained in the U.S. and familiar with its more open pedagogy. For the past two summers, the presidents and senior academic administrators from fourteen of China's leading universities have attended a seminar at Yale where they have shown keen interest in understanding how teachers in the U.S. elicit participation in class discussion and stimulate independent thinking among their students.

The changes in the governance of national universities put in place last year provide an enhanced opportunity for Japanese universities to tackle the question of pedagogical reform. Under the new arrangements, with presidents selected by a board of directors divided between faculty and outsiders, the national universities will have considerably more flexibility to differentiate themselves from one another. Indeed, government funding will be tied to the success of each university's performance as measured against its independently formulated strategic plan. Thus far, discussion of possible reforms under the new governance regime has given more attention to personnel policies and criteria for evaluating individual and institutional performance than to pedagogical reform. But liberating universities from conformity with national regulations has substantially reduced the barriers to such reform.

It remains to be seen whether the recent changes in research funding and university governance will significantly enhance Japan's capacity to innovate. The reforms are moving in the right direction, and they have created the opportunity for a dramatic upgrade in the quality of scientific research and in the creativity of Japanese university graduates. Perhaps the challenge of China's rise will spur Japan to achieve the full potential that is latent in the recent reforms. Only time will tell.

Veterans Day Celebration
November 10, 2005
Yale University

Judge Downey, Representatives of the Class of 1951, Veterans, Cadets, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

I rise after this stirring music, on this day of commemoration, to join those of you who have come from far and near to pay tribute to the Yale graduates who have served our country over three centuries, and to honor one special man whose courage and character are emblematic of the enduring spirit of them all.

Our ceremony today corresponds to ceremonies held in Washington, and around this country, linking Americans in a powerful chain of remembrance.

In gathering, we pause to remember that our fortunate lives owe much to the sacrifice of those who have fought to preserve our freedom. Our gathering is a small reminder that freedom itself is never free from challenge by those who would deny it to others.

It is especially apt to recognize sacrifice in the nation's service here at Yale. From the beginning, Yale College was meant to be a place where, in the words of our 1701 charter: "youth may be instructed and fitted for Publick employment both in Church and civil state."

Service and sacrifice require character, and thus this ceremony takes on special significance because Yale is an educational institution devoted to the formation of character. Here education has always meant more than the training of the intellect alone. Here we inculcate in students not mere facts, not merely the "furniture of the mind" noted by President Day in 1828, but also those "intangibles" developed through living and working in a highly engaged community, a community that confronts students with choices about how to live, requires them to discover their own values, and shapes their character.

Many of you on this quadrangle today have served our country with distinction. The rest of us can only imagine the ordeals you veterans have faced, or those you cadets may face, or what the Yale veterans, remembered here by the Alumni War memorial and the tablets of the Rotunda, had to confront in their own dark nights of the soul.

Today we honor one special person, a friend of mine, a classmate to many of you, whose story helps us to understand the ordeal, the patriotism, the humility, and the contribution of all who have served this country.

Jack Downey has always insisted that his risk-taking efforts over Northeast China were the efforts of a man merely doing his duty. He has preferred to give the impression that his response to capture, trial, condemnation, and incarceration in alien territory, under difficult and isolating circumstances, would have been the response of any American.

Maybe he is right. I wish it were so. But I'm not so sure. And I know that the nearly 100 members of the Class of 1951 here today to honor Jack share my skepticism. Because the character that Jack revealed in twenty years of imprisonment is the same character that we've seen ever since in the conduct of his life and in his attitude towards his experience. There aren't many who measure up.

The easily observed facts, known to many of you, are that after his release Jack went to the Harvard Law School, married Audrey Lee (whom he met on a return visit to Yale), and built a distinguished career of service as a juvenile court judge. When the new Juvenile Courthouse in New Haven was named for him, it was said that "He has truly altered for the good the future of countless children unable to help themselves."

No less impressive than his life of public service has been the way Jack has regarded his twenty-year ordeal. He has always refused, as he puts it, to "[go] through life making a career out of being a CIA agent who was imprisoned in China." When praised, he responds with humility. When honored, he deflects applause with self-deprecation and humor. He never speaks with bitterness or recrimination towards his captors. He never complains about his lost years. He has never sought special privilege or advantage. And he has never assumed that in giving so much to his country, he deserved anything in return.

Instead, he has lived as if his experience in captivity gave him a special gift of sympathy that was meant to put in the service of others.

This is how Jack Downey's character has shown itself through his actions and his attitude, and it has made the difference to those around him. His resilience, his courage and his perspective towards his experience inspire us to make more of our own lives.

On accepting the Nobel Prize, William Faulkner said: "I believe that man will not merely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance."

It is this soul, this spirit capable of compassion, sacrifice and endurance, that we honor in all those who have answered the call to service - and most especially in the man we have chosen to represent our nation's veterans on this special day.

As he steps up here to join us, may I ask you all to salute Jack Downey.

Jack, this year we have celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of another Yale man who served our nation with courage and character, a man whose name is known to every American and whose statue graces the old campus. You and he are kindred spirits. Just as his example has mattered to so many generations, your example matters to us.

And so it gives me such great pleasure to present you with this replica of our statue of another distinguished son of Yale, Nathan Hale.

Statement: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy
October 10, 2005

In his recent book, Red Sky at Morning, Gus Speth, Dean of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, states that in the face of disturbing polar ice loss and the startling consequences of global warning "addressing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels must be the bedrock of [a successful climate strategy]." This concern has been strongly reinforced by the Advisory Committee on Environmental Management, under the leadership of Professor Thomas Graedel, and by a number of student groups around the university. Yale recognizes the need to respond to and prepare for the unprecedented circumstances that we face with respect to energy production, consumption, and related carbon emissions. As an institution, Yale is committed to becoming a model university that prepares its students for facing the pressing environmental conditions and taking a leadership role amongst higher education institutions to respond to the energy challenge.

In the fall of 2004 the Yale Energy Task Force, a university-wide committee with staff, faculty and student representation, was convened to respond to the challenge of increasing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The task force was charged with making recommendations on Yale's approach to energy - production (from conventional to renewable), procurement, demand, greenhouse gas emission reduction and conservation.

Following a thorough review and analysis, the Officers have adopted the key recommendation from the report presented by the Energy Task Force. We are pleased to announce the following campus wide goal which will become effective immediately:

"Yale is committed to a level of investment in energy conservation and alternate energy sources that will lead, based on current projections, to a reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 10% below our 1990 levels by the year 2020. This is consistent with a similar commitment by the Connecticut State Legislature and the New England Governor's and Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Action Plan."

By adopting this goal Yale is one of the first universities in the country to commit to a fifteen-year strategic energy plan. We intend to reach our goal through a combination of a strong energy conservation program, investing in alternative energy sources, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates, and implementing on-site renewable and clean energy demonstration projects.

Every one of us on campus has a role to play in helping achieve this goal, by conserving energy and by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that flow from its use. Effective conservation programs can further free up funds within the University budget that will in turn be invested in renewable and non-CO2 emitting forms of energy. Specifically, we are setting out to achieve the following conservation targets:

  • 15% reduction at residential colleges over a three-year period.
  • 10% reduction at all other facilities

Two student groups, New Haven Action and the Student Task Force for Environmental Partnership, will take the lead in engaging and educating students on how to participate in advancing our goals for energy conservation. For every 5% of reduction at residential colleges the University will allocate renewable energy certificates to offset 1/3rd of the electrical energy used by residential colleges.

There will be a great deal of learning to be gained, both here at Yale and outside the campus community, on how to best meet our energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We will share this learning internally and externally as it is gained in the months and years ahead.

To learn more about Yale's fifteen-year Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Renewable Energy strategic plan go to http://www.yale.edu/sustainability.

Sincerely,

Richard C. Levin, President
Andrew D. Hamilton, Provost
John E. Pepper, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Greetings on the Occasion of the Centennial Celebration
September 23, 2005
Fudan University

Chairman Qin, President Wang, honored guests, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends. It is an honor to bring greetings on behalf of the many universities represented here. It is a particular honor to do so in the presence of Chairman Wu Bangguo, State Councilor Chen Zhili, and Minister Zhou Ji so that important leaders of China will hear first hand the high regard in which Fudan is held by universities around the world. Fudan's 100th birthday takes on special significance at a time when China is focused on elevating its finest universities, at a time when Fudan's ambition to expand, innovate, and excel is inspiring to all of us who are privileged to have Fudan as a partner.

This is my third visit to this campus in four years, and I continue to find its progress remarkable. President Wang, you and your colleagues are quite literally building the university of the future. It begins with investment in facilities on a vast scale, both on the old campus and on an entire new campus in the making, with state-of-the-art scientific laboratories, attractive student residences, and new spaces for academic and administrative services. But facilities alone cannot create excellence; they are a foundation for it. Upon that foundation Fudan is strengthening its faculty, launching more than ten major research initiatives, and inaugurating Fudan College for undergraduates. Even without massive investment in facilities, these program enhancements would be cause enough for celebration.

The university presidents gathered today represent only a fraction of the institutions of higher education that see Fudan as an important partner in pursuing their global ambitions. Increasingly Fudan is a partner of choice, whether it is a joint bachelors program with University College-Dublin, an executive MBA program with Washington University-St. Louis, joint masters programs with the University of Sydney and Waseda University, student exchange programs with the National University of Singapore, the Salzburg University-EU summer program, or a new Bioscience Center with the University of Nottingham. The Fudan-Yale connections include a Fudan undergraduate program on the Yale campus and a joint Biomedical Research Center here. I mention these projects to reinforce the importance of two-way avenues of institutional affiliation; those of us outside China are benefiting from Fudan coming to our campus even as we embrace participating in joint projects here. Fudan is a leader in recognizing the advantages of mutually beneficial arrangements.

President Wang's recounting of the early history of Fudan makes clear another reason why I am so delighted to offer this greeting: Yale's connection to Fudan spans the entire century. It was Yale graduate Li Denghui, Yale College Class of 1899, who was recruited by Fudan's founder Ma Xiengbo to be the first Fudan Director of Studies in 1905. Later, he served as the University's first President from 1913 to 1936. As if this deep connection were not enough, Yan Fuqin, the founder of Shanghai Medical University, now Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, received his M.D. degree from Yale in 1909.

It is intriguing to note how consonant some of Li Denghui's goals and practices were with those of Fudan today. He championed a wide-ranging scope of instruction covering mathematics and science, language, literature, rhetoric, anthropology, geography and philosophy, among other subjects. Li Denghui advocated a course of general education for undergraduates, at least for the initial years of a student's study. And foreshadowing Fudan's current commitment to globalization, he had Fudan offer its earliest students foreign language instruction in German, French and English. Academic innovation became Fudan's hallmark. Fudan was one of the earliest universities to pioneer in the field of journalism and to expand the field of study in its college of law.

What should we expect as Fudan enters its second century? No one can predict the future with confidence, but let me suggest my hope for Fudan's future, and for the future of all the leading universities from around the world who have representatives here today.

My hope is that the work of leading international universities will be, and will be perceived to be, essential - not peripheral - to the progress of humanity and to global stability and security. Already, the university's role as an engine of economic growth is well recognized. One only needs to look at the companies created around Fudan and the patents achieved from research in your laboratories to appreciate how universities contribute directly to economic growth.

But direct economic benefits to a nation are only a modest part of what universities can accomplish for the larger welfare of humanity, in China and around the world. The research of your faculty will lead to important advances in human health, and to discoveries that will improve the quality of life. Within the past month, the Yale-Fudan partnership in biomedical research has produced a highly efficient new technique for identifying the effect of mammalian genes, a technique that should help to identify the cause of many diseases and abnormalities. This kind of work of the university knows no national borders.

I would further maintain that the web of educational and scholarly exchange that is being woven by Fudan as it enters its second century may prove to be as important as the benefits provided by its research. As we enter a world of global interdependence, connections among universities can become important forces for stability and international security. Political and economic events will inevitably strain relations among governments from time to time, but student-to-student and researcher-to-researcher linkages deepen mutual understanding and create an enduring foundation for cooperation among those who are or will become influential voices in their home countries.

China has long understood that higher education is a civilizing force; it guides students and scholars to seek truth and to develop the fullest expression of their human potential. Fudan's first president, Li Denghui, passed on this wisdom to his students:

"Knowledge is not an end in itself, nor is it [only] a means of further[ing] the larger or material ambitions of man... It is a means by which we may be guided into the path of truth... "

On behalf of the world's universities, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Fudan University as it begins a second century in pursuit of the most noble goals humanity.

Fudan University Centennial: Universities, Economic Growth, and Regional Development
September 22, 2005
Fudan University

Panel on the Interaction between Urban Development and Higher Education

I am honored to participate on today's panel. Like many other educators around the world, I have admired China's impressive advancement and especially its decision to invest heavily in its leading universities. This is not only an enlightened policy for advancing human potential; it is also a wise strategy for promoting economic growth nationally and locally.

I want to start by discussing national science policy, rather than local or regional issues, because without a strong national commitment to advancing fundamental science, the contributions universities can make to local economies will fall far short of their potential. To illustrate my points, I will take the U.S. experience of the last half century as a "case study.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. government recognized that public investment was essential to generate steady progress in basic science. Fundamental scientific discoveries are the foundation of industrial technology. The economic consequences of these discoveries are rarely understood immediately and may take decades to be fully worked out. Thus, private firms have little incentive to undertake the long-term, unpredictable work of basic science. Government must take the lead.

An important 1946 report established the framework for an unprecedented and heavily subsidized system in support of scientific research that has propelled the American economy. The system rested upon three principles that remain largely intact today. First, the federal government shoulders the principal responsibility for the financial support of basic science. Second, universities - rather than government laboratories, non-teaching research institutes, or private industry - are the primary institutions in which this government-funded research is undertaken. This ensures that scientists-in-training, even those who choose industrial rather than academic careers, are exposed to the most advanced methods and results of research. And, third, although the federal budgetary process determines the total funding available for each of the various fields of science, most funds are allocated, not according to commercial or political considerations, but through an intensely competitive process of review conducted by independent scientific experts who judge proposals on their scientific merit alone. This system of organizing science has been an extraordinary success, scientifically and economically.

For much of the period following World War II, most U.S. universities did not actively seek to participate in the translation of discoveries into new projects. An exception was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the mid-1990s, graduates of MIT had founded over 4,000 companies nationwide, and were continuing to create an additional 150 companies a year. Illustrating the impact a university can have on its local economy, more than 1,000 of those companies are based in Massachusetts, accounting for about 25 percent of all manufacturing activity in the state.

If engagement with industry was once the exception among U.S. universities, it is now the norm. Since 1980 over 4,000 companies have been formed based on technology licensed by a university. The shift occurred in part because in 1980 the federal government granted universities the intellectual property rights to inventions made during the course of government-funded research. This simple change created powerful incentives for faculty and their universities to commercialize faculty inventions in order to promote economic development and create additional sources of revenue for academic programs.

This is a strategy that we have pursued recently with great success at Yale. In the last decade we have leveraged our strength in biomedical science to build a biotechnology industry in and around New Haven.

We sought out faculty with an interest in commercializing their results, used students at our School of Management to prepare business plans, drew upon Yale's extensive connections in the venture capital business to find financing, and helped to find real estate solutions in New Haven. We are starting to see results. More than thirty new biotechnology companies have been established in greater New Haven area. These firms have attracted over $2 billion in capital.

It is no accident that these companies took root in the greater New Haven area within miles of Yale. While manufacturing industries tend to seek locations that offer convenient access to transportation and low-cost labor, companies that depend on innovation for their success put a premium on access to scientific talent - to the faculty-inventors and students who comprise the talent pool from which companies hope to recruit. A sample of 190 research universities reported that 79 percent of the companies founded by faculty in 2003 located in the state of the inventor's home institution.

What lessons does the experience of the U.S. hold for China?

First, China should carry through its commitment to invest heavily in the development of its research universities. For this investment to be most effective, it must be predictable and sustained over the long term. It takes years for productive research teams to be built, and they are hard to hold together if funding is variable. Predictable funding also helps to assure promising young students that a research career is viable.

Second, research sponsors must be patient in waiting for results. The commercial fruits of the research may not be realized for decades and may be found after pursuing dead ends. The scientists exploring the phenomenon of coherent light in the 1950s did not envision that their invention - the laser - would become the foundation of countless devices by the end of the century.

Third, funding should be allocated through peer-reviewed programs that favor the most meritorious projects. Peer review has the virtue of engaging leading experts in evaluating the quality of projects proposed for funding. Decisions reached through peer review will be better-informed and more likely to bear fruit than decisions that could be made by any government agency. And, in contrast to a formula-driven system of allocating funds, peer review rewards excellence, creativity, and risk-taking on the part of individual researchers, all of which are conducive to world-class excellence.

Fourth, as faculty are encouraged to collaborate with industry in the translation of fundamental discovery into practical application, a balance must be struck to ensure that industry does not unduly distort the priorities of faculty, students, or the nation. Research sponsored by industry can be a great spur to innovation, economic growth, and local development, but it is no substitute for public investment in fundamental science, which is the foundation upon which all else rests.

Finally, let me offer a few words of encouragement. China has set ambitious goals for raising the quality of its universities. I have no doubt that China will succeed. And China's universities can play a significant role in local economic development without compromising the traditional university missions of education and the advancement of knowledge. As experience shows, leading institutions can at the same time excel in teaching, advance the frontier of knowledge, and fuel local and regional economic development. The world will watch with admiration as China pursues this course in the years ahead.

Freshman Address: Friendship and Individuality
August 26, 2005
Yale University

Good morning. I am delighted to join Dean Salovey in welcoming the Yale College Class of 2009. And I want to extend a warm welcome also to all the parents, relatives and friends who are here this morning. To you parents, thanks for entrusting your children to us. We share your high opinion of them, and we are confident that they will thrive here.

Earlier this month, as I was thinking about what I might say to you on this occasion, my wife Jane and I visited the recently renovated Museum of Modern Art in New York. There it was my good fortune to see a brilliantly conceived special exhibition of the works of two French impressionist painters, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne. The exhibition covers the period from 1865 to 1885, when the two artists were in very frequent contact, often spending weeks together painting side-by-side.1

Pissarro was thirty-five when their close friendship developed, and Cézanne was twenty-six. So they were not exactly your age. But I was struck by the many parallels between their experience and the experience that you are about to have here at Yale. And so by telling you a little about them, I hope to give you a partial introduction to your next four years.

Pissarro and Cézanne met in Paris, at the time the unquestioned capital of the world of art, and a great center of intellectual life. Unlike many artists, they had no connection to the upper strata of French society. Their origins were culturally diverse and middle class. Pissarro had been born in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Thomas, where his father had come from France to take over a troubled family business. Cézanne was a native of Provence, in the south of France. His father sold hats, and later founded a small bank. Both painters had mothers described as "Creole," a term which at the time referred to individuals whose ancestors included either natives or long-time European settlers of the Americas.

You, too, come to a great center of learning, to one of the world's great universities, where you will have daily contact with a faculty whose research, writing, and teaching is constantly reshaping the way we think about literature, the arts, history, nature, the economy and society. Some of you come from great wealth, some from great hardship, but most of you, like Cézanne and Pissarro, are somewhere in the middle and come from afar. You represent fifty states and forty-two foreign nations. And you have very diverse interests: academic, artistic, and athletic, ranging from debate to drama, from science to surfing to Irish stepdancing.

Cézanne and Pissarro became acquainted at a time of great unrest in the world of art. The recognized masters of the day were superb technicians who created rich, lustrous paintings, but their subject matter was highly formalized and allegorical - full of allusion to classical texts, ancient history, and mythology. These "academicians" controlled access to national recognition for younger artists, judging whose work would be shown at the great annual national exhibition - the Salon.

By the time Cézanne first arrived in Paris, Pissarro had already established himself as one of the leaders of a group of young artists in rebellion against the aesthetics of the Academy. Although they respected the technical proficiency of the academicians, the younger artists, like the romantic poets who preceded them by a half century, aimed at a radical simplicity. Instead of elaborate allegorical compositions, they preferred to respond to nature directly - expressing their individuality through painting from still life or the simplest outdoor scenes. Their intention, articulated in some of the earliest correspondence exchanged by Pissarro and Cézanne, was to give a truthful representation of one's own "sensations," one's individual experience of the physical world.

The two painters quickly developed a mutual admiration. As outsiders, they shared a common bond. Both were deeply passionate about art and committed to a revolutionary aesthetic. Both worked fanatically hard. Beyond this, Cézanne was impressed by the older artist's ability to conceptualize their work and to serve as a leader and model for the young artists who would eventually constitute the impressionist school. Pissarro admired Cézanne's audacity, his raw talent, and his extraordinary sense of color. He did everything he could to advance the younger painter's career. Indeed, throughout their lives, even after they grew distant after 1885, they took pleasure in each other's excellence.

You, too, will develop admiration for one another and come to take pleasure in each other's excellence. In these early days at Yale, as you discover in conversation after conversation the astonishing accomplishments of your classmates, you may be wondering; how can I possibly excel here? But, believe me, one of the glories of this place is that there is room for everyone to excel. You will be pleased to learn that you don't need to compete with the person sitting to your right or to your left. You will find yourself rejoicing in the success of your classmates, just as they rejoice in yours. There is so much room for individual achievement here - in many different fields of study and many different activities - music, theater, journalism, community service, athletics, and more.

Cézanne and Pissarro repeatedly found inspiration in each other's work. They experimented with a wide variety of techniques - borrowing them from each other, sometimes rejecting them, sometimes returning to them years later. During one period in the late 1870s, Pissarro experimented with Cézanne's much more vivid palette of greens and reds only to return to his more subtle greys. A few years later, Cézanne began to emulate Pissarro's work of the late 1860s, which resembled his own mature style more than Pissarro's work of the impressionist period.

Like Cézanne and Pissarro, you, too, will be drawn to each other, attracted sometimes by a common interest and sometimes by interesting differences. You will learn from one another. Sometimes, you'll seek to be like one another. You'll experiment, separately and together, trying out new ideas, exploring new subjects, pursuing new activities. And I encourage you to experiment. Yale will not serve you best if you do nothing but deepen the interests you already have and make friends only with those most like you. You'll learn the most by trying out new ideas and new activities, and by getting to know people whose experiences and values are least like your own.

As much as Cézanne and Pissarro learned from one another, each developed a distinctive individuality. Let me illustrate by reference to the two pairs of paintings reproduced on your handout. Side 1 depicts two representations of the same scene in Louveciennes. The first was painted by Pissarro in 1871, and borrowed a year later by Cézanne so that he might study it and make a "copy." The scene is recognizably the same, and, at this early stage of their relationship, the paintings are more alike than different. Yet there is no doubt that our two artists are experiencing something different in the same scene. For Pissarro, the world is full of browns and greys, where Cézanne sees green, red, orange, and yellow. Look at the Pissarro's finely painted details in the leaves of the trees and the pattern of stones in the wall. Cézanne sees bolder patches of color where Pissarro sees delicate detail. The overall impression is that Pissarro's image of the scene is finer, Cézanne's is bolder.

Now consider the second pair of paintings. These were created as the artists stood at their easels side-by-side, six years later. The differences between these two paintings are no longer so subtle. Pissarro's trees are slender, vertical, elegant. The leaf structure is less precise than in his earlier work, but still gives the impression of lightness and laciness. His palette is more varied, but still dominated by subtle variations of grey. What can't be seen in the reproduction is that the surface is built up by thousands of tiny brush strokes, to create a dense, lustrous image.

Cézanne's trees, by contrast, are thicker, heavier. Detail of branch and leaf structure has given way to abstract patches of paint oriented largely on the diagonal, giving this painting a geometry and a sense of motion that is radically different from Pissarro's. Cézanne's colors remain richer and more vivid; he is once again bolder and more dramatic than Pissarro. And, in contrast to the richly textured surface built up by the elder artist, Cézanne applies his patches of color with a palette knife, creating a much flatter, more uniform surface - a technique that both artists had explored together but abandoned years earlier.

I think you can see what I am trying to say. Like Cézanne and Pissarro you've come as strangers to a new place. Like them, you will become passionate about what you do here. You will work hard. I hope that, like Cézanne and Pissarro, you will aspire to change the world.
You will form close friendships here. You will find classmates and teachers you admire and wish to emulate. You will learn from them and they will learn from you. You will experiment, exploring new subjects and new activities. And all the while, in the classroom and outside, you will expand your capacity to think independently and creatively.

In the end, you will become the person you choose to become. Like Cézanne and Pissarro, you will each develop your own distinctive character. To help you do this, Yale offers you resources that are beyond imagining - teachers, classmates, libraries, and museums with few equals in all the world. The University Art Gallery has excellent examples of the work of Cézanne and Pissarro. At the reception following this ceremony, you will find a wonderful Pissarro portrait hanging over the fireplace to your left as enter the President's House. Go to it! Yale is yours. Make the most of it.


1 The historical material that follows is drawn from the excellent exhibition catalogue written by  Joachim Pissarro, the artist's great-grandson: Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865-1885, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2005.

Baccalaureate Address: Reviving Public Discourse
May 20, 2005
Yale University

When you entered Yale four years ago, I offered some reflections on the letters exchanged by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the last fourteen years of their lives. You probably don't recall, but I suggested that there were many lessons to be learned from reading this extraordinarily rich and erudite correspondence. Though very different in temperament, these two founding fathers shared a vigorous passion for lifelong learning, a capacity for independent thought, and a friendship rooted in mutual respect and admiration. I urged you to use your time at Yale to develop the qualities of mind and character that would make these traits your own.

Every bit of evidence I have suggests that you have done this. Inspired by passionate and committed teachers, you have plunged into your studies deeply and seriously. You would be pleasantly surprised to know how often I hear from your teachers about what wonderful students you are! I hope that you will never lose the curiosity and the open-mindedness that you've exhibited in the Yale classroom, and that, like Adams and Jefferson, you will never cease to question, learn, and grow.

As for your capacity for independent thought, look around. As any bulletin board on campus demonstrates, there is an astonishing range of viewpoints and activities here. The vigor of debate in student publications and the lively discussions you've had in seminars provide ample proof that you can think for yourselves.

And then there is the building of enduring friendships, so long a hallmark of Yale College life. For this, it might seem that you needed no special inspiration, just a unique residential system and a spirit of community that made it easy to form deep bonds. But the formation of enduring friendships required more than a supportive environment; you had to work at it, work at the self-understanding that is prerequisite to any deep relationship. You should take pride in this, as you treasure, for a lifetime, the "friendships formed at Yale."

If you are leaving here with a passion for learning, a capacity for independent thought, and deep friendships rooted in self-understanding, then you've accomplished much of the work of a college education. But now, as you graduate, I want to set one more goal for you, one for which your Yale experience has prepared you well. I want to urge you to take a role in public life, to take responsibility as citizens in a world that has changed dramatically in the short time you have been here.

That the world has changed came shockingly to our attention only ten days after we met here in Woolsey Hall for your Freshman Assembly. Many of the changes wrought by September 11 will be enduring, but the altered geo-political landscape is not what I intend to talk about today. Instead, I want to challenge you at a more personal level to do your part as citizens to improve the quality of civic discourse in the United States and around the world. In particular, I want to talk about two disturbing trends in contemporary political discourse in democratic nations: oversimplification and polarization. The strength of our democracy and the wisdom of our collective choices will depend on the efforts of your generation to reverse these trends.

Consider the Presidential debates. Following the advice of the experts, the candidates reduced every issue to a formula. Proud as we were that both candidates were Yale graduates, think how often the same phrases were invoked over and over again. "Staying on message" was the name of the game. There was no real debate, no progression in the argument. Neither we nor the candidates learned much from the interaction, as we would in a normal conversation, when one person responds to, criticizes or builds upon the ideas of another.

It wasn't always this way. Go back and read the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Here was true engagement, detailed and sophisticated argumentation on the most vexing question in American history: the question of slavery. Even the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the first to be televised, were much deeper and more penetrating than what we've come to accept as inevitable today.

Public discourse is not only over-simplified, it is polarized as well. In the last presidential election, the candidates were more deeply divided on foreign policy, economic policy, and moral or life style issues than at any time in recent memory. For the first time in generations, the prevailing wisdom of the pundits was that the candidates had to secure the base within their own parties rather than win the swing voters in the middle. And so, compared to any election since at least 1984, the Republicans moved more to the right and the Democrats more to the left, with each party seemingly speaking to those on its flanks rather than those in the middle.

The tendency to over-simplification and polarization leads us to represent too many important public choices as false dichotomies. I am an economist, and so I ask your indulgence if I illustrate this point with examples from the realm of economic policy.

The public debate suggests that we must choose between a flat tax and a progressive income tax filled with loopholes that advantage special interests. Isn't there an obvious middle ground: a progressive income tax with fewer loopholes?

We are presented with a choice between preserving the current Social Security system - which is headed toward bankruptcy - and creating a system in which individuals maintain their own retirement accounts and make their own investment decisions. But why can't we create more incentives for private savings while preserving the social insurance or safety net features of Social Security?

We are asked to choose between protectionism that slows world wide economic growth and a passive acceptance of the dislocations caused by free trade. Can't we maintain free trade and design more effective programs to assist and retrain those displaced.

We need to talk sensibly about the policy choices that confront us. There are plenty of good ideas that aren't that complicated. But we need to raise the level of discussion beyond sound bites.

Your Yale education has prepared you to help. You haven't been shy about expressing your opinions here. Don't lose the habit. As citizens, here in the United States and elsewhere, you will need to engage to improve the quality of public discourse. Insist on an end to oversimplification and polarization. Write letters, join organizations that advocate for your beliefs, participate in local politics, and, above all, use the critical faculties you have developed here to raise the level of discussion.

Many of you have become well practiced in civic engagement during your time here. You have worked to improve New Haven's neighborhoods, helped to raise the standard of Yale's environmental practices, sought the return of ROTC, won national recognition for combating hunger and homelessness. You have given time to tutoring and coaching young people in the community. Seventy of you gave a summer to work on community service projects sponsored by Dwight Hall, the President's Office, or local Yale clubs around the country. You have written opinion pieces of every persuasion for student newspapers and magazines. At one student journal of international affairs, the Yale Globalist, the editors are developing a network linking similar magazines on campuses around the world. This effort to promote reasoned dialogue among students on a global scale exemplifies the kind of project any one of you might undertake to raise the level of public discourse.

Maintaining your admirable engagement with civil society in the years ahead in the manner that I am suggesting will require your determination and courage. In the next few years, as you are struggling to succeed in new jobs or graduate studies, it will be easy to turn inward. There will be more than enough to keep you occupied. But on Monday [tomorrow] when I award your degrees, here is what I will say: "By the authority vested in me, I confer upon you these degrees as designated by the Dean and admit you to all their rights and responsibilities." Three centuries of history have defined these responsibilities to include rising to the challenges of the day and making a contribution to civil society - from the four Yale graduates who signed the Declaration of Independence, to those who fueled the abolitionist movement two and three generations later, to those who fought to preserve our freedoms in two world wars, to those who led the way in extending those freedoms to all in the civil rights efforts of the past half century.

Whatever your passion may be - saving the environment, alleviating poverty, conquering infectious diseases - we can make little progress in a democratic society without intelligent public discussion of the issues. By pursuing your passion and doing your part to improve public discourse, you can make a difference.

In one of his last letters to Adams, Jefferson, the eternal optimist, wrote: "I shall not die without a hope that light and liberty are on steady advance." Adams, by contrast, was skeptical. He believed that tyranny was as likely to emerge from free elections as from a seizure of power. He saw checks and balances, and an educated and informed public, as critical to the survival of liberal democracy. He would not be surprised by the current impoverishment of political discourse, but his response would be clear. He would appeal to education as the solution.

We are fortunate that, on the question whether liberal democracy would survive, Jefferson has had the better of the argument for these past two hundred years, at home and around the world. It is our responsibility as educated citizens, your responsibility, to keep it that way.

Women and men of the class of 2005: As you go forth from here with a passion for learning, a capacity for independent thought, and deep and enduring friendships, never forget your obligations to serve responsibly those around you, to engage in civic life, to demand reasoned public discourse from others, and to set a standard with your own. The continued flowering of the freedoms you have so vigorously exercised in this place depends upon your engagement and your vigilance. Lead on.

Dedication of the Ziff Center
February 13, 2005
Stanford University

I am honored to be here today, to participate in the dedication of the Harold and Libby Ziff Center for Jewish Life at Stanford. The entire Jewish community of Stanford-including those of us who are alumni or parents-has cause for celebration, as we inaugurate this place of worship, study, reflection, and conversation. Those responsible deserve our heartfelt thanks.

Given my many connections to Stanford, which I will enumerate in a few minutes, I am especially pleased to be here. But I am not at all certain that I am qualified to be your keynote speaker. Some of you might think that my religious education was insufficient. Let me explain.

When I was growing up in San Francisco, my family belonged to Congregation Sherith Israel, which held services in a beautiful Romanesque synagogue on California Street. During services-that seemed to me to go on for a very long time-my brother and I did not always give the devoted attention we might have to the prayers or to the Rabbi's teachings. Instead, we would stare up at the dome, which was encircled by a single row containing a great many light bulbs. We used to occupy ourselves by counting the lights. I can tell you even today that there were 67. Although yesterday I checked this number with my brother and he insists that there were 66.

You might think that by counting light bulbs I wasted my opportunity for religious education. But I'm not so sure. Just above the ring of lights written around the dome in the archaic and politically incorrect language of the old Union Prayer Book was this one sentence from the prophet Micah (6:8): "It hath been told thee, O Man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee: only to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

Had my religious education taught me nothing more than this, Dayenu, it would have been enough. These words of the prophet are at the heart of Judaism. Justice, compassion, and humility-these aspirations define the behavior that is the essence of a good life. They are principles by which we should guide our lives. I trust that everyone assembled here would agree, and we are fortunate that this new center will provide for all of you a place to study and reflect, and to test ideas against fellow students and teachers.

The presence of this Center is another of those pleasant surprises arising, ultimately, from the opening of our leading universities to greater diversity in the 1960s. When I entered Stanford in 1964, there weren't many Jewish students. There weren't many Jews on the faculty either. I don't know if the official statistics confirm this, but my impression is that the number of Jewish students at Stanford began to grow precisely during the years I attended. I do know that Yale dropped its Jewish quota in 1963, and I'd be surprised if Stanford were more than a couple of years behind.

At least Stanford, thanks to the farsightedness of its founders, admitted women students from the very beginning, unlike most of its Ivy League counterparts. Still, many of you would be surprised to learn that in my day the gender balance of the undergraduate population was the opposite of Jan and Dean's Surf City. There were two boys for every girl.

We do know this for sure. The 1960s began a process of dramatic and irreversible change in the composition of the student body and faculties of the most selective American universities. At Stanford, as at Yale and throughout the Ivy League, the presence of previously underrepresented racial, religious, and ethnic groups increased markedly, and a roughly 50-50 gender balance was obtained. Today we are witnessing a similar opening up of undergraduate education to a more diverse array of international students.

I mention the impressive and growing diversity of this campus for two reasons. First, although it may have taken Stanford three-quarters of a century, today it is an institution in which the content of one's character, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, matters more than the color of one's skin or the nature of one's beliefs. As we scan the globe, from China to the Sudan to Rwanda, we should be thankful every day for what America gives us-the freedom to create great institutions like this university that are open and inclusive, and the freedom, within such institutions, to associate with those who share our beliefs. The Ziff Center is the product of these freedoms, and it is evident from merely perusing your web site that you are taking full advantage of them-with classes affording the opportunity to study not only Judaism's sacred texts but its cultural traditions, with worship services, social events, and outreach programs that provide students with an opportunity to "do justice."

Second, I mention the diversity of this campus because it symbolizes not only our freedom but also our responsibility. This new home gives us, as Jews, an opportunity to strengthen the bonds that unite us as a community, to deepen our understanding of our faith and our traditions. But we must not wall ourselves off from the larger, more diverse community that surrounds us. To segregate ourselves would be to deny ourselves the most effective instrument of education and personal development-the encounter with difference. As students and faculty members we learn most and grow most rapidly when we are challenged to understand, to appreciate, and define ourselves in relation to those whose ideas and beliefs differ from our own. In this sense, the diversity of the larger Stanford community is a treasure house of learning opportunities. If we wish to learn, to grow, and to realize our full potential as Jews, as citizens, as human beings, we must seize these opportunities. It is our responsibility to engage with those least like us, to encounter difference, and through the understanding of difference better to discover ourselves.

Harold Bloom teaches us, in his brilliant little book entitled How to Read and Why, that the encounter with difference is the essence of how one learns from reading fiction, poetry, and drama. Professor Bloom focuses on works of the imagination, but I learned long ago, as a Stanford undergraduate, that serious engagement with great works of history, biography, and autobiography achieves the same result in the same way. Each of these forms permits the reader to encounter otherness-the independent consciousness of the poet, the fully developed characters of the great novelist or biographer, the richly drawn world of another time and place in which history unfolds. To give just one example, if we wished to understand the struggle between personal ideals and the necessity of practical action, we would be well served by studying either Tolstoy's portrayal of Pierre Bezuhov or the life and writings of Abraham Lincoln. By seriously engaging with the text, literary or historical, we both encounter difference, enlarging our own sphere of experience, and we find a common humanity.

As a freshman in Wilbur Hall, I learned from my resident assistant, that this lesson applies to people as well as texts. My R.A.-we called them "sponsors" in those days-read people like books. He had an extraordinary ability to grasp and to articulate the essential and differentiating features of each person he came to know. He was a student of human behavior, vitally interested in learning everything he could about other people. It wouldn't be fair to say that he was non-judgmental, because he examined every one with a discerning eye, but he relished, almost indiscriminately, every one's individuality and idiosyncrasies. In some ways, he seemed to relish most those whose behaviors were most extreme-from the terrified grind who pulled twice-weekly all-nighters to the exuberant young man, later to become a distinguished medical ethicist, who repeatedly filled our dresser drawers with shaving cream, flooded the hallway with barrages of water balloons, and occasionally hung dead snakes on doorknobs. But, ultimately, my R.A. valued most those people who had the self-knowledge and courage to define themselves by their own lights and stake out an independent course. And, to get back to the point, he taught me by example that by reaching out to understand and to identify with others, we discover and refine our own values and beliefs. We learn about ourselves; we learn to build our own lives.

Let me end on a personal note, addressed to the students who are here today.

What I learned in my journey through Stanford was that I wanted a life in which learning was never-ending and a life that would allow me the opportunity to serve, to "do justice," in some significant way. I've been very fortunate. I've had the opportunity to transform a great American institution, preserving its core values while turning it outward to engage with the problems of the city around it and the wider world.

I have been privileged to test Stanford from many perspectives-as a student, an alumnus, a professional colleague of fellow economists, a parent of three undergraduates, a parent of a young member of the faculty, and as president of a rival institution. Stanford passes each test with banners waving overhead.

Stanford has unique virtues. After 113 years, it clings to all that is best about the American West. The restless spirit of the frontier survives; the winds of freedom blow. Independence, innovation, and entrepreneurship are prized. Openness and curiosity are cultivated. Stanford is an invitation to self-discovery. It was for me. It gave me a running start. I hope it will do the same for each of you.

Mazel tov, to one and all, on this great occasion. Enjoy your new home.

To Do Justice: Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Service
January 13, 2005
Congregation Mishkan Israel, Hamden, CT

When I was a boy growing up in San Francisco, my family belonged to Congregation Sherith Israel, which held services in a beautiful synagogue in the Romanesque style. During services -- that seemed to me to go on for a very long time -- my brother and I did not always give the devoted attention we might have to the prayers or to the Rabbi's teachings. Instead, I am afraid, we would stare up at the dome, which was encircled by a single row containing a great many light bulbs. We used to occupy ourselves by counting the lights. I can tell you even today that there were 67. Although yesterday I checked this number with my brother and he insists that there were 66.

You might think that by counting light bulbs I wasted my opportunity for religious education. But just above the ring of lights written around the dome in the archaic and politically incorrect language of the old Union Prayer Book was this one sentence from the prophet Micah (6:8): "It hath been told thee, O Man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee: only to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

Had my religious education taught me nothing more than this, Dayenu, it would have been enough. These words of the prophet are at the heart of Judaism: they prescribe the ethical behavior that is the essence of a good life, a life in the service of the covenant.

Tonight we celebrate the legacy a man who lived by these words: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His passion for justice was unquenchable, and, in pursuit of it, he made sacrifices time and again to draw attention to the great shame of our nation-the continuing racial discrimination that was the legacy of the unspeakable indignity of slavery. Dr. King once missed an opportunity to give a sermon here at Mishkan Israel because he was in jail. And when he came to Yale to receive an honorary degree he was out on bail.

Dr. King understood the importance of study and reflection; educational opportunity for black children was among his primary goals. But he also understood that we are called upon to do more. In the face of injustice, we are called upon to act.

As Abraham Heschel observed:

"The world needs more than the secret holiness of individual inwardness. It needs more than sacred sentiments and good intentions. ... It is by lives that the world will be redeemed, ... by deeds that outbeat the finite charity of the human heart. ...

[A]n action has intrinsic meaning; its value to the world is independent of what it means to the person performing it. The act of giving food to a helpless child is meaningful ... whether or not the moral intention is present. God asks for the heart, and we must spell our answers in deeds."

Nearly twelve years ago, I was given the extraordinary privilege of leading one of the world's most distinguished educational institutions. It wasn't the best of times for Yale, nor was it the best of times for the city surrounding us. On campus, our splendid buildings were in an advanced state of deterioration, and our city was suffering. There were vacant storefronts throughout the downtown, housing prices had declined 20%, and "for sale" signs lined the streets of the Westville and East Rock neighborhoods. In 1991, a Yale student was murdered in front of St. Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue, and a year later William Finnegan published a series in the New Yorker portraying in frighteningly vivid detail the dangerous lives of New Haven teenagers caught up in a culture of drug trafficking and gang warfare. Some months later, just as I assumed the Presidency, a Harvard graduate published a piece in GQ entitled "The Death of Yale," portraying us as a university doomed to fail, compromised by a declining city.

If ever a job required a steadfast commitment to tikkun olam, this was it. And, as Rabbi Heschel explains, good intentions would not be enough; the soaring rhetoric to which university presidents are given would not suffice. We would have to spell our answers in deeds.

Taking care of our own campus was challenge enough. We had to mobilize every segment of our internal community to plan for the comprehensive renovation of our deteriorated facilities. This required time, coordinated planning, and most of all-money. Thanks to the favorable economic climate, our endowment grew rapidly and our alumni responded magnificently to a capital campaign that ended in 1997. Today, although our work is not yet complete, we have invested more than $2 billion in renovating the campus, and the results are a source of pride for the entire community.

The tougher challenge was to assist in the revival of New Haven. There were, of course, pragmatic, self-interested reasons to take on this challenge. If the media were to be believed, maintaining our position as one of America's top universities depended on it. And, as Rabbi Heschel suggests, if by our deeds we could get results for the citizens of New Haven, it mattered little whether our motives were self-interested or altruistic.

But in truth our responsibility to our neighbors transcended pragmatism. Our students and faculty have extraordinary resources at their disposal to help them develop their full human potential, while outside our walls, many of our neighbors lack the opportunity to flourish. To use our resources-and the immense pool of human talent that our students, faculty, and staff represent-to enlarge those opportunities is to do justice, to strengthen our city and our democracy.

And so we set about developing a strategy for a dramatically increased engagement with the city. We had three major objectives: to strengthen the downtown, to create jobs by spinning off new science-based companies, and to work in partnership with neighborhood organizations to improve housing, education, and health of the least advantaged citizens of our community. You've all seen the amazing progress of downtown New Haven, and you may be aware that New Haven has become one of the nation's hubs for biotechnology companies. But tonight let me focus on our efforts to do justice, to address the social and economic conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding our campus.

To signal emphatically to both the university community and the city the seriousness of our commitment, we initiated the Yale Homebuyer Program during the first year of my tenure. To date, we have invested over $15 million in the program, and more than 655 employees have purchased homes. Over the last nine years, 80% of the participants were first time homebuyers and 55% were members of minority groups.

From the beginning we focused systematically on the Dwight neighborhood, just to the west of the campus, where, as many of you know, students and community residents live side by side in low-rise apartments and multifamily houses. We mobilized faculty and students from the schools of architecture, law, and management to help neighborhood residents develop a comprehensive plan for neighborhood revitalization. We sought and won a sizeable federal grant to allow implementation of this resident-led plan that supported job training, housing improvements, and the neighborhood elementary school. Among the results of our collaborative efforts in the Dwight neighborhood are an addition to the elementary school designed by Yale architecture students, an extensive literacy program staffed by undergraduate volunteers, community gardens planted with the assistance of Forestry School students, improvisational children's theater programs mounted by Drama School students, and the first new urban supermarket in the state of Connecticut in a generation - an effort facilitated by the work of students at the School of Management.

We have also worked extensively in the Dixwell neighborhood. By rehabilitating a substantial number of residential properties on Mansfield Street, we encouraged others-including participants in our Homebuyer program-to invest in the upgrading of their own homes. We are now building a new headquarters for the University Police in the area, which will provide safety and security to those nearby, and we will incorporate in the new facility a community center, with a computer cluster for school children and a meeting room for community organizations.

Complementing these neighborhood efforts are some very substantial public school collaborations. At the Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School, students from our School of Music play an active role in the instructional program. At the Hill Regional Career High Schools over 200 students participate each year in eight science courses taught by members of our medical and nursing school faculties, and 65 students live on campus each summer to study science and work in laboratories. It is a remarkable sign of success that every single participant in the summer program has gone on to college, and it is equally remarkable that all have stayed in college (members of the first cohort are now seniors).

The efforts that I have described illustrate institutional commitment and coordination on the part of the University. It is gratifying that Yale, once entirely indifferent to the plight of its city, is now nationally recognized for its efforts as a model of institutional citizenship. But even more gratifying, and more hopeful, is the spirit of service that imbues the students of this generation. Under the umbrella of Dwight Hall, thousands of students work side-by-side with teachers, health care providers, neighborhood residents, and home-builders to help realize Dr. King's dream of justice.

For example, recently two undergraduates were recognized for taking the initiative to found a chapter of the America Counts program at the Fair Haven Middle School. Like its older companion, America Reads (which each year involves about 200 Yale students as reading tutors at three elementary schools), America Counts is an intensive program that in its first year involved 66 Yale students giving more than 18,000 hours of mathematics instruction to Fair Haven 5th graders. Similarly, a student at the Law School was recognized for mobilizing 30 student volunteers to organize father-child field trips to museums, sporting events, movies, and other events as a means of encouraging non-residential fathers to become actively involved in the care of their children.

Why do I cite these examples of institutional and individual citizenship? I cite them because they are and should be an inspiration to us all, because they prompt us to examine ourselves in the light of Micah's reminder. On this day of remembrance for a paragon of social justice, we should ask ourselves: are we doing enough to encourage the organizations where we work, live, and worship to act in the service of justice? And we should ask ourselves, are we, as individuals, giving enough of ourselves to the service of others? Dayenu cannot be our answer.

The work of tikkun olam, of repairing the world, is never done. There will always be new challenges, and it is our obligation to respond. In the words of Rabbi Tarphon, "We cannot complete the work; neither are we free to desist from it."

As we follow Dr. King's footsteps in our quest to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly, we cannot make the world perfect. But we must strive to make it better.

Patents In Global Perspective: Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas Memorial Lecture
January 6, 2005
Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, Mumbai, India

I am grateful for the opportunity to take my place in the line of distinguished economists, bankers, business leaders, and government officials who have delivered the Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas Memorial Lecture. I am neither a banker nor an expert on banking and financial matters, but, as a longtime student of the economic impact of intellectual property rights, I hope that I might contribute something useful to the discussion of a topic that is highly salient in India at this very moment.

As you know, ten years ago, India, along with the other members of the World Trade Organization designated as developing countries, obligated itself to bring its intellectual property laws and enforcement practices into conformity with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights no later than January 1, 2005. The obligation to conform to the so-called TRIPS standards has engendered much debate here in India. Two weeks ago, Parliament adjourned without amending India's patent law as required by the treaty. Two days later, the President issued an ordinance, as permitted under Indian law, that temporarily satisfies India's treaty obligations by allowing, for the first time since 1970, the patenting of food products, agricultural chemicals, and, most controversially, pharmaceuticals. The 1970 law permitted the patenting of manufacturing processes used in producing these products, but not the patenting of the products themselves. The Presidential ordinance does not end the debate, however, because Parliament must act to endorse or modify the decree in the first six weeks of its next session; otherwise, the ordinance lapses.

Opponents of the ordinance fear the destruction of a strong, indigenous industry that produces generic substitutes for drugs discovered elsewhere and supplies these generics both domestically and to other developing countries at a fraction of the cost of branded originals. Those seeking to protect the prosperous domestic industry are joined by public health advocates who fear that India's compliance with TRIPS will eliminate all hope of providing affordable treatment for the millions afflicted with HIV/AIDS throughout Africa and Asia, and raise the cost of health care generally within India.

I am going to take what I regard as the progressive, forward-looking side in this debate, but, before I do, I want to suggest, somewhat surprisingly, that the current discussion in India has a direct analogue in a quieter, but not insignificant, debate on patent law reform that is under way in the United States. In both cases, progressives, or, shall we say, internationalists, are seeking to change current law by bringing it into greater conformity with prevailing global practice. And in both cases, parochial elements, for reasons both altruistic and self-interested, are resisting change. I will admit to being a partisan in the current U.S. debate. I am the co-chair of a committee of the National Academy of Sciences that recently reported on the state of U.S. patent law and proposed reforms that the U.S. Congress is likely to take up in the year ahead.1

In short, I will argue that, like the international trading system, the patent system encourages economic growth and creates wealth when viewed from a global perspective. And, like the arguments used to justify protectionism in international trade, the arguments used, in the United States as well as India, to justify exceptionalism are ultimately self-defeating. They may serve a narrow domestic interest for a period of time, but ultimately, each nation gains from full participation in the global system.

To understand why India, among other developing countries, has resisted full entry into the international patent regime for more than thirty years, we need to understand the perfectly rational, but time-bound and ultimately parochial arguments that justified India's refusal to grant product patents on foods, agro-chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. And this takes us back to basics, to the classical argument for patent protection embedded in English common law and advanced in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which was drafted in 1787.

A patent is a grant by the government of exclusive rights to the use of an invention for a specified period of time in exchange for a published disclosure sufficiently detailed to permit one skilled in the relevant arts to understand and "practice" the invention.

It has long been recognized that the grant of an exclusive right, whether the inventor herself practiced the invention or licensed it, potentially confers market power on the inventor. This would be especially true if a patented product were unique or had only highly imperfect substitutes (such as many new prescription drugs) or if a patented process enjoyed substantial cost advantages over other methods of producing the same product (such as the planar process for semiconductor manufacture, which was virtually indispensable in the 1960s and early 1970s).

Society gets two advantages in return for the temporary grant of exclusivity. First, the requirement of public disclosure ensures that others can have access to the knowledge that a patent creates, and they can use that knowledge to make further improvements, either after the original patent expires, or by taking a license during the period of exclusivity. Some of my early work describes how the existence of patents facilitates the development of efficient markets for cross licensing in the semiconductor industry, where technological progress is cumulative, and continued advance is impossible without access to scores, if not hundreds of previous patents.2

Second, when developing a patented product or process requires considerable investment and involves risk, inventors will not normally make the necessary investment without some likelihood of earning a return. Given the very costly and time-consuming burden of meeting the regulatory requirements in most developed countries, inventors would be most unlikely to develop new drugs or pesticides or food additives without the incentive that a patent's grant of exclusivity provides. The framers of the U.S. Constitution explicitly recognized the incentive effect of patent grants more than two centuries ago.

Of course, these classical arguments justifying patents do not specify how long or how broad the grant of exclusivity should be, but it is easy to show that the social loss from the monopoly power conferred even by a strong product patent is small relative to the potential gains from accelerating technological progress through both the disclosure and incentive effects that I just described. But, and here is the crux, the classical arguments are all framed in the context of a unitary, closed society containing both the inventors and the consumers who gain from innovation. Thus, the arguments for the desirability of a patent system hold in a nation that is closed to trade, foreign investment, and international technology transfer. And these arguments also hold for the world taken as a whole. But they do not necessarily hold for a single nation that is open to trade, investment, and technology transfer.

In the 1950s and 1960s, there came a growing recognition that the classical arguments for the benefits of a patent system might not apply to the case of many developing countries, and a counter-argument, made most forcefully in the work of Edith Penrose, was advanced to provide the ammunition for many developing countries-most prominently India-to abandon at least in part the patent regimes inherited from their colonial rulers.3 The counter-argument rests on the premise that a developing country lacks sufficient scientific and technical capability to produce economically significant patents on its own. If this is the case, the classical argument breaks down because granting exclusivity in the domestic market has little impact on domestic innovation. Moreover, if the developing country's market is but a small share of the world market, a grant of exclusivity has little impact on the incentives of foreign inventors. Under such conditions, patents granted to foreigners and practiced in the domestic market simply transfer wealth from domestic consumers to foreigners. This conclusion holds whether the patented goods (or goods produced with patented processes) are imported or licensed to domestic producers. Thus, in a country with little indigenous capacity to invent, the patent system yields increased rents to foreign inventors without producing significant domestic benefits.

It was such perfectly logical reasoning that led India, in 1970, to eliminate product patents on food, agro-chemicals, and drugs. India stopped short of completely eliminating the patent system, presumably because it recognized that domestic inventive capacity was not entirely absent. Thus, patents on other types of products and patents on manufacturing processes were retained.

This approach proved ideal for the development of an indigenous capacity to copy drugs and chemicals invented and patented abroad, and to produce them with processes that could be patented domestically. Given that the cost structure of such products, especially pharmaceuticals, involves very large up-front investments for development and testing and very low costs of production, Indian firms had the advantage of "free riding" on the development of new drugs and producing them at a small fraction of the cost of their imported, brand-name equivalent. Before long, India developed a large and efficient domestic pharmaceutical industry, supplying the domestic market with generic drugs at low prices and, eventually, exporting them to other developing nations in Asia and Africa that, like India, did not offer patent protection to pharmaceutical products.

And then along came TRIPS, an agreement which many developing countries regard as having been forced upon them by the United States. This is not entirely a fair claim in the case of India, where the government, and some of the successful generic drug companies recognized in the early 1990s that an eventual transition to a regime allowing pharmaceutical patents might be in the nation's long-term interest.

The TRIPS agreement, informed by both the classical argument for patents and the developing country counter-argument, made a distinction among three classes of nations. Developed countries were required to bring their patent regimes into immediate compliance with the agreement. Developing countries, India and Brazil among them, were given ten years, and the least developed countries, mostly those in Africa and the Middle East, were given even more time. This differentiated timetable makes sense-for both developing and the least developed countries, and, specifically, for India.

Now let us ask: What has changed that made India's Patent Act of 1970 reasonable at the time but makes conforming to TRIPS standards reasonable now? I would suggest three factors: (1) India's growing size in relation to world markets, (2) its increased capacity to innovate, and (3) the flexibility inherent in the TRIPS agreement that will allow India to avoid most of the adverse consequences envisioned by the opponents of reform. Let me discuss each of these factors in turn.

First, India's rapid growth rate and its large and rapidly expanding middle class is likely to create a preference among some consumers for branded as opposed to generic drugs that simply wasn't present in 1970. Moreover, as the Indian market grows, the previously negligible effect of an Indian patent system on the incentives of foreign innovators becomes measurable. This incentive effect could be especially important in inducing foreign investment on drugs aimed at treating previously neglected diseases prevalent in India and similarly situated developing countries.

Second, even more significant than India's growing market is its increased capacity for indigenous innovation. India's largest pharmaceutical firms and some of its research institutes now have the scale, the trained personnel, and the technical capacity to develop new drugs, either alone or in partnership with foreign firms. The availability of domestic patents, combined with the low cost of performing research and development in India, could help to make India's largest pharmaceutical companies very successful globally. Moreover, a number of government institutes and private enterprises have developed the capacity to do large scale, highly cost-effective clinical trials. With product patents in place, India is likely to become a major center for "outsourced" clinical trials undertaken by U.S. and European pharmaceutical giants. Without domestic patent protection, neither India's potential for indigenous discovery nor its potential to become a leading center for clinical trials will be fully realized.

Third, some of the adverse impacts feared by opponents of reform are likely to be less severe than imagined, and others can be mitigated by effective use of the flexibility permitted under the recent Doha declaration. The notion that drug prices and the overall cost of health care will skyrocket as a consequence of the government ordinance is exaggerated, because 90% of the drugs currently classified by India as essential medicines are either unpatented or the patent has expired. The prices of drugs patented before 1995 (including some of the most important antiretroviral treatments for HIV/AIDS) will not be affected, because these drugs will not be eligible for Indian patents and generic substitutes produced domestically are likely to continue to dominate the market. It is true that those domestic producers that have been successful in copying foreign drugs without developing a capability for independent research are likely to be hurt, but, as I mentioned, the largest firms are likely to benefit from the opportunity that domestic patent protection will provide. Finally, there is little substance to the concern that India's conformity with TRIPS will seriously hamper the battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and parts of Asia. Under the exception recently created during the Doha round, countries are free to impose compulsory licenses to deal with public health emergencies and to export such drugs to countries lacking manufacturing facilities.

Thus, India will have the latitude to make sure that all significant AIDS treatments (including those patented abroad since 1995) continue to be produced domestically and exported to developing countries without indigenous production capability.

Moreover, we too often forget that most of the large global producers of AIDS treatments have dramatically lowered the prices of their drugs in developing countries. Yale is proud to have led the way in this development three years ago, by encouraging our licensee, Bristol Meyers Squibb, to lower its price in Africa for Zerit, an antiretroviral discovered at Yale, by 98.5%, from ten dollars per daily dose to fifteen cents. Other developed country manufacturers have followed suit, reducing the price of the standard AIDS cocktail in Africa to just over $1 per day, a price close to that offered by Indian generic producers.

It is worth noting, however, that even at these much-reduced prices, it would require a significant fraction of the GDP of the poorest African nations to supply treatment to their infected populations. It is not the international patent regime that is preventing universal access to drug therapies; it is the crushing poverty of the nations most heavily infected with HIV/AIDS and the insufficiency of aid provided by developed countries.

All things considered, India's move toward conformity with the TRIPS standards would appear to promise significant national benefits, without incurring many of the costs feared by the critics. The government's ordinance has several features especially designed to mitigate potential hardship on various domestic interest groups, and, while this may be politically desirable or even necessary, care must be taken to ensure that these provisions do not undermine the efficiencies created by broadening eligibility for product patents. For example, a fair compromise without any adverse impact on efficiency is the provision that domestic generic producers will not be liable for past infringement; patents filed since 1999 in anticipation of the January 1, 2005 change in regime will be enforced from the date they are granted, not from the date they were filed or published. On the other hand, some government actions permitted by the ordinance-such as aggressive use of compulsory licensing (or the threat of compulsory licensing) to bring down the prices of patented drugs)-could destroy the very incentives the patent system is designed to create. And such action might in fact prove illegal under the TRIPS agreement.

Now let me turn to the situation in the United States, where significant pressure is building for patent reform of a different kind. The issues under discussion may not seem germane to India at the current moment. But if India comes into compliance with TRIPS and if, over time, Indian firms succeed, as is likely, in building substantial international patent portfolios in pharmaceuticals and software, the issues currently under discussion in the U.S. will be of consequence to them.

At the risk of oversimplifying, our study found two major problems with the current patent regime in the United States. Let's call them the "cost" problem and the "quality" problem.

The cost problem arises from two sources. First, the process of securing global patent protection is unnecessarily costly and inefficient, and, second, the cost of litigation required to enforce one's exclusive rights is excessive.

Even though it is now possible to use a common application to secure patent protection in most countries, the patent offices in the U.S., the European Union, and Japan each independently determine whether an applicant's claims are novel, useful, and non-obvious to those skilled in the relevant arts. Although some progress has been made toward accepting in all jurisdictions the literature searches done in one of the jurisdictions, we urged the bolder step: that the U.S., Europe, and Japan move toward full mutual recognition of applications granted and denied. Thus, by gaining patent protection in one of the three jurisdictions, an inventor will have secured a patent in all three. This would reduce the fees paid by inventors and eliminate wasteful duplication of effort by national patent offices. Developing nations could choose to conserve resources by foregoing independent examination and recognizing patents granted in the U.S., Europe, or Japan.

Suing a potential infringer in U.S. courts-whether the lawsuit is intended to prevent use of the patented technology, to force the infringer to take a license, or to recover damages-is frightfully expensive. Parties to infringement litigation frequently run up bills in the neighborhood of $2 million to $5 million. And it takes several years to get a decision.

Our investigation found that the cost of enforcing a patent is much greater in the United States than in Europe or Japan. Part of the difference is due to features in U.S. law that introduce highly subjective elements into litigation, and thus require an extraordinarily costly and time-consuming process of discovery to establish facts and motivations. We found four specific legal doctrines-all unique to the United States-that in combination significantly raise the cost of litigation. In each case we recommended changes in U.S. practice.

The first area of concern is the way that priority is established if two or more inventors claim the right to the same invention. Outside the United States, priority is established by a simple objective fact: which inventor first filed a patent application. But in the U.S., priority is established by determining which inventor first conceived of the invention and reduced it to practice. This typically requires an extensive review of documentary evidence and witness testimony, involving hundreds or thousands of hours of legal work. We recommended that U.S. abandon the cumbersome doctrine of first-to-invent and replace it with the globally dominant standard of first-to file. The simpler doctrine may occasionally lead to an unjust outcome, but the cost of the more subjective doctrine is prohibitive.

A second discovery-intensive element in U.S. law is the requirement that an inventor must disclose the best mode of practicing a patent. If an infringer can prove that an inventor withheld information about the best way to implement her invention, the court will declare the patent invalid. This entails an investigation into the state of an inventor's knowledge at the time the patent was filed. We recommended the abolition of the best mode requirement, again to bring the U.S. into conformity with prevailing global practice.

A third subjective element in the law is the doctrine of inequitable conduct, whereby a patent can be declared invalid if an alleged infringer can prove that the inventor intentionally misled the patent examiner. Again, an inquiry into the inventor's subjective state of mind involves the costly and time-consuming review of documents and the deposition of witnesses. We recommended the elimination or substantial modification of this doctrine.

A fourth subjective element is the doctrine of willful infringement. If the court finds that a patent has been knowingly infringed, the infringer is liable for treble rather than actual damages. This also requires extensive discovery, raising the cost of litigation. But the process also has the perverse effect of discouraging inventors from doing a thorough search of previously published patents; one can't deliberately infringe a patent of which one is ignorant. In this case, too, we recommended elimination of the doctrine. In all four of these cases, the idiosyncratic nature of U.S. law leads to unnecessary cost. By harmonizing legal doctrines, the cost of enforcing a patent can be significantly reduced, just as by introducing reciprocity, the cost of obtaining a patent can be reduced.

We turn now from the "cost" problem to the "quality" problem.

With the surge in global patenting that occurred during the boom of the 1990s came a growing perception that many patents were being granted that failed the common-sense test for novelty or that appeared to lack a perceptible inventive step. Examples abound: consider a patent on a computer algorithm for searching a table to determine the sine or cosine of an angle, or a patent on selecting a song from a server by clicking on a list of the available titles, or (and the economists among you will appreciate this) a patent on a computer program to aid pricing decisions, based on a formula implying that prices should be high when the elasticity of demand is low. Such inventions may be novel (in the sense of having no exact precedent), but common sense tells us that they would be obvious to a person possessing ordinary skill in the relevant arts.

Some have argued that the granting of low-quality patents is simply a consequence of the overwhelming increase in applications, which have grown much faster than the pool of trained examiners. But we found that the problem has another important dimension. Most of the patents failing a common sense test for novelty or non-obviousness were issued in new areas of technology, such as genomics and internet-enabled business methods. The case of internet-enabled business methods is particularly interesting, because the published writings that might have invalidated many recently granted patents were not to be found in the scientific literature routinely searched by patent examiners, but in the literature of business and economics.

Our diagnosis was that the U.S. patent system is not well designed to cope quickly and effectively with emerging areas of technology. This failing is due in part to the lack of trained examiners in emerging fields and the lack of analytic resources within the patent office to anticipate the need for training as new technologies emerge. To remedy this defect, we recommended that the U.S. patent office develop an interdisciplinary analytic staff to study trends in technology and to work with outside experts and advisers to craft guidelines for examiners in emerging technologies.

The failure to cope effectively with emerging technologies is also attributable to the time and cost required to clarify standards of patentability through litigation. Currently, in the United States, there is no simple mechanism to challenge the validity of a patent. There is no pre-grant opposition procedure, as there is in India, and the post-grant procedure is limited to challenges on very narrow grounds. Ultimately, it is the courts that decide whether patents are valid or invalid, and the decisions reached in particular cases serve as the definitive standards for the patentability of future inventions. As I noted earlier, litigation takes years; meanwhile players in the arena of emerging technologies face unnecessary uncertainty, not knowing whether inventions under development will be patentable.

To complicate matters further, it is impossible under U.S. law for a person to challenge the validity of a patent in court unless the patent holder has first sought to enforce the patent against that person, by suing for infringement or by threatening to sue. Thus, for example, a competitor seeking to overturn a patent must first infringe it in order to have the standing to mount a legal challenge. This requirement can distort investment decisions in both directions. Because of the time, cost, and risk involved in developing a new process or produce using a patented technology that turns out to be invalid, some competitors will be deterred from entering the market, depriving the consumer of the benefit of competition. On the other hand, some rivals will wastefully sink costs to compete with the holders of patents that turn out to be valid after challenge.

The obvious solution for the U.S. is to conform to prevailing international practice and establish a system of post-grant administrative review that allows challenges based on the full range of statutory standards for patentability. Potentially, such a system would allow standards in emerging technology areas to be clarified quickly, thus resolving pervasive uncertainty and aligning the private and social incentives for investment. To be effective, the new system must not only be faster but also less expensive than litigation in the courts. We made a number of suggestions about procedures that would achieve these goals. The post-grant review systems in Europe are not models to emulate; they are inexpensive, but the time lags are comparable to those in the U.S. courts.

The politics of solving the cost and quality problems in the United States are perhaps not quite so contentious as the politics of TRIPS compliance in India, but those of us advocating reform in the U.S. do anticipate opposition from certain interest groups. The Patent and Trademark Office is ambivalent about our proposals; they like the appeal for increased staffing resources, and they favor the establishment of a post-grant review system. But the bureaucrats are likely to resist statutory requirements intended to ensure that a new system operates speedily and inexpensively from the perspective of the challenger and patent holder. The major association of intellectual property lawyers has endorsed our proposals, but there is bound to be some infighting to preserve some of the subjective elements in litigation, because they produce revenue for patent lawyers. And America's unique "independent inventor" lobby, which is very well organized, will resist almost any move toward harmonizing U.S. practices with the rest of the world. On the whole, however, research-intensive corporations, the patent bar, and most academic experts in law, economics, and technology support the reform package that we have proposed.

The moral of this story of reform efforts in two nations is that in an interdependent, globalized economy, a careful consideration of national interest will often lead to the recognition that a harmonization of national practices is desirable. The more interdependent we become, the more we find it compelling to adopt rules and standards that are efficient from a global perspective. Within each nation, parochial interests will remain, but the powerful arguments of internationalists are increasingly likely to prevail. Such is the case with U.S. abandonment of its idiosyncratic legal doctrines and institutions, and with India's compliance with the TRIPS regime. In an interdependent world, we have much to gain from moving toward global governance.


1 Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy, A Patent System for the 21st Century, National Academy Press, 2004.

2 Richard C. Levin, "The Semiconductor Industry," in Richard R. Nelson, ed., Government Policy and Technical Progress, Pergamon Press, 1982.

3 Edith Penrose, The Economics of the International Patent System, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1951.

The Global University: Inauguration of the Fox International Fellowships
January 2, 2005
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Vice-Chancellor Chadha, Rector Arora, Rector Saxena, members of the administration, faculty, and student body of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and distinguished guests, I am honored to be with you this evening as we inaugurate a new partnership between JNU and Yale. This new program of sustained graduate student exchanges represents one of the great opportunities that I see for creating the global university for the future.

JNU has positioned itself as one of the premier universities in India and in Asia at a time when this country and this region are asserting increasing importance in global political and economic affairs. I admire that the faculty, students, and administrators of JNU see the necessity and the challenge to adopt a global perspective in order to achieve the excellence to which you have committed yourself. You are pursuing work that will benefit and involve not only India, but those of us around the world. The groundbreaking work in chemistry and physics being done by faculty in your School of Physical Sciences is advancing the borders of basic science. Your Centre for Biotechnology and your Special Centre for Molecular Medicine have undertaken work that promotes applications of science to plant biology and to the alleviation of a host of human illnesses.

JNU has also recognized that truly great universities bear a responsibility to be engaged partners in resolving the challenges faced by society. Faculty in your School of International Studies have been conducting legal reviews of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and faculty in your School of Social Sciences have been examining some of the most pressing challenges facing a rapidly evolving Indian society-child labor, caste and class conflicts, population growth, and the social implications of HIV and AIDS to name just a few. Your decision to establish a Centre for the Study of Law and Governance recognizes, as we have at Yale, that the enormous social, political, and economic changes of globalization require new ways of thinking about civic order and the transparency and accountability of public and private institutions. JNU clearly sees, as we do, the global dimensions of university citizenship in the twenty-first century.

Yale, like JNU aspires to be a comprehensive university. Within your nine schools and our Yale College, we share a tradition of the strongest programs for undergraduates in a wide range of fields. Our tradition calls on us to look for the most well-rounded young men and women and prepare them for leadership in all sectors of society: the current president of the United States, and indeed, four of the last six presidents of the United States are Yale graduates. In the last decade, Yale graduates have held the position of CEO of Federal Express, Coca Cola, and Proctor and Gamble; and we are proud that the current president of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, a native of Chennai, is both a graduate and a current trustee of Yale.

The foundation for a global university must include strengths in the biological, physical, and medical sciences, and engineering because it seems inevitable that the creation of knowledge to benefit humankind will disproportionately occur in those fields in the decades ahead. Similarly, centers of excellence in engineering will play a vital role in leading major research universities in our country, which does not have your tradition of specialized institutes. To this end, we at Yale are committing $1 billion-or 5,000 crore Indian rupees-for investment in science, engineering, and medicine in this decade. A new biomedical engineering building and an additional chemistry research building will be completed within a year, and they are the first of a set of facilities totaling more than 40,000 square meters to build upon the 426,000 square meters already devoted to the sciences and medicine at Yale.

Yale may be better known for its programs in the humanities and the social sciences, but our current standing in science positions us well for advancement. We give Ph.D. degrees in twenty-eight fields of the sciences and mathematics; we invest in every Ph.D. student coming to Yale by giving them free tuition and a living allowance each year of at least $17,000 or 8.5 lakhs rupees. Over the course of graduate study, the typical student's commitment from Yale total more than $190,000 or 95 lakhs rupees, not including the cost of health care benefits and other services provided to students.

Our science faculty are world leaders in their fields. In 2003, our Faculty of Engineering celebrated its 150th anniversary and the Institute of Science Information, the recognized citation index for scientific publications, noted that research by Yale engineering faculty was cited in more papers since 1996 than research produced by any other U.S. engineering program, including Harvard, MIT Cal Tech, and Stanford. As the study's author remarked, "Even though Yale's volume of papers in engineering may not be as high as some other schools, those papers, pound-for-pound, tend to wield a high influence in the research community." Our chemistry department also held the highest citation rating of any U.S. chemistry department since 1997. Other departments in the biological and medical sciences are similarly recognized as among the leaders in the quality of their research output.

Building upon the foundation of Yale's strength in the biomedical sciences, we have spun off twenty-five regional biotechnology firms in the past decade, seventeen of them located within the city limits. Our city, New Haven, is becoming a major center for science-based industry.

The importance of scientific and medical discovery to the advancement of the world makes attention to these subjects almost a prerequisite for building the best global universities for the future.

This evening, I would like to sketch other aspects of a framework for global universities and to share some of the ways Yale is pursing this aspiration.

To be one of the world's best universities fifty years from now, it will not be sufficient to excel in the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences and the law; we will need to be among the very best in science and technology. And so we are moving forward. A $175 million medical research building opened in 2003, a new environmental science center opened in 2002, and last year, we began construction of new buildings for chemistry and biomedical engineering. And, as we hoped, our well-publicized commitment to upgrading and expanding our science facilities has already enabled us to recruit scientists of a caliber that has raised envious eyebrows at MIT and Stanford.

With the firm base of a comprehensive university, as we define it, let me turn to sketching the components for a global university.

The globalization of the university is in part an evolutionary development. Yale has drawn students from outside the United States for nearly two centuries, and international issues have been represented in its curriculum for the past hundred years and more. And your university since its inception has had international aspirations. Reflecting Pandit Nehru's vision and ideals, the government act that established JNU in 1969 called for "international understanding" as an objective of the institution that bears his name.

But creating the global university is also a revolutionary development-signaling distinct changes in the substance of teaching and research, the demographic characteristics of students and scholars, the scope and breadth of external collaborations, and the engagement of the university with new audiences.

Let me touch in turn upon each of these four aspects of globalizing the university.

Teaching and Research

When I speak of becoming a global university, I envision a curriculum and a research agenda permeated by an awareness that political, economic, social, and cultural phenomena in any part of the world can no longer be fully understood in isolation. The revolution in communications technology has brought the world closer together and changed the way we think about it.

The term "globalization" is much used these days, although we have yet to disentangle entirely its multiple meanings. In one sense, globalization refers to economic interdependence. The movement of capital across national borders is now instantaneous, and the movement of products, people, and, unfortunately, pollution is freer and faster than ever before. These facts make comprehensive governance of the economy impossible at the level of the nation-state. International institutions are needed to regulate trade, capital flows, and environmental degradation. Isolation is not an option.

In another sense, globalization refers to the instantaneous transmission of ideas and images. Cross-cultural influences have always been with us, but today they are more powerful because of their immediacy. Because we access the same web sites, radio and television broadcasts, many fear a growing homogenization of cultures and values.

The incipiency of a common "global" culture has precipitated, in many parts of the world, a defensive reaction to protect "local" values, heightening tensions among neighboring ethnic, religious, and cultural groups.

Yale is well prepared to meet the challenge of understanding these developments. We offer over 600 courses on international topics, and the Yale Center for International and Area Studies sponsors programs of teaching and research focused on each of the world's major regions. We regularly teach 50 languages and offer independent study in 30 others, and through the Center for Language Study, we are serving better those students whose primary interest is to develop fluency in speaking, rather than to master the classics of a national literature. Sanskrit has been taught continuously at Yale since the early 1840s, when Yale became the first university in the Western Hemisphere where Sanskrit could be studied; students today can engage in the regular study of Hindi, Sanskrit, and Tamil, and in the independent study of Bengali, Nepali, Urdu, and other South Asian languages.

The University's South Asian Studies Council promotes the University's teaching and scholarship on all aspects of South Asia and its diasporas. Drawing on faculty from across the University, the Council's members annually offer dozens of courses on the humanities, social sciences, and languages of South Asia. Students at all levels of the University may take courses on the cultures, economics, histories, politics, religions, and other aspects of the region. Some students focus their studies entirely on India in inspired ways, as one Yale College student recently developed a concentration on South Asian Studies focused on Indian theater.

Yale's burgeoning interests in South Asian Studies have been dramatic. Since 2000, more than 1,000 students have enrolled in South Asian Studies courses and just this past year alone, nearly forty students undertook research, study, work, or public service in South Asia. The South Asian Studies Council regularly organizes lectures, conferences, and performances on Yale's campus. This past year saw international conferences on the changing role of language in nineteenth- and twentieth-century South India; the place of Gandhi's politics in the contemporary world; and the future of secularism.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that South Asian Studies at Yale over the past decade has flourished because of the generosity and vision of Yale graduates such as Dinakar Singh '90 and Drs. Vinod '75 and Anil '80 Rustgi. It has been sustained also by the leadership of my distinguished colleague T. N. Srinivasan and by the dedication of Dr. Pravin Bhatt, a highly renowned animal virologist at our medical school.

A global university can be built upon this strong foundation of individual dedication and vision, but the superstructure must encompass new forms as well as old. Because the world's problems cannot be neatly compartmentalized into traditional academic categories, we have seen a flowering of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Center for Law and Environmental Policy, the International Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS as well as the Center for the Study of Globalization

Students and Scholars

Just as building a global university requires us to expand our curriculum and refocus our research, it also requires us to ask whom are we educating and for what purpose?

1,708 international students from 105 different countries are enrolled in Yale academic programs this year; in other words, over 15% of the University-wide student body this year is neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident.

In the science departments of our Graduate School, over one-third of our students come from abroad, and the Forestry and Environmental Studies and Management Schools are close behind. The last decade has seen an overall increase of more than 25% in the number of international students. Yale currently has 99 students from India, a total exceeded only by China, Canada, and Korea. They join the nearly three hundred other students on Yale's campus who are of South Asian heritage. In addition, nearly two hundred faculty and scholars are of South Asian heritage or are working on South Asian issues.

India has changed dramatically since 1892 when Sumantro Vishnu Karmarkar from Ahmednagar, one of Yale's earliest students from India, graduated from the University. Yale has an impressive roster of distinguished alumni in India. We are proud that our graduates can be found across the spectrum of government, business, science and academia. For example, your Finance Secretary, Dr. Rakesh Mohan, graduated from Yale College in 1971. Yale is well represented in academia with numerous professors and scientists, and prominent Yale graduates are rising captains of business and industry throughout this country.

Even with our ties in India, Yale College has historically had a very small complement of international students. When I became president, only one out of 50 students in the College was neither a U.S. nor Canadian citizen. Now it is one in thirteen, which ensures that most U.S. citizens in the College now have international students among their closest friends.

Our commitment to make Yale a more international community on campus is demonstrated by our new admissions policy to admit international students to Yale College on exactly the same basis as we admit U.S. citizens. That is, we admit students without regard to their ability to pay and offer the full financial assistance that they need to attend. This new policy is having a profound effect on our ability to attract undergraduates from many countries around the world. For example, outstanding students from families with limited financial means can attend Yale with generous financial support. During this current academic year, Yale will give nearly $700, 000 or 3.5 crore rupees in scholarships just to students attending Yale College from India. The average scholarship given to a student attending Yale College from India will be nearly $32,000 per student per year or nearly 16 lakhs rupees. Looking to all students from India at Yale, we will give students scholarships and stipends totaling more than $3.2 million dollars or 16 crore Indian rupees.

Not only are we providing generous financial aid for full-time students in residence at Yale, but we also are increasing the resources available for overseas study and exchange visits. To coordinate these resources we established the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs in Yale College and enhanced the grants and fellowships opportunities offered by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

And it is not only international students who are changing the face of Yale, but also the visiting international scholars who come to campus to assume research and teaching responsibilities, to collaborate with colleagues or to observe in laboratory, classroom or clinical settings. Their numbers have more than doubled in a decade. We had over 1,750 international scholars on campus this past year, 112 of whom are from India. Only China, Germany, and Japan had more.

Increasing the number of students and scholars welcomed in the regular admissions process contributes to a global university. But an aspect of accelerating its advancement we inaugurate tonight with the new Joseph Fox '38 International Fellowships Program that will formally join Yale and JNU. Yale graduate Joseph Fox had a vision for a set of the world's leading universities that would be linked with an ongoing program in which one or two graduate students from Yale would regularly study at the host campus abroad and that same university would have the funds to send one or two of its leading graduate students to Yale. In this way, a deep network of association between institutions would grow.

I hope that some of you here will be interested in applying as the first Fox Fellows to study at Yale.

International Collaborations

I have discussed how the creation of a global university will affect on-campus teaching and research, as well as the number and type of students we educate. But an equally powerful impetus for change will come from increased opportunities to collaborate with other institutions. The true global university will not establish satellites of its own, but rather create partnerships with leading universities and non-governmental organizations in key locations around the world.

Let me offer you three examples-two from India and one from China. Faculty at the Yale School of Public Health have been working in many countries around the globe to address the pandemic of AIDS and have projects underway with partners in Russia, South Africa, and China. Last year, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at the Yale School of Public Health received a $2.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support HIV prevention research among high-risk populations in India. The Yale team that includes Dr. Michael Merson, who has served as dean of public health for the last decade, is not going it alone. Rather, it is collaborating with international humanitarian organizations such as CARE and with Indian institutions in Pune and Chennai. Later this week, I will be visiting the team's facilities in Chennai that are closely collaborating with the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) and the Y. R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education headed by Dr. Suniti Solomon, who is well-known to many of you.

Let me offer you a second example of the kind of sustained international collaboration that I envision. Picture walking on the campus of Peking University. You will see today a building with exterior signage that reads the "Yale-Peking Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology." At this center, Yale and Chinese faculty and graduate students are using genetic technologies to increase crop production. Scientists from the center come regularly to New Haven to build on the collaboration.

We look forward to building similar joint research endeavors with institutions in India in the years ahead.

In fact, on Thursday, I will be in Chennai at the dedication ceremony for the new campus of the Great Lakes Institute of Management. Yale School of Management Professor Shyam Sunder, who is also with us this evening, will serve as its honorary research director and will pursue joint teaching and research collaborations in accounting and finance. We look forward to conversations with colleagues here and at other leading institutions for other joint endeavors.

New Audiences

The same advances in communications technology that have created the phenomenon we call globalization offer substantial opportunities for the global university to expand its educational mission. The Yale web site already contains many audio and video reproductions of lectures and conferences that have taken place on our campus, but we have only begun to tap the potential of the Internet to provide valuable on-line learning experiences for students around the world.

To this end, Yale has joined with Oxford and Stanford Universities in an alliance to develop on-line educational materials. Our joint venture is called AllLearn.org and is found under that name on the Web. Some of our offerings approximate a conventional university "course" in the arts and sciences, but we are also experimenting with offerings of different duration and format. Last fall we had 50 courses available, and we now are making our on-line curriculum available to students and adult learners worldwide.

In Fall 2002, the Center for the Study of Globalization began publishing an on-line journal-YaleGlobal-whose editor, your countryman, Nayan Chanda, the Director of Publications at the Globalization Center, is with us this evening. The YaleGlobal journal's web site (www.yaleglobal.yale.edu) now receives more than 60,000 visitors a day, and many of its articles have been reprinted in major international publications, such as the International Herald Tribune, the Straits Times, and the South China Morning Post.

The Yale World Fellows Program

Before closing, let me describe one last program that defies simple classification because it is at once a new teaching program involving a new group of international students, and it will also provide a basis for new international collaborations and help us to reach new audiences. I refer to the new Yale World Fellows Program, which, along with the Globalization Center, occupies Betts House, the splendidly renovated mansion at the top of Prospect Street hill.

The Program brings 15 to 20 emerging leaders representing all sectors of society and all regions of the world to campus to study global problems under the tutelage of our most distinguished professors. The program encourages the Fellows to broaden their horizons, and to develop new skills and contacts that will serve them and their countries upon their return home. We envision regular reunions of all the Fellows, which we hope will create a network of world leaders who can draw upon one another's strengths as their careers develop and who will stay connected to Yale.

Past Yale World Fellows from India have included Chetna Gala-Sinha and Celine D'Cruz, both heads of non-governmental organizations, and the current Yale World Fellow, Nachiket Mor, the Executive Director of ICICI Bank.

In closing, I hope that I have offered some insights that might be of application to JNU as you continue your work to become a global university. I remain steadfastly committed to the ideal that we live in a wider world beyond the university walls, a world in which we bear enormous responsibility. The university stands for transcendent principles, those that permit the preservation of culture and the transmission of knowledge. It follows that our responsibility is to educate and to lead, to shape the values of the wider world so that they, too, encourage, the full realization of human potential. We help influence our society through the highly visible and distinguished leaders we educate, and we also improve public life and public discourse by cultivating in all of our students those qualities of mind most conducive to the health of our democracy. As we look at the problems of the world-wars, human misery, disease, intolerance, and oppression-we see even more clearly the need for the leading universities to help educate those who can become not simply contributors to their nation, but citizens of the world. That can be a noble mission joining our universities.

2004

Freshman Address: Back to School
August 27, 2004
Yale University

I want to join Dean Salovey in welcoming the parents, relatives, and friends of the members of the Yale College class of 2008. We are delighted to have you as part of the Yale family, and we thank you for entrusting your children to us. I know that you are wrestling with the inevitable mixed emotions of this moment. So let me reassure you. If history is any guide, your children will thrive here.

And now to the class of 2008: As you were making last minute preparations to come to New Haven, Dean Salovey and I, along with about fifty administrative and faculty colleagues and an even larger number of indefatigable supporting staff, were embarking on a new adventure of our own. Just two weeks ago, the presidents and vice presidents of twelve of China's leading universities arrived in New Haven for an intensive ten-day course on the American university, and Yale in particular.

I was greatly pleased but not entirely surprised when, at the end of the program Wednesday evening, our Chinese colleagues reported that they found the course very stimulating, and that they were returning home with new ideas for reforming some of their policies and practices. What did surprise me was how valuable the experience was for those of us at Yale who participated in teaching the course.

At the request of China's State Council and Ministry of Education, we were asked to explain the essential features of how universities work: how students are admitted, how faculty are recruited and evaluated, how research is funded, how student participation in the classroom and in extracurricular activities is encouraged, how digital technologies are used in teaching and research, how medical schools relate to the larger university, how alumni involvement is encouraged, how funds are raised to support the university, how the endowment is invested, how long-run planning is done, how campus master plans are created and modified, and how responsibilities are divided among administrators and the faculty.

Any good teacher knows that one can't hide one's ignorance from an inquisitive student. And we knew in advance that our Chinese students would be very inquisitive. It would not be enough for them to learn how Yale works; they would want to know why. This was no small challenge for us. Correctly anticipating the curiosity of our visitors, we prepared our lectures by re-thinking the answers to some very fundamental questions about why the university is organized the way it is, about why we do things the way we do.

Among the questions we had to ask ourselves, and among those asked by our visitors, are some that pertain directly to you. Three in particular come to mind. Why is the undergraduate curriculum, at Yale as at other leading American universities, structured as it is Æ with two years of broad, general education followed by two years focused largely on one subject? Why is it valuable to have advanced research and undergraduate education co-located in the same institution? Why do we select students by considering many dimensions of accomplishment and potential rather than academic performance alone?

Since the experience of being a Yale undergraduate is about to be yours, I thought these questions might be of some interest. So, with the answers fresh in my mind, having been recently tested on this material, I submit them to you.

During your first two years here, you will have the opportunity to explore a broad range of subjects, choosing among literally hundreds of courses throughout the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that have no or few pre-requisites. Indeed, you will be required to distribute your courses such that you cannot specialize prematurely. Only when you choose a major field of study, at the end of your second year, will you be required to concentrate a significant portion of your courses in one area, and only then will you be required to take certain specific courses, rather than choose among electives.

This distinctively American approach to undergraduate education is not the prevailing pattern in most other countries with strong universities. In most of Europe and in China, students choose their major field of study when they apply for admission. Once admitted, they do not have the freedom that you have to test your interest in a wide variety of subjects; they specialize immediately. Similarly, in much of the world, students choose a profession in their final year of secondary school; they begin the study of law and medicine as first year undergraduates.

The freedom to explore in the first two years hasn't always been a feature of undergraduate education in America. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, there were very few elective courses at Yale and other leading American colleges. Everyone in Yale College took a common set of courses focused on classical Greek and Latin, science, mathematics, and philosophy, and the vast majority of students in law and medical schools entered directly from secondary school. The expansion of the number of elective courses, the requirement that students choose a major after two years of general study, and the definition of professional schools as postgraduate institutions evolved gradually during the fifty years following the Civil War.

The most eloquent justification for a broad, unspecialized, and non-vocational undergraduate curriculum is found in a report written by Yale's President Jeremiah Day in 1828 that was intended, ironically, to justify retention of the prescribed classical curriculum. At the core of Day's argument was the belief, which we at Yale share today, that your education should equip you to think independently and critically, and to respond flexibly to new information, altering your view of the world as appropriate. Although Day believed that the set classical curriculum was ideal to develop this "discipline of the mind," today we encourage you to experiment broadly over a range of subjects, to master different ways of thinking that will prove valuable as you continue to learn and develop over a lifetime. We believe that you will be better doctors, lawyers, business leaders, teachers, scholars, ministers, artists, musicians, writers, or public servants after you have explored many subjects, and most especially after you have learned to submit all ideas to critical scrutiny and to think for yourself.

A second question we confronted in attempting to explain Yale to our Chinese visitors was why, in the same institution, do we combine research at the most advanced levels with undergraduate instruction? Again, this is not the prevailing pattern throughout the world. In many European countries, as well as China, the most distinguished scientists and scholars work in specialized government laboratories or research institutes, where they train advanced graduate students but do not teach undergraduates. That is not the practice here. Yale's most distinguished scientists and scholars teach undergraduate courses. This arrangement advantages both you and our faculty.

The advantage to you is clear. There are few experiences comparable to that of learning a subject from someone who has actively shaped the field she teaches. Such scholars understand more deeply than anyone else that our knowledge is constantly being augmented and reinterpreted. There are simply no better teachers than those who at once possess complete mastery of a field and a commitment to learning as an active, life-long project.

The advantage to faculty is less obvious, but equally important. I've just explained to you how being asked to teach the Chinese material with which we were intimately familiar caused us to reconsider and justify beliefs and practices we normally take for granted. Well, so it is for scholars, enmeshed in their disciplines, who confront students as bright and curious as you. You ask the best and most challenging questions, precisely because you have yet to internalize fully the assumptions and methods that govern each particular discipline. What we teachers learn from thinking about the questions you ask in the classroom makes us better scholars, and better teachers.

A third question our Chinese visitors asked was: why do we have such a mysterious and complicated set of criteria for admitting students? In China and many other countries around the world, admission to the top universities is strictly determined by performance on standardized national examinations. Why are we so different?

The question has a simple answer, even if we acknowledge that our admission process is mysterious and complicated. We know what we are trying to accomplish, even if the decisions are hard to make.

Now you are by no means slackers when it comes to taking tests. But it wasn't your test scores that got you here. It was your potential to make a contribution to society, your potential to become leaders in your professions and chosen fields, your potential to become involved in public and civic life, your potential to become creative and imaginative scholars, teachers, artists, musicians, or writers. To make a judgment about your potential we used all the evidence available, not simply test scores and grades. We considered what your teachers said about you, what you said about yourselves, and what you did outside the classroom.

I am not revealing our high opinion of you to impose a burden of obligation. I mean instead to convey a sense of our confidence in you, even as you are experiencing the understandable and entirely natural anxiety of starting something new. History has proven us right in our admissions decisions; Yale graduates make an astonishingly rich array of contributions to society. But it doesn't happen automatically. Our job is to put extraordinary resources at your disposal; your job is to make the most of them.

In the weeks ahead, each of you will find yourself in a situation not unlike mine two weeks ago as I encountered our Chinese visitors for the first time. Just as I had to explain Yale to those unfamiliar with it, you will have to explain yourself to strangers. You will be asked to describe who you are, what you like and dislike, what you believe and don't believe. In probing conversations way past midnight, you will be challenged to explain why you have come to be the person you are. These conversations are the beginning of your Yale education. You have so much to learn from the other people in this room, and they have much to learn from you. You are all alike in possessing talent and potential, and you will come to share a great enthusiasm for this place, but you have very different backgrounds, tastes, and beliefs. Just as it does in the classroom, encountering difference among your classmates will broaden your horizons and cause you to appreciate new possibilities. It will challenge you to think about yourself, to understand the person you are, and to define the person you hope to become. Welcome to four years of self-discovery. Welcome to Yale.

Keynote Address: Chinese-Foreign University Presidents’ Forum
August 3, 2004
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, China

I am greatly honored by the invitation of the Ministry of Education to participate in this important forum involving the presidents of China's leading universities and others from around the world. This is a propitious time for such a gathering, for those of us outside China are watching with admiration the enormous investment your country is making to improve the capacity, quality, and international standing of your universities. I want to express my profound gratitude to Minister Zhou for taking the initiative to organize this event. I look forward to a stimulating exchange of views.

In the sessions to follow we will hear from several colleagues about the strategies they have formulated to strengthen the academic programs of their institutions. Several others will discuss the contributions their universities have made to local, regional, and national economic development, and still other speakers will discuss broader trends that affect us all, such as the globalization and the democratization of higher education. Common to all these subjects - which are of great interest and importance - is the need for effective presidential leadership, which is the topic I shall address this morning.

My thoughts are not intended to be comprehensive. Instead, I want to offer a few lessons about leadership by illustrating them in the context of historical experience. I have chosen as my "case study" Charles William Eliot, Harvard's longest serving and most successful president. My reasons for choosing this example, and its relevance to those who are shaping Chinese universities today will become evident as I tell the story.

Charles William Eliot

Charles Eliot served as the president of Harvard University for forty years, from 1869 until 1909.1 He was, almost certainly, the most influential university president of his time. I believe that it is fair to say that, cumulatively, the changes he wrought at Harvard had as significant and as enduring an impact on higher education in the United States as the accomplishments of any university president before or since. He became a national figure during the second half of his tenure as a spokesman for liberal individualism and an advocate of school reform. In retirement, he championed continuing adult education through his role in conceiving and editing the Harvard Classics, a multivolume series of the greatest works of western civilization.

In the contemporary discussion of leadership - in general management as well as in education - much is made of the importance of vision. We expect good leaders to have a vision, to state it clearly and frequently, and to take actions that advance toward its realization. In these respects, Eliot was truly extraordinary. From the very beginning, he articulated a clear and ambitious vision for transforming Harvard. His vision had three major elements. First, he envisioned an undergraduate curriculum with more freedom to choose among a wider variety of elective courses. Second, he wanted to provide greater opportunity for future teachers and scholars to pursue advanced subjects beyond the bachelor's degree, and, third, he wanted to elevate to a higher standard Harvard's professional schools of law, medicine, and theology, and open them only to those who had already completed an undergraduate degree. His ultimate goals were ambitious, but he managed expectations so that gradual progress toward them was regarded as success. He restructured the presidency so that he could spend more time on his highest long-term priorities. He took risks, persevered in the face of initial failure, and understood when it was most advantageous to act on his own and when he needed to first build support within the faculty. He selected strong leaders for supporting roles, and he aligned their incentives so that their personal triumphs were institutional triumphs. I will comment on all of these attributes of Eliot's leadership as I tell his story.

Among Eliot's accomplishments at Harvard, the best known was his transformation of the undergraduate curriculum from one that was largely a prescribed set of required courses to a completely unconstrained set of elective courses. In fairness, Eliot was neither the first champion of the elective system, nor was he the first to introduce elective courses at Harvard. But he took the idea to its logical and, indeed, ideological conclusion. In Eliot's view, the well-prepared student should be entirely free to shape his (Harvard educated only men in these years) own education. He railed against the defects of coercion, but supported instead the use of incentives to bring coherence to a potentially unstructured course of study. He seized upon the clever idea of awarding "honors" only to those graduating seniors who took a sufficient number of courses within a single discipline and earned sufficiently high marks. Thus, Harvard under Eliot was the first U.S. university to conceive of the undergraduate "concentration" (as it is still called today at Harvard) or "major" (as it called elsewhere in the U.S.), although it did not actually require students to select a major subject.

When I claimed that Eliot took the elective system to its to its ideological conclusion, I meant this quite literally. He began with the assertion in his inaugural address that "the young man of nineteen or twenty ought to know what he likes best and is most fit for."2 We might think of this as an opinion rooted in developmental psychology, rather than political ideology. But later in his career, he began to see the elective system as yet another step in the gradual emancipation of man from tradition and tyranny. Grandiosely, he claimed the system of elective courses was "an outcome of the Protestant Reformation ... an outcome of the spirit of political liberty."3 He believed it was a natural extension of the freedoms that America granted its citizens in religion, political life, and economic activity. Few educators today would carry Eliot's logic quite so far. Most U.S. universities now offer an abundance of elective courses, but choice among them is typically constrained by requirements that students display some degree of breadth across different fields of study, as well as some degree of concentration on a major field.

Although Eliot's reforms of the undergraduate curriculum were regarded at the time as his primary contribution, I would like to emphasize instead a more enduring contribution, his leadership in transforming Harvard into a modern university. Although this took decades to accomplish in full, what is remarkable is that a vision of what was needed was clear to him upon assuming the presidency at age 35, and the most critical steps in the transformation were all taken in his first decade of service.

To understand what Eliot accomplished and how he accomplished it, one has to begin with a sketch of Harvard in 1869. Though a university in name, Harvard was then a small undergraduate college, enrolling about 150 students in each class, surrounded by a relatively young "scientific school" and three loosely affiliated professional schools of law, divinity, and medicine. The president had focused historically on the college, where he typically taught classes and preached sermons in the chapel. The Lawrence Scientific School commanded some presidential attention, since it had been founded only two decades earlier and frequently came into conflict over laboratory space and equipment with the older, more established, and wealthier college. But presidents before Eliot had paid little or no attention to the professional schools, which had very small, self-governing faculties and were mired in complacency. For example, the language describing the Law School's entry requirements and course of study had not been altered by one word in twenty years, and the School's annual reports, submitted to the president by its three faculty members, had contained the following sentence for ten consecutive years: "There have been no new arrangements in relation to the organization of the School or the course of study."4 Harvard's faculty was the most distinguished in the nation, but Yale had a better claim to being a national institution. Only 30% of Harvard's students came from outside New England, compared to more than 60% of Yale's.5

To this parochial, college-centered institution, Eliot brought a transformative vision. Like others in his time, such as Daniel Coit Gilman, the first president of Johns Hopkins, Eliot took inspiration from the superior training in research offered by German universities. But unlike Gilman, he did not seek to replicate the German model. Just months before he was offered the Harvard presidency, he wrote in the Atlantic Monthly magazine: "... a university, in any worthy sense of the term, must grow from seed. It cannot be transplanted from England or Germany in full leaf and bearing. ... When the American university appears, it will not be a copy of foreign institutions, or a hot-bed plant, but the slow and natural outgrowth of American social and political habits... The American college is an institution without a parallel; the American university will be equally original."6

Eliot was correct to say that the evolving American university would be original, but he erred in characterizing it as "a slow and natural outgrowth of American social and political habits." He made it happen faster than he himself imagined possible.

As I mentioned, Eliot's vision of an American university involved three central elements: an undergraduate college devoted to general education without premature specialization, opportunity for those with an undergraduate education to pursue advanced study and research in the arts and sciences, and a set of professional schools such as law, medicine, and divinity for those who had already experienced the rigors of a broad and general undergraduate education. To get from the Harvard of 1869 to this ideal model of an American university required moving the institution in two different directions: toward the European model of graduate education in the arts and sciences, and away from the European model of early concentration on professional education.

Modern university presidents would recognize instantly what Eliot perceived as one of the greatest obstacles to the realization of his vision: the demands and expectations that, as president, he spend much of his time engaged in activities that contribute only minimally to the advancement of the institution. He tackled this problem courageously; he immediately freed himself from the president's traditional pedagogical and disciplinary obligations by creating the position of Dean of Harvard College. This gave him the time to preside, not simply at meetings of the College faculty, but at meetings of the faculties of all the schools. And meet they did. Eliot's biographer, Henry James (a nephew of the famous novelist), indicates that in his first year the faculty of the College met forty-five times, while the scientific school and the professional school faculties met forty-four times. Eliot often extended these meetings until eleven in the evening, encouraging free discussion and asking questions designed to explore the minds of his colleagues about changes that he was contemplating.7 Thus, he prepared the ground for reform, knowing that the faculty's support would be necessary for much that he hoped to accomplish.

Eliot also moved quickly to prepare the way for both expansion and a greater integration of the schools into a single university. Employing a judicious mix of top-down authority and bottom-up persuasive talent, he acquired a significant quantity of adjacent land (a top-down initiative), and he persuaded the faculties to put all schools on a common academic calendar, and, soon thereafter, to open all courses to any student in the university.

Graduate Education

Let us now consider how Eliot managed the evolution of Harvard toward graduate education. He first articulated a very clear vision of what he hoped to accomplish. I hesitate to speak so bluntly, but what he wished to do was imitate Yale! He noted that the Lawrence Scientific School founded at Harvard in 1846 had been intended to permit advanced study beyond the bachelor's degree, but in fact the overwhelming majority of its students were simply pursuing bachelor's degrees in scientific subjects as an alternative to attending Harvard College. For the few graduates pursuing further study, there was no organized program or formal course of study. Yale, by contrast, had formalized postgraduate study by creating the Department of Philosophy and the Arts in 1847 to offer advanced instruction in philology, philosophy, and natural science. In 1869, Eliot wrote: "The history of the development of the Department of Philosophy and the Arts in Yale College is so full of instruction as to justify ... dwelling upon it at some length; it is at once an epitome of the past history of scientific instruction in this country, and a prophecy of its future."8

In 1860, Yale became the first university in America to offer the Ph.D. degree - which was earned after two years of study by evidence of high attainment in two branches of learning. Only candidates with the bachelor's degree, or those who passed an equivalency examination, were eligible to undertake doctoral studies. By 1869, Yale had awarded thirteen PhDs, causing Eliot to opine: "This legitimate success at Yale, on a really high level, if also on a modest scale, points the way to improvements which ought soon to be made at all the more important American "universities," which will then better deserve their ambitious title."9 I have yet to discover in the writings of any other Harvard president such generous praise of Yale.

There is a lesson in this, for Eliot's willingness to learn from the experience of others is another mark of his greatness. An outstanding leader should recognize and acknowledge the deficiencies of his institution and be willing to borrow and adapt superior practices employed by others. In this respect, I have been deeply impressed by the eagerness of Chinese university presidents to learn about best practices throughout the world, and to modify and adapt them to suit the Chinese environment.

Determined to create an organized course of advanced study, worthy of those who had already graduated from Harvard College, Eliot displayed in his first years two other attributes of a great leader: a willingness to experiment and perseverance in the face of failure. His predecessor, Thomas Hill, had instituted what were called University Lectures. These were short courses taught by scholars from both Harvard College and outside, and they chiefly provided an opportunity to expose graduates and undergraduates alike to advanced ideas, mostly in the sciences. Eliot decided to adapt this institution to his purposes. He invited the most distinguished intellectuals in Boston and New Haven to give two series of lectures - one philosophical and one literary. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Saunders Pierce, James Russell Lowell, and William Dean Howells were among the distinguished lecturers, who were compensated by charging those who enrolled $150 for each series, an amount equivalent to the prevailing annual tuition of Harvard College.

Eliot declared the lectures intended for advanced students, but open to the public, including women. This was a bold and risky experiment, but because the University Lectures were already in place and were not considered part of the curriculum of the college, or any of the other schools, Eliot was able to introduce his new scheme from the top down, without faculty approval.

There is another lesson in this; it is easier for a president to initiate new programs and even new schools than to modify existing ones, which would typically require faculty approval. Today, at least in America, only the most courageous president would attempt to reform an existing curriculum from the top down; curriculum reform is almost always the work of a faculty committee, which can be encouraged from the top but rarely directed. Thus, when I initiated a comprehensive review of the undergraduate curriculum at Yale in 2001, I put the task in the hands of a 42-member committee of faculty and students. I met with the committee several times and pointed them in what I considered the right direction, but they reached their own conclusions. By contrast, in areas previously uncharted by Yale - such as advanced education for mid-career professionals, I have been able to create entirely new programs strictly from the top down. The Yale World Fellows Program, which brings together emerging leaders from around the world for an intense period studying global issues, is a case in point.

To return to Eliot, and to speak bluntly, his first attempt at graduate education was a dismal failure. One hundred fifty-five people enrolled in one or more of the two courses, making the Lectures economically viable, but only four recent graduates of the College enrolled in the philosophical course, while six enrolled in the literary course. These young men were the only attendees who sat for examinations on the lecture material. The remainder of the audience were adult gentlemen and women seeking intellectual enrichment, not the aspiring professors and teachers whom Eliot hoped to attract.

Undaunted, Eliot varied the experiment the next year, offering a large number of short courses, available for ten dollars or less per course. But again the results disappointed. In his annual report, Eliot wrote that the University Lectures "have not induced Bachelors of Arts of this University to remain in Cambridge for purposes of independent study, and they have not attracted to the University advanced students from other places."10 Showing where he was headed next, Eliot went on to say, "Advanced students want profound, continuous and systematic teaching." He suggested that "fresh utterances of distinguished scholars who were not professional teachers" had failed the mark. What was needed were resident teachers who were professional instructors.

And so, learning from failure and but still focused on his original goal, Eliot came to the two-pronged approach that gave him the outcome he desired. First, he had to organize the resident faculties to provide the needed advanced instruction. He did this by creating, in effect, a "graduate department," governed by the "Academic Council," a re-creation of a dormant institution consisting of the professors and assistant professors in all the schools. With Eliot presiding, the Council formally inaugurated the degrees of Master of Arts, Doctor of Science (S.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). In 1873, twelve years behind its New Haven rival, Harvard awarded its first doctorates.

Second, he had to expand the size of the faculty, to bring in those who had not invested a career in the still largely prescribed curriculum of the college. Here two of Eliot's principal objectives dovetailed perfectly. He wanted advanced courses suitable for graduate students, and he wanted to increase the number and variety of elective courses in the undergraduate college. Thus, Eliot embarked on a hiring spree, and here, unlike presidents today, he had free rein. Curricular changes required faculty approval, as they do today, but the appointment of faculty was entirely in the president's hands, subject only to the approval of the Corporation, Harvard's governing board. And here Eliot made an indelible mark - altering more than the organization of the institution, going to the heart of its substance. Though he failed to entice the pair of distinguished Yale professors who were his very first targets, within four years, Eliot hired more than two dozen new members of the faculty, including Henry Adams (perhaps America's greatest historian), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (a constitutional scholar who later became a Justice of the Supreme Court), William James (a philosopher who explored the foundations of psychology), C.C. Langdell (a distinguished legal scholar who invented the "case method" of teaching law) and Charles Eliot Norton (a distinguished art historian and founder of The Nation, a well-known magazine of political and cultural commentary).

Eliot's recruitment of such extraordinary individuals reminds us that nothing we do is more important than selecting the best people. Although few of us have the authority to appoint faculty directly, most of us appoint administrative officers, deans, and department chairs. These administrators inspire the faculty to maintain high standards and seek continuous improvement throughout the institution. We should all ask ourselves whether we are giving the selection and recruitment of outstanding talent the attention it deserves.

The new faculty hired by Eliot gave Harvard the capacity to educate graduate students more effectively and to expand the elective system in Harvard College. During Eliot's first decade, the number of required undergraduate courses diminished from 40 to 22, and the number of electives permitted rose from 20 to 34, chosen from a substantially larger menu. By 1884, all courses for sophomores, juniors, and seniors were elective, and, for the first time, the elective system was extended to freshmen, who were allowed to choose more than half their courses.

Similarly, Eliot's vision of a rigorous program of graduate education required some time to come into being. Even after the doctoral degrees were introduced, very few courses were offered exclusively for graduate students. Instead, Ph.D. students simply had the opportunity to choose from the growing menu of elective courses those they had missed as undergraduates. It was not until 1890, spurred by the success of Johns Hopkins in graduate education, that Harvard turned its "Graduate Department" into a full-fledged Graduate School, and began to create a serious course of graduate study in the several disciplines.

Professional Education

Of all Eliot's reforms, the most distinctly personal and original was his transformation of professional education. Nearly twenty years before Eliot took office, Francis Wayland, the president of Brown University, had advocated the elective system for undergraduates, and Harvard had begun to introduce elective courses before Eliot greatly expanded their number. Both Yale and Johns Hopkins established doctoral programs before Eliot, through trial and error, moved Harvard toward the form of graduate education that became the American standard. But Eliot's views on professional education, and the reforms he initiated, had no significant precursors.

Eliot was appalled by the condition of professional education as he found it in 1869. In his Atlantic Monthly article, he observed: "The term learned profession' is getting to have a sarcastic flavor. Only a very small proportion of lawyers, doctors, and ministers, the country over, are Bachelors of Arts. The degrees of LL.B. and M.D. stand, on the average, for decidedly less culture than the degree of A.B., and it is found quite possible to prepare young men of scanty education to be successful pulpit exhorters in a year or eighteen months."11 Eliot went on, using the example of the University of Michigan, to note that both the standard of admission and the duration of the course of study were insufficient to produce truly learned professionals. Only 12% of Michigan's law students and 5% of its medical students had bachelor's degrees on admission, and the formal course of study in law was only one year.

Eliot found matters no better at Harvard upon assuming the presidency. The vast majority of students enrolled in the Schools of Law, Medicine, and Divinity were admitted directly from high school. And the standards for graduation were minimal: three years in residence without examination in the Divinity School, eighteen months without examination at the Law School, and a year of study (plus three to six months work with a practitioner) at the Medical School. There was no concept of progression within the curriculum; courses might be taken in any order.

In his efforts to transform the situation he confronted, Eliot displayed many of the characteristics of an effective academic leader. He had a clear and well-articulated vision. He set ambitious goals. He patiently devoted the time required to win over complacent members faculties. He took significant risk. He used the authority of his office to initiate some changes from the top down, and he employed his persuasive powers to win support for changes from the bottom up.

In his earliest annual reports, Eliot made clear what he hoped to accomplish - to raise the standards for admission and graduation, and to bring greater coherence to the curriculum of each professional school. Within two years, each of the major schools made dramatic progress.

The Divinity School was the most easily reformed, for the conditions Eliot sought had once been the norm. At his urging, the faculty quickly restored an earlier requirement that candidates for admission demonstrate mastery of Greek and Latin, and the School established a requirement that graduates must pass an examination.

The Law School presented a greater challenge, since the faculty was complacent, training was haphazard, and the curriculum had no logical progression from elementary to advanced courses. Fortunately for Eliot, one of the School's three senior faculty members resigned, insulted by the new president's stated desire for reform. This gave Eliot the opportunity he needed. He promptly appointed C.C. Langdell, a legal scholar of the first rank, and persuaded the remaining two senior faculty members to elect him as dean. Langdell made Eliot's agenda his own, extending the period of study from one to two years and requiring satisfactory performance on examinations for graduation. He divided the curriculum into first and second-year courses, and he went well beyond Eliot's own aspirations for improving legal education. He pioneered the teaching of law through the study of decided "cases" rather than treatises. Under Langdell's leadership, with Eliot's unwavering support, the Law School flourished, enrolling an ever-increasing percentage of students who held bachelor's degrees. Within a decade, a college education, or an examination demonstrating equivalent preparation, became a requirement for admission, as Eliot had hoped.

The Medical School presented the greatest challenge of all, for the leader of the faculty, Dr. Henry Bigelow, was inalterably opposed to change. Faced with intransigence, Eliot wisely employed a mix of top-down and bottom-up strategies. From above, he assumed control of the finances of all the professional schools, dampening the objections of the relatively prosperous Medical School. Then, coolly and patiently, Eliot presided over 31 faculty meetings in two years, enough to persuade the faculty to support the reforms he desired over Bigelow's continued opposition. In a colorful account, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., a distinguished member of the medical faculty, described the young president's clarity of purpose and strength of character:

"He [Eliot] comes to the meeting of every Faculty, ours among the rest, and keeps us up to eleven and twelve o'clock at night discussing new arrangements. He shows an extraordinary knowledge of all that relates to every department of the University, and presides with an aplomb, a quiet, imperturbable, serious good-humor, that it is impossible not to admire ... I cannot help being amused at some of the scenes we have in our Medical Faculty, -- this cool, grave young man proposing in the calmest way to turn everything topsy-turvy ..."

"How is it? I should like to ask," said one of our number the other evening, "that this Faculty has gone on for eighty years, managing its own affairs and doing it well, -- ... and now within three or four months it is proposed to change all our modes of carrying on the school - it seems very extraordinary, and I should like to know how it happens."

"I can answer Dr. [Bigelow's] question very easily," said the bland, grave young man: "there is a new President."12

In the end, the faculty completely overhauled the curriculum, bringing a logic and coherency to the course of study, extending the program from eighteen months to three years, requiring the satisfactory completion of annual examinations to progress to the next year of study, and, finally, requiring satisfactory performance on final examinations in all nine of the principal areas of medicine, rather than merely five of nine, as had been previously required.

In raising the standard of medical education so radically, Eliot took considerable risk. Since the imposition of more rigorous standards was bound to reduce the number of students, the School's financial stability was placed in jeopardy. But Eliot believed that Harvard's higher calling was to raise the standard of the professions throughout the United States, especially the standard of medical practice. If this required additional funds, he argued, new endowment would be sought. But standards should not be compromised.

As it turned out, the size of the class declined by 35 to 40 per cent, but students now enrolled for three years instead of eighteen months. Three years after the reforms were introduced, the Medical School earned a substantial surplus.

Guidelines for Leadership Recapitulated

Having told the story of Eliot's early years, let me summarize what it teaches us about leadership.

  1. Develop a vision and communicate it. Eliot did this brilliantly in his 1869 Atlantic Monthly articles and his inaugural address. From the beginning it was clear that he had three major priorities: expanding the elective system for undergraduates, developing a serious program of graduate study in the arts and sciences, and raising the standards of the professional schools. He returned to these themes regularly in his annual reports.
     
  2. Set goals that are ambitious but achievable. Expanding the elective system, creating a serious graduate program, and transforming the professional schools into schools for college graduates - these were all ambitious goals. Eliot knew that none could be achieved in short order; he spoke of a "slow and natural evolution." By not raising expectations counterproductively, he had the freedom to move gradually, yet he seized the opportunity to make very rapid progress in the first decade of his presidency.
     
  3. Free up enough time to concentrate on major initiatives. Eliot recognized this from the beginning. He immediately appointed a Dean of Harvard College to relieve himself of numerous duties, so that he might have time to attend the meetings of the professional school faculties, where he sought major changes.
     
  4. Take risks. The University Lectures were a worthy attempt to jump-start the transition to graduate education, and he did not shy away from confronting the powerful leaders of the Medical School where an important issue of principle was at stake.
     
  5. Don't be deterred by initial failures. Some good ideas deserve a second try. Having failed to stimulate interest in graduate education with the University Lectures, he moved directly to the introduction of doctoral degrees.
     
  6. Know where top-down and bottom-up work best. Land purchases, administrative reorganization, and, in his day, faculty appointments were all domains of action reserved to the president. Eliot devoted extensive time to winning faculty support in areas where he needed to persuade, such as curriculum reform in the college and admissions requirements in the professional schools.
     
  7. Select strong leaders for supporting roles, and give them sufficient freedom to take initiative on their own. The appointment of C.C. Langdell as Dean of the Law School is an excellent example. He not only followed through on Eliot's intentions to strengthen admissions standards; he independently developed a new pedagogy - the case method - that became the dominant paradigm for teaching law.
     
  8. Align incentives. To encourage specialization where most courses were elective, Eliot supported the award of honors only to students with a sufficient number of courses in one discipline, as well as high marks.
     

Conclusion

Most of the issues that concerned Charles Eliot differ from those that engage us today, but we share a common interest in recruiting excellent faculty and improving the quality of education at every level - undergraduate, graduate, and professional. I hope this case study prompts us all to reflect on how we can be better leaders of our own institutions. I chose this particular case to remind us that even the greatest of the educational institutions did not achieve its current standing without ambitious and clear-sighted leadership. Like Eliot, the State Council, the Minister of Education, and the presidents of China's leading universities have ambitious aspirations. And, like Eliot, China's government and university leaders recognize their nation would be ill advised to adopt any foreign model wholesale. Like the distinctively American university of which Eliot dreamed and which he significantly shaped, you are borrowing elements from abroad, but adapting them to suit the Chinese environment, creating a unique and original model that is a reflection of Chinese culture and society.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Eliot's election to the Harvard presidency, one hundred and ten years ago, the faculty offered this tribute: "It is the period of the present administration that will be remembered hereafter as the epoch in which the University was first fairly able to take its place among the great seats of learning of the world."13 Today, those of us who lead universities elsewhere are deeply impressed by China's determination and commitment to improve the physical infrastructure of its universities, to reform its undergraduate curriculum, and to strengthen its faculty by introducing national and international searches and the systematic evaluation at the point of reappointment, promotion, and tenure. We applaud your ambition and your efforts, and we welcome your leading universities as they take their place among the great seats of learning of the world.


1 Where specific citations are omitted, I have drawn primarily on two excellent biographies of Eliot: Henry James, Charles W. Eliot, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1930, and Hugh Hawkins, Between Harvard and America: The Educational Leadership of Charles W. Eliot, New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.

2 Charles William Eliot, "Inaugural Address as President of Harvard, 1869," reprinted in Richard Hofstadter and Wilson Smith, eds. American Higher Education: a Documentary History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961, p. 608.

3 Eliot, "Experience with a College Elective System," unpublished address, 1895, cited in Hawkins, p. 94.

4 James, p. 267.

5 Edward D. Page, "Two Decades of Yale and Harvard: A Retrospect," The Nation, February 18, 1886, pp. 3-4.

6 Eliot, "The New Education," Atlantic Monthly, XXIII, February and March 1869, pp. 202-20, 365-66, reprinted in Hofstadter and Smith, p. 636-37.

7 James, pp. 243-44.

8 Eliot, "The New Education" reprinted in Hofstadter and Smith, p. 628.

9 Ibid., p. 629.

10 Eliot, "Annual Report, 1871-72," cited in James, p. 251.

11 Eliot, "The New Education, reprinted in Hofstadter and Smith, p. 635.

12 James, pp. 283-85.

13 Cited in Hawkins, pp. 78-79.

Yung Wing 150th Anniversary
August 2, 2004
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, China

Minister Zhou, Minister Zhao, Vice President Huang, Chancellor Min:

It is an honor to be here, to thank you for your leadership and partnership. Minister Zhou, I know I speak for all the presidents gathered here, from China and from abroad, in thanking you first for sponsoring the conference we begin tomorrow. But more importantly, we thank you for the leadership that you and your colleagues have provided to advance higher education in China and to promote educational collaboration around the world.

I also want to acknowledge the fruitful collaboration Yale has enjoyed with the Chinese International Publishing Group for over a decade and to thank Minister Zhao for his support. The Culture & Civilization of China series has created an international community of scholars working both in China and abroad to produce outstanding scholarship on aspects of China's cultural heritage. Books on Chinese art, architecture, and philosophy have already been produced, and, in the next few years, they will be joined by books on Chinese archeology, sculpture, textiles and calligraphy. The creation of knowledge and its dissemination through scholarly publications are at the heart of the university's mission, and we are grateful to CIPG for giving Yale the opportunity to carry on this important work.

On a personal level, I am deeply honored that CIPG has published my book, and I am grateful for the meticulous attention to detail involved in the production of this edition. But more importantly, I am grateful for and impressed by the commitment of CIPG to work in partnership with foreign scholars and publishers to advance the dissemination of scholarship both in China and around the world.

This afternoon, we focus on a more venerable tradition of collaboration. (As you have heard,) this year represents the 150th anniversary of the graduation of the first Chinese student to earn a degree in a North American university, possibly the first Chinese student to earn a degree in any foreign university.

Yung Wing's story offers us important lessons that inspire us to continue to strive for closer association between China's universities and foreign institutions.

The first lesson is that generosity of spirit is often needed to initiate something new and entirely untried. It was a Yale graduate from the United States working in southern China who spotted the talented Chinese boy, Yung Wing, sponsored his passage to the United States, and arranged for his educational studies.

The second lesson is one we see daily on our campuses. Students must be adventuresome as well as bright to be highly successful. Yung Wing endured a 98-day passage to get to Yale. When he entered the college, he was quick to get involved: he sang in the choirs, played football, joined the Boat Club, and showing the academic prowess we see in so many of our current Chinese students, he won two academic prizes - for English composition.

The third lesson is one I try to cultivate in our students today. Yung Wing developed a sense of obligation to help others as he had been helped. In his final year as a student at Yale, he dreamed of enabling many other Chinese youth to study abroad so that they could return to China well equipped to contribute to China's modernization and advancement.

Yung Wing worked with determination for 18 years to see his dream realized. In 1872, he wrote to Yale's President to report that the Chinese Government had agreed upon the plan of "sending some of its native youths to the United States to be thoroughly educated for the Chinese public service." The Chinese Educational Mission was thereby created, and over the next decade it brought 120 Chinese boys to study in the Northeastern United States.

This brings me to the fourth lesson of Yung Wing's story. Governments - yours and mine - can seize the opportunity to be ambitious and bold in embracing new educational initiatives and international exchange. Like the other representatives of foreign universities who are visiting this week, I have been inspired by the investment your government is now making in China's higher education system and by your leaders' evident recognition that strong universities are engines of economic and societal advancement. The creation of the Chinese Educational Mission 132 years ago can be viewed as foreshadowing the boldness of today's Ministry of Education and the Presidents of so many Chinese universities who are pursuing institutional improvement through expanded international collaborations and student exchanges.

A fifth and final lesson from the story of Yung Wing is that both host country and home country can benefit from new forms of international educational exchange. The United States benefited directly from Yung Wing's Yale education when he came to Washington, D.C. in 1878 as a member of China's first permanent mission to our country. How fortunate it must have been for the United States to have as a resident diplomat someone who had studied in our country and was thus well positioned to translate diplomatic concerns in ways most likely to be understood by both U.S. and Chinese officials.

China also benefited enormously from Yung Wing's ambitious dream of the China Educational Mission, because of the many important contributions made by to the betterment of Chinese society by the students who returned.

Yale graduate Zhan Tianyou returned to China and became the first Chinese to undertake a railroad building project using only Chinese funds and Chinese supervisors. Other prominent alumni of the Chinese Educational Mission included a governor, a foreign minister, a prime minister, and the first president of Tsinghua University.

The students involved in the Chinese Educational Mission in the United States numbered only 120, but it established the tradition of Chinese students studying around the world. The system of overseas study that Yung Wing inaugurated has grown dramatically over the last quarter century, since Deng Xiao-ping's reforms began and the door to student exchange was reopened. More than 700,000 Chinese students and scholars have participated in educational programs in 108 countries. These Chinese have enriched every foreign university in which they have enrolled.

Today, we remember Yung Wing on the 150th anniversary of his graduation from Yale not because it is a Yale story, but rather to celebrate the expansion of his vision, which is today embraced so boldly by China's leaders. We may do well to recall the words of Deng Xiaoping 26 years ago when he declared:

"I support the increase in the number of students going abroad for further study, up to thousands and tens of thousands... [I]t serves to raise the standards of our own colleges and universities."

I close by adding that these exchanges also serve to raise the standards of my institution and others around the world. Moreover, they enable us to achieve a better understanding of one another and thus encourage peace and friendship among nations.

2003

Remarks at Peking University
November 13, 2003
Peking University

It is a great honor to return to this distinguished university where I was welcomed so warmly in 2001 when I visited as part of Yale's 300th anniversary celebration. It is an even greater honor to be welcomed into the Peking University academic family and to join the ranks of your graduates who have been such important contributors to your country and who figure so prominently in the affairs of China.

As an honorary graduate, I can now join your students in taking pride in the record of achievement of this institution: you count 400 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering among your alumni and faculty. And, of course, President Xu's work in the field of plant physiology has been celebrated around the world. He and I share a common satisfaction in leading universities where we ourselves were fortunate to study.

Every sector of Chinese society benefits from the contribution of Beida graduates, and we at Yale also benefit from the superior education that you provide to your students. We are fortunate to have your scores of your alumni on our campus as graduate students, research associates, and faculty members. Your graduates enrich the academic life of our community and help us realize Yale's goal of becoming a truly global university. Seventeen per cent of Yale students come from outside the United States, and students and scholars from China represent our largest contingent from any foreign country. It is my hope that many students in this audience will consider coming to Yale to pursue advanced study or post-doctoral research and add to the number of those affiliated with both Yale and Beida.

I am deeply grateful for the honor you bestow upon me today, and I realize that the honor belongs not to me as an individual, but as a representative of the venerable institution that I serve.

Yale appointed the first science professor in North America, and it was the first American institution to grant the degree of Doctor of Medicine, the first to establish a program in public health, the first to establish a University-based School of Nursing. We were the first American university to establish a School of Forestry, and the first, nearly a century later, to appoint a professor of industrial ecology. Yale was the first American university to establish an art gallery, the first to establish a school of Fine Art, the first to establish a School of Drama. We were the first American university to create a department devoted exclusively to graduate students, and the first to grant the Ph.D. degree. We were the first to award a bachelor's degree to a native of China, the first to grant a graduate degree to a native of Japan, the first to award a Ph.D. to an African-American.

Yale scientists discovered the laws of thermodynamics and the function of RNA, developed the influenza vaccine and the first interferon treatment for cancer. Yale scholars were among the pioneers of the modern study of ancient Near Eastern languages and civilizations, linguistics, and comparative literature, and for the past half-century our literature departments have been at the forefront in developing a series of reigning paradigms of literary criticism. Yale scholars established the field of sociology in America, brought mathematics into the study of economics, and forged the modern theory of democracy.

Commitment to public service is one of Yale's oldest traditions. Four of the last six Presidents of the United States are Yale graduates, 533 Yale graduates have served in the United States Congress, and there have been 55 cabinet secretaries and 18 Supreme Court justices who hold Yale degrees. Today, the tradition of public service extends around the globe. Yale graduates have served as President or Prime Minister of Burma, Korea, Mexico, and West Germany, and Yale graduates currently hold positions ranging from the Foreign Minister of Japan to the Vice President of the Supreme People's Court of China.

We are especially proud that Yale educated the first native of China to study in the United States. Yung Wing and the students that followed him more than a century ago returned to help strengthen and modernize China. Today, more than 600 Chinese students and scholars are in residence at Yale, and it is our profound hope that they, too, will make an important contribution to China's future.

The greatness of an institution of higher learning ultimately derives from the work of its faculty, who strive daily to advance the frontiers of knowledge and transmit the fruits of their study to the next generation. In creating this Yale Day at Beida you acknowledge this truth, and, therefore, I would like to introduce my faculty colleagues who are here with me today. This afternoon, you will have an opportunity to hear from each of them. Each is a distinguished member of our faculty, and each is engaged in collaborations here in China that exemplify the power and the potential of partnerships between great global universities.

The first is your own graduate Deng Xing-Wang, the Eaton Professor of Plant Biology at Yale, who received both his bachelor and master degrees from Peking University. Earlier this year Professor Deng was awarded the Kumho Science International Award in Seoul for outstanding research in plant biology. Yale and Bei-da share pride in his scholarly accomplishments. But today, I note especially his leadership in providing a model for our future collaborations: Professor Deng is the Director of Peking-Yale Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agro-biotechnology located on this campus. We all understand the importance of finding ways to feed the world's growing population. Here at Peking University your faculty along with Professor Deng and others from Yale are collaborating on this essential work in the service all mankind - while simultaneously bringing our institutions closer together.

A possible example of future cooperation is represented by my second colleague, William Goetzman, the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management and Director of the International Center for Finance. He is conducting a far-reaching study of China's stock markets in the years 1870s to 1930s. This work is likely to offer important insights into the current efforts to develop China's capital markets. The opportunity remains for our two universities to determine how we can collaborate more closely to advance this work. This project might offer the basis for more extensive partnerships between Peking University and Yale's School of Management, which in the last year was ranked one of the top 10 business schools in the world by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Forbes Magazine and The Economist.

My next colleague, Paul Gewirtz, is the Potter Stewart Professor of Law at the Yale Law School, which is universally regarded as the number one school for legal study in the United States. Professor Gewirtz also represents Yale's global aspirations and the centrality of China to our institutional strategy. He is the Director of Yale's China Law Center. The Center was established in 1999 after Professor Gewirtz returned to Yale from serving in the administration of President Bill Clinton, whom he assisted developing the U.S.-China Legal Cooperation Initiative that Presidents Clinton and Jiang launched at their 1997 Summit meeting. Although the China Law Center has been in existence for only four years, it is already deeply involved in cooperative projects with leading Chinese legal experts in the areas of judicial reform, criminal law, administrative law, regulatory reform, and legal education. The Center's activities combine practical, on-the-ground legal reform projects with research and education in a mutually reinforcing way.

Professor Gewirtz and I had dinner on Wednesday evening with the President of the Supreme Court, Xiao Yang, who underscored the need for continuing exchanges among academic leaders, lawyers, and government officials in the U.S. and China to share their thoughts and expertise about the rule of law for the years ahead. The faculty leaders of Beida will be among those involved. Professor Gewirtz and his colleagues are already working closely with more than half a dozen scholars at Beida on a wide array of issues related to legal reforms, including public participation in government decision-making, improved procedures in criminal cases, the development of property rights, and constitutional law. They look forward to expanding this cooperative work in the future.

In introducing my colleagues, I have saved for last those who are representative of Yale's most ancient and enduring area of excellence - the humanities. In an era in which Yale has committed $1 billion to investments in science, engineering and medicine, and where so many of Yale's professional schools are ranked as leaders in our nation, it would be easy for others to overlook the continuing centrality of humanistic study at Yale and it significance for universities and the world.

I was impressed when your Vice Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng who visited Yale last summer stated his belief - which we share - that humanistic inquiry is fundamental to society's advancement.

I am pleased to introduce three of my colleagues who represent the humanities at Yale. Charles Laughlin, Associate Professor of Chinese Literature in our East Asian Languages and Literatures Department, is currently in residence all year at the Academy of Social Sciences' Institute for Literary Studies researching modern Chinese essayists. He is exploring the conspicuous connections of these moderns to traditional Chinese cultural sensibilities. Just last month he delivered a paper in Chinese on "Beijing School" essayists at a conference on "Urban Imagination and Cultural Memory" co-organized by Professor Chen Pingyuan in your Chinese Department. As a leader of Yale's Council of East Asian Studies, Professor Laughlin will be well positioned after he returns to Yale to share insights about future scholarly collaborations.

Professor Laughlin has also been instrumental in encouraging our students to follow his example and study in China. He is the Director of the Richard U. Light Fellowship Program, which supports approximately 60 students or recent graduates each year to spend up to a year studying Asian Languages in Asia. In the last 7 years, the Light Fellowship Program has sent 165 Yale students to China. This program helps to meet our country's need to educate a cohort of leaders who are fluent in Chinese and who have had the defining experience of living in - and not simply visiting - your country.

I am honored to introduce Annping Chin, a Yale scholar who concentrates on Chinese intellectual history. She is working with Chinese colleagues to study the recently excavated texts, dating back to 300 B.C. from the state of Chu. These texts contain conversations between Confucius and his disciples. Like many scholars in the West, she is deeply indebted to the work of your faculty, in particular the scholarship of Professor Qiu Xi Gui and Professor Li Ling. Professor Qiu and Professor Li's textual analysis of bamboo and silk manuscripts is the foundation of current research in early Chinese history; and their scholarly integrity and attention to evidence inspire China scholars everywhere in the world. I believe that their work has been central to at least two international conferences at Peking University, and we are hope that they will continue to involve Yale and other U.S. scholars in the effort to interpret the early history of China.

My final introduction is of a scholar who has made fundamental and enduring contributions to the world's understanding of your country. For the last forty-four years, Sterling Professor Jonathan Spence has been exploring Chinese history, reading the sources and drawing them together in writings that are splendidly accessible to a wide range of readers. Professor Spence is also one of Yale's most popular teachers. His course on Modern China regularly draws several hundred Yale students to the study of Chinese history and culture. He has written a dozen books on the history of China between the sixteenth and the late twentieth century. The acknowledgements and bibliographies of these studies show how his efforts have built upon the research of Chinese historians at Peking University and elsewhere.

Each of my six colleagues who are participating in today's events exemplifies individually how U.S. scholars at leading universities are working with those at Peking and elsewhere in China on scholarly collaborations that can benefit our institutions and the wider world. Collectively they demonstrate the many forms such collaboration can take, from joint scientific research to humanistic scholarship to studies in law and economics with direct implications for reform efforts in China.

I hope that our visit today will build upon the foundations they have established to develop a broader and deeper partnership between our institutions. I would encourage the faculty and students here today to participate in these and other initiatives as they develop.

Thank you for honoring me, honoring Yale, and honoring the spirit of partnership that we seek to advance.

Creating Global Universities: From Student Exchanges to Collaboration
November 11, 2003
Beijing, China

NAEA International Day

Good morning. It is a great honor to be here with you today. I am grateful for the invitation from The National Academy of Education Administration, and I want to extend a special thanks to Vice President Yu, Vice President Li and Vice President Xue for organizing this event and to Vice Minister Zhang for joining us.

Two years ago, when I visited China, I first outlined my vision for a global university. Today, I want to expand upon that topic and talk about how we can all become global universities. To do this, we need to deepen our collaborations and connections. Together, we can ensure that the students of tomorrow will enjoy the full benefit of growing up in an increasingly interdependent world.

When I first described what it means to be a global university, I emphasized four points: increasing the representation of international students in our institutions, incorporating more international content into our research and teaching, forming collaborative relationships with institutions in other nations, and reaching broader audiences around the world through the use of improved communications technology. I want to focus on two of these attributes today: the movement of students across borders and the formation of collaborative relationships across institutions. I want to suggest that the first leads naturally to the second - that the flow of individual students across borders is the foundation for the formation of more comprehensive partnerships.

Student Exchanges

Twenty-five years ago China resumed the practice of sending students abroad and opened the door to foreigners studying in China. Deng Xiaoping correctly foresaw that this development would help China to modernize its technology and its economy. What he did not emphasize at the time was how the flow of students across borders would also lead to greater mutual understanding. We have developed a deeper appreciation for the distinctive elements in Chinese and western cultures while at the same time recognizing our common humanity and our common interest in working together.

Deng Xiaoping's far-sighted initiative a quarter century ago calls to mind an earlier day when Yung Wing became the first Chinese to graduate from an American university in 1854. He came for the same reasons: to help modernize China's technology and economy. We at Yale take great pride in Yung Wing's choice to make our school his own. And we are proud to have educated the largest number of those who followed Yung Wing under the auspices of the Chinese Educational Mission, including Zhan Tianyou, Yale class of 1881, the engineer who is known as the "Father of China's railroads."

At the time of the Chinese Educational Mission, most Yale students came from the northeastern United States. Many of them learned as much from interaction with Chinese students as the Chinese students learned about America. The gains flow in both directions. One learns from study abroad, but one also learns from having international students in one's home country. Today we believe that every Yale student gains from the presence of the 300 Chinese students currently in residence, just as our faculty benefits from the presence of a comparable number of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. Chinese represent seventeen percent of all the international students and scholars at Yale, and about ten percent of the international students in the United States.

Even as we increase the number of foreign students and scholars at Yale, we are also expanding the opportunities for Yale students to study abroad. Last year, 14 Yale students were enrolled in programs sponsored by Chinese universities. I am confident that these numbers will grow over time.

Just as the educational exchanges of the 1870s and 1880s were beneficial to both China and the United States, the flow of students unleashed by Mr. Deng has had profound effects on both countries. As we have become better informed about one another, our institutions and countries have become stronger. From an American point of view, understanding China and developing relationships with its people and institutions are of great importance. I say this in part because of the size of your population, your significant role in world politics, and the immense potential of your rapidly growing economy. But for a university such as Yale, which aspires to be among the greatest in the world, China is also important for another reason „ the achievements of its ancient and continuous civilization, which is an unending source of learning and enlightenment for scholars who seek comprehensive understanding of the human condition.

From Student Exchanges to Institutional Collaborations

The tens of thousands of Chinese students and scholars who now come to the United States every year constitute the foundation upon which we are now building a deeper and more enduring set of relationships between our countries. I refer now to the development of larger-scale institutional partnerships that will become an increasingly important feature of truly global universities. Today, seventeen Yale departments and schools have established partnerships with forty-five universities, government agencies or independent research institutions in sixteen different cities in China. Yale has twenty-six study sites across China, from Liaoning province in the east, to Xinjiang in the far west, from Beijing in the north, to Hong Kong in the south.

Members of our faculty are engaged with Chinese colleagues in collaborative research projects ranging from studies of the Shanghai stock market to the history of the Qing dynasty archives. They are also engaged in collaborative educational projects, such as one involving the Yale School of Nursing and the Medical School of Central South University, in which Chinese nurses learn how to teach other health care workers to prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

At Tsinghua University, faculty from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies are working with colleagues to develop a leadership program in environment and sustainable development. The program will train Chinese mayors, national leaders, corporate executives, and NGO managers who are responsible for urban planning and development. Sponsored by the French company Veiolia Environment, this program is a fine example not only of collaboration between universities, but also of partnership among government, corporations, and universities.

One of our most successful collaborations is the China Law Center, which was launched only three years ago. Today, working closely with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, NGOs, universities, and the government, the China Law Center is making tremendous strides. Professor Gewirtz and his Chinese and American colleagues have studied and begun to undertake reform in the areas of administrative law, regulation, and legal education.

Most of these institutional collaborations arise, not from top-down directives of university administrators, but rather from longstanding personal relationships among scholars and scientists. For instance, my colleague Xu Tian has been working with counterparts at Fudan University to develop the Fudan-Yale Biomedical Research Center, which will expand on the work of the existing Institute of Developmental Biology and Molecular Medicine. The institute utilizes model organisms to understand the molecular mechanisms of human diseases, including cancer, neuro-degeneration, and hypoxia. Investigators at the institute recently launched a SARS project to search for compounds that convey resistance to coronavirus infection. These research activities involve a continuing exchange of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty between labs at Fudan and Yale.

How did this fruitful collaboration arise? To begin, Professor Xu has a deep affiliation with both institutions. He did his undergraduate work at Fudan and received his Ph.D. at Yale. But ultimately it comes down to personal relationships. Five of Professor Xu's collaborators, who are now professors at Fudan, were also trained at Yale. One was Professor Xu's friend when both were Yale graduate students; another was a visiting scholar in the laboratory of a Yale colleague; one was an exchange student who came to Yale from Fudan and returned to earn his Ph.D. in China, and the other two were postdoctoral fellows in Professor Xu's Yale lab.

A similar story underlies the formation of the Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Genomics and Agricultural Biotechnology. This is a collaborative project involving exchange visits of scientists from Yale and Peking University, who work together to study the basic biology of plant systems with potential relevance to crop improvement in both China and the United States. When Yale Professor Deng Xing-Wang was an undergraduate at Peking University, he came to know Gu Xiaocheng, who was then the chair of the biology department. Professor Deng moved on to graduate study at Yale and eventually joined the faculty. At Yale he encountered a Ph.D. student who was also a graduate of Peking University, Chen Zhangliang. After Chen returned to a professorship and a vice presidency at Peking, he and Professor Deng initiated their collaboration in plant genomics, and with the approval of Professor Gu, the new Center was launched three years ago.

Such collaborations are becoming increasingly common, arising from the dual allegiance of Chinese scientists to their home and foreign institutions and from the personal relationships formed as a consequence of student and faculty exchanges. They are now becoming institutionalized, taking on a depth and permanence beyond that of a personal relationship between two scholars. They will undoubtedly help propel Chinese science to world leadership, and thus prove the wisdom of Deng Xiaoping's farsighted encouragement of scientific and cultural exchanges.

Yale is by no means alone in fostering institutionalized collaboration. In the United States, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley have a number of cooperative programs throughout China. The Harvard School of Public Health is working with UC Berkeley, Beijing University, Tongji Medical University, and Sichuan University researching the economic effects of smoking on Chinese families. Professors at Cornell University are working with their colleagues at Nanjing Agricultural University on better understanding animal production systems. Professors at Stanford University's Institute of International Studies and the School of Medicine are working with their colleagues at the China Health Economic Institute to develop ways to improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery in China. Eight Chinese universities and 12 U.S. universities have established a relationship to undertake research, education, outreach and scholarly projects in the area of agriculture under the auspices of the Consortium of U.S. Universities and Institutions in Cooperation with China for Agriculture.

And U.S. institutions are by no means alone in developing new collaborations. Universities from all over the world are engaged in joint programs with China. Oxford University, for instance, is working with the University of Lanzhou on the sustainability of irrigation agriculture in the Minquin Basin. The University of Tokyo has extensive collaborations with their colleagues throughout China. At Congqiing University, they are involved in engineering programs, at Dalian University of Technology, they are collaborating on industrial science, and at the Beijing College of Forestry, they are engaged in a partnership in agricultural and life sciences. Beijing University of Technology and the University of Science and Technology Beijing have sponsored a symposium in environmental engineering in conjunction with Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and the Technical University of Opole in Poland.

These are but a few of many ongoing collaborations. They exemplify the future of scholarship and service in the global university. They permit scholars and scientists to share expertise in the pursuit of new knowledge and in the application of that knowledge to improving material and social conditions. As we continue to move forward we must deepen these relationships and expand the connections. For it is these institutional partnerships that will serve as the bedrock for the future, ensuring not only the continued advancement of knowledge but a growing mutual understanding among citizens of China and other nations.

Technology can help strengthen these connections. This week, we entered into an agreement to develop a Fudan-Yale Center for Educational Cooperation. The new center will build upon existing student exchanges and collaborative programs in law, management, biomedical science, and genetic engineering to establish, among other things, a videoconference facility at Fudan that will permit weekly seminars, faculty lectures, and student presentations to involve participants from both universities.

The availability of online courses opens another possibility for Chinese students and faculty to gain greater understanding of recent advances abroad. Two years ago, Yale, Stanford, and Oxford Universities launched a joint venture, AllLearn.org, that now offers over 80 online courses to its own alumni as well as alumni of a growing number of affiliated U.S. universities. Courses such as these, especially those in the humanities and social sciences, might be of interest to partner institutions in China.

As we strive to become global universities, we must educate our students to think in global terms. Both China and the United States have tremendous challenges within their own countries. China has made extraordinary strides in developing its economy, but it is still engaged in modernizing the financial and legal institutions that support its integration into the world economy. It is also beginning to tackle the problems of uneven growth across its far-flung regions. Similarly, the United States faces the major challenge of improving the lot of its least fortunate citizens, whose children attend substandard schools and who have inadequate health care.

But we face common, global challenges as well - to maintain an integrated global system of trade and investment under a rule of law, to avoid war, to protect the environment, and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases that do not respect national boundaries. We need to educate citizens of the world, who will work together in addressing these global problems.

We cannot do this in isolation. We need to commit ourselves to maintaining and expanding the connections that bind us together. Twenty-five years ago, Deng Xiaoping opened China's door. We must keep it open by committing ourselves to expanding student and faculty exchanges and creating stronger and deeper institutional partnerships. Together, we can educate global citizens for the future and extend the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of all humanity.

Conference on Sino-U.S. Educational Exchange
November 9, 2003
Fudan University

I am honored to be with you today. Fudan University is known throughout the world for its many graduates who made major contributions to this nation's history and progress. And it is increasingly well known for its ambitious aspirations to become one of the world's great universities. Yale University is proud to be Fudan's partner in several exciting initiatives today, and we also consider ourselves Fudan's first international partner, since Fudan's first president was a Yale graduate.

This conference is devoted to discussion and analysis of the consequences of our 25-year experience of Sino-U.S. educational exchange. I want to begin by setting this experience into the larger context of China's drive toward rapid economic growth and integration with the world economy. Few decisions of the 20th century will have as profound an impact on the 21st century world as Deng Xiaoping's announcement of the Open Door Policy in 1978. After sketching the remarkable accomplishments that have flowed from pursuit of that policy, I will comment on the opening of educational exchange relations with the west, which was simply one facet of Mr. Deng's overall strategy. Finally, I want to suggest how over the next quarter century, continued attention to fostering close international linkages in education can contribute even more significantly to the development of China and the world.

The Open Door Policy

As we all know, in 1978 Deng Xiaoping recognized that major structural reform of the Chinese economy was necessary. In words now well known, he told the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party:

"We must learn to manage the economy by economic means. If we ourselves don't know about advanced methods of economic management, we should learn from those who do either at home or abroad. These methods should be applied not only in the operation of enterprise with newly imported technology and equipment, but also in the technical transformation of existing enterprises."

To achieve the Four Modernizations (of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology), Deng Xiaoping believed it was essential to open the Chinese economy to the outside world, to increase foreign trade and to stimulate foreign investment and technological exchange.

Economic Advancement in the Last Quarter Century

As an economist, I am tempted to devote all of my remarks to the impressive economic advancement of the last quarter century, but let me offer just several reference points.

Foreign trade and investment has increased at an extraordinary rate. Exports have grown tenfold in inflation-adjusted dollars over the past two decades, and foreign direct investment in China has increased by a factor of nearly one hundred, from less than $1 billion to $44 billion.

Increased trade and foreign investment has had a major impact on both the lifestyle and economic well being of the Chinese people. For instance, in 1978 there were no multinational companies doing business in China. There were no Pepsi Cola's in the country, no Ford cars or trucks, and no Procter & Gamble products. Today, Procter & Gamble employs 4,000 people, making China the company's second largest country in terms of employment. Their business today is ten times what it was a decade ago. They are also working closely with authorities on projects of significant public importance. They have assisted the Ministry of Education building 100 schools, and they have worked with the Ministry of Health to provide oral health care training to about 70 million children over the past decade

Mr. Deng was wise to recognize the possible economic consequences of expanding international trade. Real gross domestic product has grown nearly eightfold over the past 20 years, and the World Bank has documented that, as a result of its economic growth, China has made the largest single contribution of any country to the reduction of global poverty in the last twenty years. Strikingly, the Bank estimates indicate that while the number of poor people in China fell by 90 million between 1987 and 1998, the number of poor in the rest of the world increased by 82 million during the same period.

Today, China is taking its place among the world's great economic powers, and the flow of investment now runs in both directions. Just last month, I hosted a delegation of 20 businessmen and women from China. One Chinese CEO was headed to Tennessee to visit a new plant his company had built to manufacture motorcycles for sale in North America.

The educational dimension of the Deng Xiaoping's reforms

An important ingredient of Mr. Deng's Open Door Policy was an understanding that progress would be promoted by greater openness in education. In October 1978, Mr. Deng said,

"I support the increase in the number of students going abroad for further study, up to thousands and tens of thousands. On one hand, it serves to raise the standards of our own colleges and universities ƒand we can learn more about situations and problems in need of solving."

Mr. Deng correctly foresaw that this development would help China to modernize its technology and its economy. What he did not emphasize at the time was how the flow of students across borders would also lead to greater mutual understanding. We have developed a deeper appreciation for the distinctive elements in Chinese and western cultures while at the same time recognizing our common humanity and our common interest in working together.

Deng Xiaoping's far-sighted initiative a quarter century ago calls to mind an earlier day when Yung Wing became the first Chinese to graduate from an American university in 1854. He came for the same reasons: to help modernize China's technology and economy. We at Yale take great pride in Yung Wing's choice to make our school his own. And we are proud to have educated the largest number of those who followed Yung Wing under the auspices of the Chinese Educational Mission, including Zhan Tianyou, Yale Class of 1881, the engineer who is known as the "Father of China's railroads."

At the time of the Chinese Educational Mission, most Yale students came from the northeastern United States. Many of them learned as much from interaction with Chinese students as the Chinese students learned about America. The gains flow in both directions. One learns from study abroad, but one also learns from having international students in one's home country. Today we believe that every Yale student gains from the presence of the 300 Chinese students currently in residence, just as our faculty benefits from the presence of a comparable number of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. Chinese students represent 17% of the international student population at Yale, and 10% of the international students in the United States.

From Student Exchanges to Institutional Collaborations

The tens of thousands of Chinese students and scholars who now come to the United States every year constitute the foundation upon which we are building a deeper and more enduring set of relationships between our countries. I refer to the development of larger-scale institutional partnerships that will become an increasingly important feature of truly global universities. Today, seventeen Yale departments and schools have established partnerships with forty-five universities, government agencies or independent research institutions in sixteen different cities in China. Yale has twenty-six study sites across China, from Liaoning province in the east, to Xinjiang in the far west, from Beijing in the north, to Hong Kong in the south.

Members of our faculty are engaged with Chinese colleagues in collaborative research projects ranging from studies of the Shanghai stock market to the history of the Qing dynasty archives. They are also engaged in collaborative educational projects, such as one involving the Yale School of Nursing and the Medical School of Central South University, in which Chinese nurses learn how to teach other health care workers to prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

At Tsinghua University, faculty from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies are working with colleagues to develop a leadership program in environment and sustainable development. The program will train Chinese mayors, national leaders, corporate executives, and NGO managers who are responsible for urban planning and development. Sponsored by the French company Veiolia Environment, this program is a fine example not only of collaboration between universities, but also of partnership among government, corporations, and universities.

One of our most successful collaborations is the China Law Center, which was launched only three years ago. Today, working closely with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, NGOs, universities, and the government, the China Law Center is making tremendous strides. Professor Gewirtz and his Chinese and American colleagues have studied and begun to undertake reform in the areas of administrative law, regulation, and legal education.

Most of these institutional collaborations arise, not from top-down directives of university administrators, but rather from longstanding personal relationships among scholars and scientists. For instance, my colleague Xu Tian has been working with counterparts here at Fudan University to develop the Fudan-Yale Biomedical Research Center, which will expand on the work of the existing Institute of Developmental Biology and Molecular Medicine. The institute utilizes model organisms to understand the molecular mechanisms of human diseases, including cancer, neuro-degeneration, and hypoxia. Investigators at the institute recently launched a SARS project to search for compounds that convey resistance to coronavirus infection. These research activities involve a continuing exchange of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty between labs at Fudan and Yale.

How did this fruitful collaboration arise? To begin, Professor Xu has a deep affiliation with both institutions. He did his undergraduate work at Fudan and received his Ph.D. at Yale. But ultimately it comes down to personal relationships. Five of Professor Xu's collaborators, who are now professors at Fudan, were also trained at Yale. One was Professor Xu's friend when both were Yale graduate students; another was a visiting scholar in the laboratory of a Yale colleague; one was an exchange student who came to Yale from Fudan and returned to earn his Ph.D. in China, and the other two were postdoctoral fellows in Professor Xu's Yale lab.

A similar story underlies the formation of the Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology. This is a collaborative project involving exchange visits of scientists from Yale and Peking University, who work together to study the basic biology of plant systems with potential relevance to crop improvement in both China and the United States. When Yale Professor Deng Xing-Wang was an undergraduate at Peking University, he came to know Gu Xiaocheng, who was then the chair of the biology department. Professor Deng moved on to graduate study at Yale and eventually joined the faculty. At Yale he encountered a Ph.D. student who was also a graduate of Peking University, Chen Zhangliang. After Chen returned to a professorship and a vice presidency at Peking, he and Professor Deng initiated their collaboration in plant genomics, and with the approval of Professor Gu, the new Center was launched three years ago.

Such collaborations are becoming increasingly common, arising from the dual allegiance of Chinese scientists to their home and foreign institutions and from the personal relationships formed as a consequence of student and faculty exchanges. They are now becoming institutionalized, taking on a depth and permanence beyond that of a personal relationship between two scholars. They will undoubtedly help propel Chinese science to world leadership, and thus prove the wisdom of Deng Xiaoping's farsighted encouragement of scientific and cultural exchanges.

The reason that China's leading universities have become the partners of choice for so many of the world's most distinguished universities are several: there is the size of China's population, its significant role on the world stage, and its rapidly growing economy. But an essential ingredient is China's growing investment in its leading universities and the leadership's recognition that outstanding universities can be engines of economic growth. At a time when too many European countries are reducing their investment in their flagship universities and when Japan seems disinclined to build the scientific capacity of its greatest institutions of higher education, the leaders of China are wise to recognize that substantial investment in its universities will lead to future economic advancement.

My own studies as an economist have shown that in the United States the most dynamic sectors of the economy -- where new jobs are created and productivity growth is most rapid -- remain those that create innovative products based on the application of recent scientific knowledge. And the experience of U.S. universities shows that institutions of higher education are by far the most productive sources of scientific discovery.

Yet the knowledge created by the enterprise of academic science is by no means the only contribution of universities to economic growth. By engaging students in intellectual inquiry, making them active participants in the search to know and fostering their problem solving abilities, universities and colleges contribute to economic growth through their teaching as well as their research. Critical studies in humanity and social sciences as much as the sciences and engineering can equip students for leadership in our rapidly evolving world.

For the next set of years, we have a powerful tool to assist the development of intercontinental scholarly collaborations. The revolution in communications must be seized and used strategically as a catalyst. We know that the revolution in communications is dramatically extending the opportunities for scholarly discourse and encouraging collaborations at a distance that were unthinkable even a decade ago. Now in the era of the Internet it is as likely that an economist at Yale will be pursuing a project with a faculty member in Chile or China as with someone at Columbia or MIT. We must be wise to determine how best to take advantage of these new capabilities. In the next decade, the prospects for reaping new benefits from the Open Door Policy are limited only by the will of our political and university leaders.

Conclusion

Deng Xiaoping's Open Door Policy was ambitious in 1978. In 2003 we require the same mixture of vision and boldness. National governments, whether in China, the U.S. or elsewhere, must make the investment to create and sustain world-class institutions. This will require large financial expenditures and substantial latitude for scholarly inquiry. The United States government must take care not to unduly burden the opportunities for Chinese and other scholars to study in our country just as all governments would do well to recognize the benefits that derive from the most open exchange of ideas.

Those of us on university campuses, faculty and administrators alike, must be ambitious in supporting academic partnerships that create knowledge and address the crucial issues facing the global community. And we must recognize that it is our responsibility to ensure that the most talented young people who attend our institutions understand the promise of openness that Deng Xiaoping heralded. All of us engaged in higher education might do well to recall the words of Timothy Dwight, a former Yale president, who said in 1831: "We owe it to inspire our students and countrymen to recognize that they are not to act like inhabitants of a village, nor like beings of the hour, but like citizens of the world."

Freshmen Address: Encountering New Perspectives
October 10, 2003
Yale University

This spring, as you were coming to the end of your high school years, I got my first inspiration for what I might say to you when you arrived here. I was sitting in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center, listening to a splendid lecture by one of my favorite historians, Garry Wills, a Yale alumnus who has written brilliantly on topics as diverse as Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, and Catholic theology. As the topic of the annual Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Professor Wills had chosen Henry Adams, the great-grandson of John Adams whose autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, was recently voted the best nonfiction work of the twentieth century.

To everyone's surprise, Professor Wills took as his subject not the famous autobiography but Adams' anonymously published, best-selling, and little-remembered political novel, Democracy. In describing the novel, Professor Wills made repeated reference to Adams' treatment of related subjects in his magisterial, nine-volume History of the United States during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This intrigued me, because reading and talking about history, especially the early history of the United States, is one of my passions. And so, sitting and listening to Garry Wills last March, I decided that I would tackle Henry Adams' monumental historical work and somehow find in it material to provide a framework for this morning's welcoming address.

Months later, with summer's end approaching, I found myself in a situation I am sure each of you will confront more than once in your time at Yale. I had an assignment due, and I hadn't finished the reading. The end of August was near, and I had read only 200 of the 1200 pages Adams devotes to the Jefferson years.

I fell back on the sound advice that Viper offered to Tom Cruise in the role of Maverick in the classic action film, Top Gun: "A good pilot must constantly re-assess." I re-assessed, and reached a conclusion that I now pass on to you as advice: "Don't be tempted to write papers on books you haven't read." And so I went to Plan B.

I remembered that earlier in the summer I had read two provocative new books on international affairs. One of these books, The Future of Freedom, was written by Yale College graduate and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria1. The other, World on Fire, is the work of Amy Chua, a professor in the Yale Law School2.

Both books examine the consequences of the spread of democracy around the globe. Zakaria notes that in 1900 not a single country in the world established its government by an election in which every adult citizen held the franchise. Today, 119 do, nearly two-thirds of all the countries in the world. To citizens of the United States, who have enjoyed a long, continuous tradition of free elections, this would seem to be unambiguous good news. But Zakaria and Chua think otherwise, and they advance powerful arguments and abundant historical detail to support their views.

I cite these books because they exemplify an important feature of the experience you are about to have during the next four years. Both books challenge conventional wisdom and require us to reconsider what we believe to be true. And just as these books challenge us all to think for ourselves, so will your Yale College experience - from the books you read to the professors and classmates you encounter - challenge each of you to re-examine your beliefs and re-define yourself as a person.

Encouraging the spread of democracy around the globe is as old as the American republic itself. Twenty years before he sent Meriwether Lewis on his journey to the Pacific, Thomas Jefferson imagined the United States spanning the North American continent. He desired this not so much to increase the power of the young nation, but to disseminate its values and provide inspiration for the whole world. Near the end of his life, he wrote: "... [T]he flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776 have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism."3 A century later, "Making the world safe for democracy" was more than a slogan to Woodrow Wilson; it was a creed.

Today, Zakaria argues, we have come to identify democracy not with a complex of constitutional arrangements that protect individual liberty and guarantee a rule of law, but rather with one simple defining characteristic - free elections. We have made free elections a central objective of American foreign policy. Yet, as Zakaria points out, in countries without a strong constitution, an independent judiciary, a free press, and the other trappings of liberal democracies, elected leaders can, and often do, become tyrants. Zakaria provides many examples, such as Serbia and Ghana, to illustrate how, too often, democratically elected governments suppress liberty. In juxtaposition, he cites Singapore and Jordan, where in the absence of free elections, citizens have considerably more freedom than those in many countries with elected governments.

Zakaria not only expresses concern about democracies abroad that lack constitutional safeguards to protect individuals; he also attacks direct democracy at home. He objects to the reliance of politicians on opinion polls, the use of primaries to select presidential candidates, and the increased openness of decision processes in Congress and federal agencies - which he argues makes those bodies more, rather than less, susceptible to the influence of lobbyists. Perhaps less surprising in light of recent developments is his concern about the use of plebiscites, which California has developed to a high art. Those government agencies that function best, he argues, are those with ultimate accountability but considerable insulation from day-to-day political pressures, such as the judiciary, the Federal Reserve System and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Robert Kagan, another Yale College alumnus who has himself written a challenging and controversial book this year,4 has denounced Zakaria as an "elitist" for holding views that seem to cut so against the grain of most popular thinking. Is it a problem, Kagan asks, that politicians are more sensitive to public opinion? That the discipline enforced through the "backroom politics" of parties has waned? That government decision processes are more open? Herein lies the value of encountering ideas that challenge conventional thinking. By forcing us to confront our natural bias in favor of democracy and democratization, Zakaria makes us think. And when he reminds us that virtually all his central ideas find support in the Federalist Papers, and most especially in those written by James Madison, we are inclined to think even harder.

My role today, and that of Yale's faculty for the next four years, is not to tell you what to think about such matters as these. Rather, drawing on our experience as students and scholars, we can help you identify the sources that will best inform you. We can help to illuminate both sides of the argument, perhaps favoring one view over another and citing our reasons why. But above all our role will be to encourage you to think for yourself. So I won't tell you whether I think Zakaria is right or wrong about the relative importance of liberty and democracy abroad or about the alleged excesses of democracy at home. Just let me suggest that you read the book, and perhaps the Federalist Papers as well. And then, for the other side of the argument, you might start with How Democratic is the American Constitution,5 the most recent book of Robert Dahl, Yale's most distinguished political scientist of the past half century.

Amy Chua shares Zakaria's discomfort with spreading democracy around the world when in practice democracy means majority rule without the constitutional protection of the individual supported by a rule of law. But her argument extends further. She observes that the United States and international agencies like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization are not only exporting a simple-minded notion of democracy; they are also encouraging free market economics of the most rudimentary form, without the regulatory structures used in advanced economies to limit corruption, protect consumers and laborers, and moderate tendencies toward widening the gap between rich and poor. And to this potentially volatile mix of unconstrained free market democracy, she adds a new element that is frequently overlooked - the presence, in a great many developing countries, of a minority group that controls a disproportionate share of the nation's wealth. Examples include the Chinese in Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines, whites in South Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, the Ibo in Nigeria, and Croatians in the former Yugoslavia.

The presence of what Chua calls "market dominant minorities" exacerbates the strains caused by global pressures to open protected markets and to democratize political systems. She cites examples of "backlash" against globalization that take three characteristic forms. One, as in Zimbabwe, is expropriation of the wealth of market dominant minorities by democratically elected representatives of the majority ethnic group. We might think of this as democracy triumphing over market forces. The second is the formation of a ruling coalition in which the market dominant minority exercises substantial influence, usually through ties with a corrupt government led by representatives of the majority. Marcos' alliance with Chinese in the Philippines is one such example of the market triumphing over democracy. Finally, the backlash against the dominant minority may take the form of systematic violence, or even genocide, as in the ethnic cleansing of the Croatians and the slaughter of the Tutsi in Rwanda. Chua argues that external pressures for free market democracy in the presence of a market dominant minority will typically lead to one of these three unsatisfactory outcomes.

Professor Chua's provocative ideas won't be the only ones you will encounter in Yale College. Here you have the opportunity to interact with professors who are at the frontier of discovery, enlarging the range of what we know or providing novel interpretations of what we thought we knew. They will confront you with new perspectives, new ways of looking at the familiar, and these new perspectives will challenge you to re-examine your values, attitudes, and beliefs.

This is no less true of the classmates you will meet here and the new friends you will make. You come from all 50 states and 50 countries around the world. One of you is a tenth-generation Yalie and another, who comes from a town in the Midwest with a population of 268, is the first in his family to attend college. From the diverse experiences you will encounter, you cannot fail to learn.

The new perspectives you will confront here may unsettle you, but they will cause you to think more deeply - about yourself, your immediate community, and the wider world that surrounds you. Here you will expand your horizons, develop your critical capacities, and grow as a person in every dimension. The opportunities are boundless. Make the most of them.


1Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003).

2Amy Chua, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (New York: Doubleday, 2003).

3Jefferson to Adams, September 12, 1821, in Lester J. Cappon, editor, The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959).

4Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003).

5Robert A. Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002).

Baccalaureate Address: Confronting Uncertainty
May 23, 2003
Yale University

Four years ago, when I welcomed you at your Freshman Assembly, I reflected the widespread optimism that accompanied our entry into a new millennium. I spoke of the potential of the Information Revolution to raise the standard of living here and around the world, and I heralded the coming Genetics Revolution and its potential for dramatic improvement in human health. I suggested that the economic and social impact of these developments would equal or exceed that of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the building of the railroads in the 19th century, and the invention and diffusion of the automobile in the 20th century.

I would still stand by this prediction, but how very different the world seems four years later. The challenges we have all faced, both outside and within the university, were not those we expected four years ago. Shortly after you came to Yale, our rapidly growing economy sputtered to a halt. Unemployment increased, and the stock markets tumbled. Then came the appalling attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the anthrax scare, military intervention in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq. Meanwhile, the campus was saddened this January by the tragic death of four students in an auto accident and shocked this week by a bombing at the Law School.

You entered Yale at a time of great optimism, and you leave at a time of great uncertainty. The opportunities presented by the revolutions in information technology and genetics persist, and they will be yours to make the most of in the years ahead. But these opportunities will be most productively pursued in an environment of reduced uncertainty, and the creation of such an environment will require clarity, wisdom and ingenuity.

Despite America's unprecedented military power, the principles defining the geo-political order of the planet remain uncertain -- in part because of America's ambivalence about its role in the world and in part because of the world's ambivalence about America's power. Is the future to be guided by a unilateralist America, or by a wider community of nations? Is America's objective to spread democratic institutions throughout the world, or is it merely to unseat the most egregious of tyrants? Can peace in the Middle East be achieved, and, if it is, will terrorism subside? Finding the answers to these questions will require our best efforts -- your best efforts.

When I greeted you four years ago, I related the story of Edward Whymper, the 19th-century British mountaineer who, at the age of 25 after seven unsuccessful attempts, made the first ascent of the Matterhorn. I provided you with examples of Whymper's curiosity, resourcefulness, and analytic thinking to inspire you to prepare for the challenges of revolutionary time. But in fact the lessons derived from Whymper's experience are no less relevant to the challenging uncertainties we confront today. Let me reinforce these lessons by recalling what I told you once before:

"Perhaps the most impressive demonstration of Whymper's curiosity, resourcefulness, and analytic thinking is his discussion of how, after seven failed attempts to climb the Matterhorn from the southwest, he decided to attack the mountain from the northeast. From this direction, the perspective represented in most photographs, the mountain appears to be utterly inaccessible, yet it yielded to Whymper's first attempt. What led him to take a new approach? First, he noticed that snow accumulated on the steep eastern face of the mountain, despite what appeared to be a slope of 60 to 70 degrees. By hiking to untraveled passes both north and south of the mountain, he confirmed that the slope, despite appearances, was no more than 40 degrees. Second, he observed that the strata of rock in the mountain were not parallel to the ground; instead, they sloped upward from southwest to northeast. This meant that the ledges, and the possible hand and footholds that they offered, sloped inward on the northeast side, making them easier for the climber than on the more frequently attempted route.

"In this example there are many lessons that bear on your [life's] adventure. You can turn repeated failure into success if you are curious enough, resourceful enough, and analytic enough to look at things in a new way. You have to think outside the box. Don't take received opinion for granted. Look at problems from all perspectives, and use the power of reason to draw inferences. Ask questions, and don't hesitate to accept surprising answers if your observations have been careful and your reasoning has been rigorous."

I have every confidence that you have lived by these lessons these past four years. Curiosity is in abundant supply here. In your course work, at masters' teas and public lectures, and in conversations with your classmates, every one of you has encountered new ideas and new perspectives. And your decisions to embrace, reject or modify them have shaped your lives. Your resourcefulness is manifest everywhere, in the dozens of new student organizations created by members of your class. Two of you mobilized 66 Yale undergraduates to devote 18,000 hours to tutoring Fair Haven fifth graders in mathematics; another member of your class established a health education program in four local high schools. And as for developing the capacity for analytic thinking -- this is nothing less than the primary purpose of the whole curriculum.

Let me take a moment to remind you of the special attributes of the place that has given you ample room to exercise and develop these qualities of open-mindedness, initiative, and critical thinking. Yale, like other great American universities, is a laboratory for free expression, a microcosm of the values we proclaim as the greatest treasures of our constitutional democracy. When the Iraqi war began, I wrote the following words to the entire Yale community:

"In an environment of civility, where we respect and listen carefully to one another, controversy stimulates learning. We need to leave ample space for free expression and bring the tools of reason and analysis to bear on the arguments we hear. In the weeks to come, let us, as a university community, continue to model the free, open, and tolerant society that the United States at its best represents. And let us also learn from this experience of war, through reflection and conversation."

I'm proud of the way we modeled freedom, openness, and toleration during the past two months. Although there were a small number of incidents in which students were harassed because of their political views, the prevailing atmosphere was one of civility, respect, and a desire to learn. Thanks to the efforts of John Gaddis and Cynthia Farrar and many others, we held 12 teach-ins concerned with various aspects of the war, Iraqi civilization, global governance, nation-building and patriotism. These provided the community an opportunity for learning at a depth not found in the public news media. These lectures and panel discussions are still worthy of your attention, and all are available in video on the Yale website.

The environment we create within the American university is a powerful instrument for mutual understanding among nations. We have nearly 1,800 international students at Yale, and a comparable number of visiting scholars. For many of them, Yale is the first place they have ever lived where they can truly speak their minds, where they can challenge the authority of teachers, where ideas alone prevail -- not status, rank, power or privilege. This struck me forcefully in my conversations last fall with the first cohort of Yale World Fellows. This group of emerging leaders included former cabinet ministers from Peru and Ecuador, the founder of a micro-lending bank in India, a television anchorperson from Cameroon and a law school dean from China. By their own testimony, the first group of Fellows returns home with a deep appreciation of the values of a democratic society; many of them reported experiencing genuinely free expression and freedom of inquiry for the first time.

In the wake of September 11, our government has understandably required more careful scrutiny of those seeking to enter the country on student visas. It has also, through the Patriot Act and various administrative rulings, begun to restrict the range of subjects that students from certain countries can study and the types of materials they can work with in university laboratories. One recognizes the legitimate concerns for safety and security that drive these changes in policy, but at the same time one worries about excessively restricting who may study here and what they may study.

There will be good reasons for denying entry to some prospective students, but we should remember that an enduring peace requires mutual understanding, and there is no better guarantee of peace than to ensure that the leaders of the next generation have an opportunity to learn from one another during the formative periods of their lives. There is less reason to deny students, once enrolled here, access to the full range of our curriculum and research activities. Unfortunate as it would be to deny visas to promising students who may learn from exposure to a free and open society, it would be even more unfortunate to have such students denied the very freedom we hope they will come to appreciate.

You have had the privilege these past four years of living and working under conditions that gave you almost unlimited opportunity to exercise your curiosity and resourcefulness and to develop your capacity to think critically. You are now prepared to move beyond your Yale adventure to challenges that were unforeseen four years ago, as we heralded the revolutions in science and technology that continue to hold out so much hope for the future. Your task is to shape lives that take full advantage of the liberal education you received here -- lives of personal and professional fulfillment, to be sure, but also lives that make a difference in the world. If we are to preserve the freedom that exists in this university and in this nation, if freedom's blessings are to be extended, peacefully, to those who are oppressed, we will need your engagement and your leadership.

Women and men of the Class of 2003: The world is all before you. Your generation has the potential to end hunger, cure disease and extend the domain of freedom. Yale has prepared you well, but you will need all the intelligence and wisdom you can muster. You can, you must, and you will rise to meet the challenges of these uncertain and revolutionary times.

The Global University
May 14, 2003
Yale Club of Korea, Seoul, Korea

It is a pleasure to be with you today, and I thank especially those of you who have come from afar to hear about Yale's efforts to mark its fourth century by becoming a truly global university.

When I became president nearly ten years ago, there were two monumental tasks that cried out for immediate attention. First, the magnificent collection of buildings, many of which were built in the years between the two world wars, had been woefully neglected. A nearly comprehensive renovation of the campus was an imperative simply to provide the most basic support for teaching, research, and residential life. Second, conditions in the city of New Haven, once a relatively prosperous manufacturing town, had deteriorated badly.

Stores in the downtown had closed, industrial jobs had departed to the south or offshore, and many of the city's neighborhoods were blighted. To attract the best students and faculty from around the world something had to be done.

I am pleased to report that we have made great progress on these two fronts. We have invested over $1.8 billion in the renewal of our campus, with spectacular results. Five residential colleges have been transformed to meet virtually every imaginable recreational and social need of our undergraduates, and the others will be renovated one a year in sequence. The Sterling Library, the Law and Divinity Schools, the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, and our principal classroom buildings have all been dramatically transformed. Likewise, we have invested over $100 million to catalyze the revival of the city of New Haven.

The downtown is now vital and vibrant, with fifteen new restaurants opening in the past year alone, and with old commercial buildings transformed into apartment buildings the streets are safe and lively at night.

Building upon the foundation of Yale's strength in the biomedical sciences, we have spun off twenty-five regional biotechnology firms in the past decade, seventeen of them located within the city limits. New Haven is becoming a major center for science-based industry.

With the tasks of rebuilding our campus and our city well under way, and with the resources provided by the spectacular growth of our endowment and the extraordinary generosity of our alumni, we entered our fourth century in 2001 prepared to make new investments that would broaden the scope of Yale's mission and strengthen its contribution to the advancement of knowledge and to human welfare. Two such investments stand out by their magnitude and ambition.

First, by investing $1 billion in science, engineering, and medicine over the next decade, we intend to push Yale into the very top ranks in these fields that are so central to the growth of the modern economy.

To be one of the world's best universities fifty years from now, it will not be sufficient to excel in the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences and the law; we will need to be among the very best in science and technology. And so we are moving forward. A $175 million medical research building opened this month, a new environmental science center opened last year, and within the next year we begin construction of new buildings for chemistry and biomedical engineering. And, as we hoped, our well-publicized commitment to upgrading and expanding our science facilities has already enabled us to recruit scientists of a caliber that has raised envious eyebrows at MIT and Stanford.

The second major institutional objective, as we begin our fourth century, is to establish Yale as a thoroughly global university, and it is this effort I wish to sketch for you this evening.

Before I set all this in context, let me begin by noting the specific international initiatives we have undertaken in the last four years:

We have extended need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid to international applicants to Yale College;

We have increased financial aid in the Graduate School so that every admitted student, whether foreign or domestic, has free tuition and a generous annual stipend;

We have created a new Office of International Students and Scholars which offers greatly improved support services as well as visa and immigration counsel;

We have established a new Center for Language Study, which is becoming a national model;

We have tripled the budget of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and introduced under its auspices new programs in South Asian studies, Agrarian Studies, International Political Economy, and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration;

Thanks to the generosity of Joe Fox '38, we have established new graduate student exchange programs with seven leading universities around the world;

We have created three new endowed professorships for distinguished scholars with an interdisciplinary focus on international affairs;

We have established the Center for the Study of Globalization under the leadership of Ernesto Zedillo;

The School of Management has founded the International Institute for Corporate Governance, headed by Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes who is with us here in Korea;

We have inaugurated the Yale World Fellows Program for emerging international leaders;

We have appointed a press officer in the Office of Public Affairs to focus exclusively on promoting Yale in the international media;

We have recently established an Office of International Affairs that will serve as an administrative resource to all schools, departments and centers to welcome international students, scholars, and visitors and maintain connections with them after their Yale experience. The Office will help coordinate, develop, and expand our international collaborations and engage new international audiences; and

We have formed a President's Council on International Activities to advise me on how best to advance the University's global agenda. Dr. Park Seong Yawng has been an active participant on the Council.

* * * * * * * * *

Let me step back now and place this all in context. The globalization of the university is in part an evolutionary development. Yale has drawn students from outside the United States for nearly two centuries, and international issues have been represented in its curriculum for the past hundred years and more.

But creating the global university is also a revolutionary development - signaling distinct changes in the substance of teaching and research, the demographic characteristics of students and scholars, the scope and breadth of external collaborations, and the engagement of the university with new audiences.

Let me touch in turn upon each of these four aspects of globalizing the university.

Teaching and Research

When I speak of becoming a global university, I envision a curriculum and a research agenda permeated by awareness that political, economic, social, and cultural phenomena in any part of the world can no longer be fully understood in isolation. The revolution in communications technology has brought the world closer together and changed the way we think about it.

The term "globalization" is much used these days, although we have yet to disentangle entirely its several meanings. In one sense globalization refers to economic interdependence. The movement of capital across national borders is now instantaneous, and the movement of products, people, and, unfortunately, pollution is freer and faster than ever before. These facts make comprehensive governance of the economy impossible at the level of the nation-state. International institutions are needed to regulate trade, capital flows, and environmental degradation. Isolation is not an option.

In another sense globalization refers to the instantaneous transmission of ideas and images. Cross-cultural influences have always been with us, but today they are more powerful because of their immediacy. Because we access the same web sites, radio and television broadcasts, many fear a growing homogenization of cultures and values.

The incipiency of a common "global" culture has precipitated, in many parts of the world, a defensive reaction to protect "local" values, heightening tensions among neighboring ethnic, religious, and cultural groups.

Yale is well prepared to meet the challenge of understanding these developments. We offer over 600 courses on international topics, and the Yale Center for International and Area Studies sponsors programs of teaching and research focused on each of the world's major regions. We teach 52 languages, and through the new Center for Language Study we are serving better those students whose primary interest is to develop fluency in speaking, rather than to master the classics of a national literature. We have recently expanded our offerings in Korean and now offer intermediate and advanced courses in addition to elementary Korean.

With us this evening is John Treat, a distinguished professor and director of graduate studies in East Asian Languages and Literature, and a member of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale.

Professor Treat recently played an instrumental role in securing a new grant from the United States Department of Education to help fund the expansion of Korea studies at Yale.

A global university can be built upon this strong foundation, but the superstructure must encompass new forms as well as old. Because the world's problems cannot be neatly compartmentalized into traditional academic categories, we have seen a flowering of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Center for Law and Environmental Policy, the International Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on HIV/AIDS, as well as the Center for the Study of Globalization.

Students and Scholars

Just as building a global university requires us to expand our curriculum and re-focus our research, it also requires us to ask whom are we educating and for what purpose?

A record number of 1,775 international students from 101 different countries are enrolled in Yale academic programs this year; in other words, over 16% of the University-wide student body this year is neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident.

In both the Graduate School and the Yale School of Management, over one-third of our students come from abroad, and the Forestry and Environment and Music Schools are close behind. The last decade has seen an overall increase of more than 25% in the number of international students. Yale currently has 157 students from Korea, a total exceeded only by China and Canada.

Yale has an impressive number of distinguished alumni in Korea. We are proud that our graduates can be found across the spectrum of government, business, science and academia. Two Yale graduates have served as prime minister of Korea and several have served in other prestigious government positions.

Yale is well represented in academia with numerous professors and scientists. Prominent Yale graduates are also captains of business and industry including our distinguished host tonight, chairman of the Kumho Group and devoted Yale Club president, Dr. PARK Seong Yawng.

Even with our strong ties in Korea, Yale College has historically had a very small complement of international students. When I became President, only one out of 50 students in the College was neither U.S. nor Canadian. Now it is one in thirteen, which ensures that most U.S. citizens in the College now have international students among their closest friends.

As the numbers of international students in Yale College rise, their composition is changing - in large part because of the decision to admit international students to Yale College on exactly the same basis as we admit U.S. citizens. That is, we admit students without regard to their ability to pay and offer the full financial assistance that they need to attend. This new policy is having a profound effect on our ability to attract undergraduates from many countries around the world.

Not only are we providing generous financial aid for full-time students in residence at Yale, but we also are increasing the resources available for overseas study and exchange visits. To coordinate these resources we recently established the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs. One of our most prestigious study abroad programs, The Richard U. Light Fellowship at Yale, provides full funding - travel, tuition, room and board and incidentals - to Yale students of exceptional promise for language study in East Asia. Since its inauguration in 1996, 20 students have received Light Fellowships for study in Korea.

And it is not only international students who are changing the face of Yale, but also the visiting international scholars who come to campus to assume research and teaching responsibilities, to collaborate with colleagues or to observe in laboratory, classroom or clinical settings. Their numbers have more than doubled in a decade. We have over 1550 international scholars on campus this year, 65 of who are Korean.

International Collaborations

I have discussed how the creation of a global university will affect on-campus teaching and research, as well as the number and type of students we educate. But an equally powerful impetus for change will come from increased opportunities to collaborate with other institutions.

Let me offer two very different examples; both involve a sustained commitment with another institution.

Let me tell you about this year's recipient of the Kumho award for the most outstanding contribution to plant biology, Professor Deng Xing-Wang, the Eaton Professor of Botany at Yale. I want you to picture walking with him - not on our campus, but on the campus of Peking University. You will see today a building with exterior signage that reads the "Yale-Peking Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology." Here Professor Deng, along with Yale and Chinese collaborators, are using genetic technologies to increase crop production. Scientists from the Center come regularly to New Haven to build on the collaboration. My second example of collaboration is one that is being created this spring. Yale's Dean of Public Health, Michael Merson and a number of his colleagues have been working with the faculty of Putin's alma mater in St. Petersburg to shape the curriculum for what will be Russia's first school of public health.

New Audiences

The same advances in communications technology that have created the phenomenon we call globalization offer substantial opportunities for the global university to expand its educational mission. The Yale web site already contains many audio and video reproductions of lectures and conferences that have taken place on our campus, but we have only begun to tap the potential of the Internet to provide valuable on-line learning experiences for students around the world.

To this end, Yale has joined with Oxford and Stanford Universities in an alliance to develop on-line educational materials. Our joint venture is called AllLearn.org and is found under that name on the Web. Some of our offerings approximate conventional university "course" in the arts and sciences, but we are also experimenting with offerings of different duration and format. Last fall we had 50 courses available, and we now are making our on-line curriculum available to students and adult learners worldwide.

Last fall, the Center for the Study of Globalization began publishing an on-line journal - YaleGlobal. The journal's web site now has nearly 20,000 visitors a day, and many of its articles have been reprinted in major international publications, such as The International Herald Tribune and The Financial Times.

The International Institute for Corporate Governance headed by Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes is reaching out to practitioners in the private and public sector across the globe who face the challenge of reforming corporate governance frameworks and practices.

The Institute promotes the exchange of ideas and experience, reports the results of research on best practices internationally and interacts with academic institutions throughout the world. Today I addressed the Institute's conference here in Seoul, which is bringing together scholars and practitioners from the United Sates, Korea, and other Asian countries.

The Yale World Fellows Program

Before closing, let me describe one last program that defies simple classification because it is at once a new teaching program involving a new group of international students, and it will also provide a basis for new international collaborations and reaching new audiences. I refer to the new Yale World Fellows Program, which, along with the Globalization Center, occupies Betts House, the splendidly renovated mansion at the top of Prospect Street hill.

The Program brings 16-20 emerging leaders representing all sectors of society and all regions of the world to campus to study global problems under the tutelage of our most distinguished professors. The program encourages the Fellows to broaden their horizons, and develop new skills and contacts that will serve them and their countries upon their return home. We envision regular reunions of all the Fellows, which we hope will create a network of world leaders who can draw upon one another's strengths as their careers develop and who will stay connected to Yale.

Next fall, the World Fellows will include top political advisors to British Primer Minister Tony Blair and Mexican President Vicente Fox, two African members of parliament, and an Australian Internet entrepreneur. We invite you to nominate candidates so that there can be a representative from Korea in the class of 2004.

* * * * * * * * *

In closing, I hope that I have given you reason to reflect upon the impact of globalization on teaching and research, the students we educate on campus, the collaborations we form, and the external audiences we will come to embrace. You can help. You can be our ambassadors, by spreading the word about our liberal financial aid policies, by nominating emerging leaders for the World Fellows Program, by convincing friends and associates that Yale is committed to its international agenda. With your help, as we begin our fourth century, we will rise to the challenge of becoming a global university.

Statement: The Nation at War
March 21, 2003

To the Members of the Yale Community:

As students return from spring break we find the nation at war. Our thoughts turn first to those most immediately affected - to those in combat, their families, and the millions who share with us the hope that the war will be swiftly concluded with minimal loss of life and lasting peace.

Much controversy has surrounded the initiation of this war, and members of our community hold widely differing views about the legitimacy and prudence of U.S. intervention. In an environment of civility, where we respect and listen carefully to one another, controversy stimulates learning. We need to leave ample space for free expression and bring the tools of reason and analysis to bear on the arguments we hear. In the weeks to come, let us, as a university community, continue to model the free, open, and tolerant society that the United States at its best represents. And let us also learn from this experience of war, through reflection and conversation.

War understandably produces anxiety in us all. Although we have no knowledge of any threat to the security of our campus, we will continue to take all necessary precautions to insure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Should any emergency arise, we have the capacity to notify the community swiftly and comprehensively.

War is traumatic. It is not unusual to experience anxieties and concerns at such a time. After September 11, 2001, and most recently after the tragic auto accident in January, this community has shown an extraordinary capacity to come together in support of one another at times of trauma. Once again, I would ask you all to support those who need support, and encourage those who need counseling to seek it from one the many sources that are available.

Our common purpose - the search for light and truth - is a source of strength for us all. As we carry forward the work of the university, let us seek to discover the lessons of the chapter of history that is now being written, and may those lessons help us to shape a better world.

Sincerely,

Richard C. Levin

Rethinking College Admissions: NAIS Annual Meeting
February 25, 2003
New York, New York

It is a pleasure to be with you this evening, to speak with those of you who are here for the annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Schools as well as those of you affiliated with the Parents League of New York City.

Independent schools, though few in number compared with their public counterparts, play an important role in shaping the landscape of American education. For more than a century, they have been at the forefront of pedagogical innovation and educational reform. And today they provide a vastly disproportionate flow of students to the most highly selective colleges and universities. Although they educate only 2% of the nation's high school students, independent schools nonetheless provide between one-quarter and one-third of the matriculants at highly selective universities.

Independent schools strive to create environments in which learning is valued and teachers are respected. They strive also to educate the whole child, recognizing that extracurricular activities, athletics, and the arts play an important role in the development of children. As a parent of four children educated in outstanding independent schools and as a former trustee who once led the search for a new head of one of these schools, I know first-hand about the astonishing devotion of teachers and school administrators to their important work. I also know about the sacrifices made by so many parents, who send their children to independent schools at great expense, because they want a superior education for their children. And having spent all day Sunday helping with the food concession as my daughter's school hosted the Western New England Prep School Swim Championships, I also know how parents are called upon to serve independent schools in many ways, to participate in the rich experiences the schools provide to children, and to help the schools succeed in their important work.

Now, I am well aware that I was invited here tonight to speak about college admissions. But before I do, I want to remind the parents among you that the purpose of an independent school education is not admission to college. It is instead to develop in students the ability to read intelligently and critically, to write clearly, to comprehend basic mathematical ideas, to appreciate the process of scientific inquiry, to work independently and to work with others. In short, it is to encourage students to love learning and to provide them with the equipment to continue to learn and grow throughout their lives, on their own and in community, so that they will be prepared to be informed, responsible citizens of our democracy.

From this perspective, college is just another step on the path to lifelong learning and responsible citizenship. We like to think that we contribute value added, and I believe that we do. But we build upon foundations that are laid down at home and at school. The stronger those foundations, the more easily we can accomplish our task.

There is no doubt that the interest in attending highly selective colleges and universities has increased in recent years. Applications to Yale averaged about 11,000 per year in the early 1980s, rose to about 12,500 per year in the late 1980s, then slumped in the early 1990s before rising back to that level in the late 1990s. In the last three years, however, applications have surged from 13,000 to 17,600. The pattern differs at other schools, but a common feature is that applications today are at least 40-50% higher than they were ten or twenty years ago.

The competitive pressures are intense, too intense in my view. There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America, and there are a great many that provide outstanding educational opportunities. Our national obsession with rankings has given much too much weight to those institutions that rank high in the survey conducted annually by U.S. News and World Report. Surely, some of the data reported in the survey, such as faculty-student ratios and the percentage of classes with small enrollments are facts worth knowing in selecting a school. But these and other data elements are weighted arbitrarily and added up to produce a ranking that is in itself not very informative. Indeed, the raw differences among the top three schools, and then among the next ten or fifteen, are miniscule. None of us, parents or administrators, should take them too seriously.

Colleges and universities vary on many dimensions. Among these are size, location, areas of academic strength, the nature of the residential experience, the nature and variety of extracurricular opportunities, campus culture, and proximity to off-campus cultural resources. There is rarely one "best fit" for any high school graduate. A number of schools would normally be well suited to the personality and interests of any particular student. It is a mistake to think that only one school will do, and a bigger mistake to think that failure to gain admission to one's first choice is a defeat.

Independent school administrators sometimes voice the concern that their children are at a disadvantage in competing for admissions to selective institutions. I don't believe that the numbers support this claim. As I mentioned before, independent schools educate fewer than 2% of America's high school students. Yet, at Yale, they produce approximately 20% of our applicants, 30% of those offered admission, and 33% of those who matriculate. These percentages were the same in 1980 as they are today. As these numbers imply, the admit rate for independent school students is significantly higher than for the remainder of the applicant pool. We value your students. They are well prepared, and they perform well at Yale.

Still, the purpose of the admissions process - at Yale, at many other colleges, and at many independent schools - is to admit a class that makes the most of our capacity to contribute to the larger society. We aim to prepare those who will serve by becoming leaders in scholarship, business, the professions, religion, the arts, and public life. None of these objectives is best realized by admitting a class that is homogeneous in background or interests. You won't become a better lawyer if all your undergraduate classmates are interested only in law; nor will you become a better doctor if all your classmates are the product of a single region of the country, a single income stratum, or a single religious background. We all learn from encountering difference, and for this reason alone we would seek a diverse class, absent any other social imperatives.

Thus, without quotas, formal or informal, we seek to admit classes that are diverse with respect to region, interests, and experiences. We seek those with special artistic and athletic talent, as well as those who have displayed the promise of leadership through entrepreneurship, volunteer service, or political involvement. We seek increasingly students from abroad, in part because the presence of international students in today's more closely connected world creates a richer experience for students from our own country. And we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will tell us that we can continue affirmative efforts to identify and admit students of diverse racial backgrounds.

We continue to seek racial diversity for two fundamental reasons. First, as I indicated, students of all races benefit from exposure to one another. This is more than an article of faith. There is ample evidence from surveys of our graduates that diversity among classmates is highly valued by members of all racial groups and is perceived as enhancing the preparation of all for living in a multiracial society. Second, there is convincing evidence, presented most thoroughly by William Bowen and Derek Bok, that since the 1960s the admission of increasing numbers of racial minorities, especially African-Americans, to highly selective colleges and universities has opened career opportunities and has had a significant and positive impact on the creation of a substantially larger minority middle class, whose members participate in civic life to the same extent as their white counterparts. Today, African-Americans are better represented in the leadership ranks of business and every profession, and in civic and charitable organizations, in no small measure because of the opportunities to attend the finest institutions of higher education that have been extended over the past thirty-five years. Today, for much the same reasons, most independent schools seek racial diversity in the composition of their student bodies, just as we do.

I come at last to the issue that has given me my fifteen minutes of national media attention. Well, actually, it's been almost fifteen months and I'm still cited from time to time. I refer of course to my heterodox view of the process of early admission to selective colleges and universities.

I spoke up on this subject for two reasons. First, I believe that the early admissions process and binding early decision programs in particular do not serve the interests of high school students. And, second, I believe that binding early decision programs undermine one of the principle goals of the admissions process in those schools offering need-blind admissions and full, need-based financial aid. That goal is to broaden access so that the finest institutions of higher education are available and affordable for those who qualify for admission, regardless of the ability of parents to pay.

For several decades prior to the last one, most selective schools offered non-binding early admission programs (now called "early action"), by which offers of admission were extended in December to some of those who applied early. The students were not bound to accept these offers; they could apply elsewhere on the regular timetable and notify all schools of their decision by May 1. Only a small fraction of students applied early, and typically no more than 10 or 15 per cent of a class was admitted by this route. In the late 1980s several schools found it to their advantage to introduce binding early decision programs, where students had to commit in advance to accepting an early offer of admission. This helped the schools that initiated such programs, by letting them identify students who clearly viewed them as their school of choice. And it helped those students who had a clear first choice. But still, only limited numbers were involved.

Through the early 1990s, one school after another hopped on the early decision bandwagon, and the numbers began to rise. Today, most highly selective schools admit anywhere from one-third to nearly two-thirds of their entering classes early. Among the most selective schools, only a few - notably Harvard, MIT, Chicago, and Georgetown - still had non-binding early action programs as of last year. Within the past year, after the very favorable public reaction to the views I expressed in a New York Times interview, Beloit College, the University of North Carolina, Yale, and Stanford have all reverted from early decision to early action.

There are at least four problems with the current system of early admissions. All of these problems would substantially disappear if all forms of early admissions were eliminated; they would significantly mitigated by replacing early decision with early action.

The first of these is that the current system encourages many students to form a view of their first-choice college too early in the high school careers. Those of you who work with high school students know even better than I how rapidly many of them are growing and changing. A student's passions, friendships, and activities may change substantially in the last year of high school. It is not in a student's best interest to expect him or her to visit colleges in the junior year and to come to a first choice early in the fall of the senior year. Most students would benefit from having until May 1 to decide which among several colleges would be the best fit for them.

Second, the current system encourages students to introduce strategic considerations into selecting a first-choice college, instead of relying entirely on his or her personal preferences. School heads and college counselors, under pressure from parents and prospective parents to produce a good record of early placement, encourage students to come to a first choice, which, more often than not, means making a commitment to a school with a binding early decision program. And many students are discouraged from applying to their true "first choice," because a well-meaning counselor reckons that the probability of admission is very low.

Third, the current system disrupts the senior year of high school, especially in independent schools where a large fraction of seniors apply early. Most fundamentally, because the college admissions game is played all year long, it dominates the entire year in the minds of students. If no admissions took place until April, there would be more time for high school. Instead, in December, a certain fraction of the class receives good news. But, unless the counselors are much too conservative and aim nearly everyone too low, a comparable number of students are deferred or rejected. This splits the class into those who are eligible for early senior slide, and those who have to live with disappointment and anxiety for the next four months. And there is yet a third group, those who didn't apply early, who often come to believe that they missed out on an important part of the year's experience.

Finally, a system in which most schools have binding early decision programs works profoundly to the disadvantage of students needing financial aid. If such students are admitted to an early decision school, they must either accept the aid package they are awarded or decline the offer of admission. They are not allowed to wait until April to compare the aid package with those offered elsewhere. Thus, students seeking financial aid disproportionately pass up the opportunity to apply early. And this has consequences, because - as counselors understand and as a recent study by Chris Avery, Andrew Fairbanks, and Richard Zeckhauser confirms - the probability of admission, for any given individual, is substantially higher in the early round, especially at early decision schools. In sum, early decision programs will tend to diminish the fraction of a collegiate student body on financial aid.

The first three features of the current system that I mentioned have adverse consequences for high school students, but they don't necessarily weigh heavily in the consideration given to reform by colleges. From the point of view of the college, early decision programs have two attractions. First, because the yield on early applicants is predictable, early decision enhances a school's ability to shape a diverse class with many attributes and talents represented. Second, it guarantees that a substantial fraction of the student body will enter with a positive attitude, having chosen their school, instead of viewing it as the best available default option.

The fourth feature of the current system is not only adverse from the point of view of students needing financial aid; it also undermines the commitment of colleges and universities to increase access. The steady lowering of barriers with respect to religion, race, gender, nationality, and economic status has made America's selective colleges and universities increasingly a beacon of hope, the custodians of a promise that unbounded opportunities are available to those who excel, regardless of background. Early decision programs work against this trend. They are biased in favor of the affluent, a bias that subverts an important public purpose of the admissions process.

The problems I have identified would more or less disappear if all early admissions programs were abandoned. I'm not suggesting that the pressures to get into selective colleges would disappear, but students would have more time to decide and they would have less reason to engage in strategic behavior. The integrity of the senior year would be restored, and students with financial need would no longer be disadvantaged. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to get from here to there, unless all colleges and universities moved simultaneously in this direction. And there are a number of colleges firmly wedded not simply to early admissions, but to binding early decision programs. In such an environment, any single school opting to abstain from early admissions while others persisted would run the risk of losing qualified applicants who simply couldn't or wouldn't wait.

Thus, at Yale this year, we chose a less risky course. We announced that we will return to the regime that prevailed until 1995 - a regime of non-binding early action, where applicants attest that they are seeking early admission to one school only. This approach, were it to prevail everywhere, would substantially mitigate (though not eliminate) the pressure to choose a college too early, since one's first choice would not be binding. It would somewhat mitigate (but not eliminate) the consequences of behaving strategically. For example, if one applied early to one's second choice because the odds of admission were high, one could still apply later to one's first choice. The disruption of the senior year would be only slightly mitigated, but, importantly, the disadvantage to students with financial need would be eliminated. Those admitted early could wait to compare their aid offers with those of other schools, and thus there would be no disincentive to making an early application.

You might ask, why allow non-binding applications to only one school? The answer is simple. If everyone switched to early action and allowed multiple applications, there would be an inevitable pressure for everyone to make all their applications early and the whole system would be deprived of using evidence of a student's senior year performance. If we are going to move toward one common admissions cycle, it would be far preferable, from the perspective of both the high schools and the colleges, to have those decisions made in April rather than December.

What will happen next? I wish I knew the answer. I had hoped that the announcement of our new policy in November would encourage other early decision schools to follow as they came to realize that their policies were perceived as unfriendly to high school students and high schools. In fact, only Stanford followed, announcing their move to early action six hours after our announcement. I still believe, however, that early action serves the interest of students better than early decision, for the reasons I have given. If you share this view, you can help. If NAIS schools were to convey to the remaining early decision schools that they strongly favored early action, it would help to move a number of schools in the right direction.

Let me close where I began. You represent a group of exceptional schools that educate thousands of exceptional children. We admire the quality of education that NAIS schools provide, and your students will continue to fare well in the admissions process. But you, and here I mean both schools and parents, can play a role in reducing the pressure that we put on our children. We are trying to do our part, although we recognize that we could lighten up in our intense efforts to recruit the students we admit. But you could lighten up, too. Acknowledge that there are many fine choices for your children and that no one school is a perfect fit. Let your children explore the options and don't rush them to a premature decision. And urge those colleges that retain early decision programs to abandon them. This will not take all the pressure out of the college admissions process, but it will help.

Universities and Cities: The View from New Haven
January 29, 2003
Inaugural Colloquium, Case Western Reserve University

In 1826, David Hudson founded a school in what had been known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut. He brought to the task the ideas and ambitions of the Connecticut institution he took as his model. For even in those early years of the Republic, Yale aspired to become something more than the collegiate school founded in 1701 to educate young Puritans for "service in Church and Civil State." Under the leadership of Timothy Dwight, Yale had begun the transition from college to university - opening a medical school and appointing the nation's first professor of natural science and its first professor of law. In the wake of these developments, the "Yale of the West" was established in the state of Ohio.

Today, I am honored to have the opportunity to bring to Cleveland some of the new ideas and ambitions of Case Western's mother institution, as you formally charge a Yale graduate with the responsibility of leadership. I bring sincere congratulations to Ed Hundert and warm greetings to Mayor Jane Campbell.

I am delighted that President Hundert chose to devote this day of his inauguration to a discussion of how universities can contribute to the advancement of their host cities. From the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth, industrial firms, financial institutions, and public utilities were typically the largest employers in most of our cities. In recent decades, however, as manufacturing jobs migrated out of cities and as banks and public utilities consolidated, universities and their associated medical centers have grown to become the largest employers in a surprising number of our cities. I am not talking simply of New Haven, Cambridge, Columbus, Ann Arbor, and Bloomington; I am referring also to Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Birmingham, Alabama.

With the increased local prominence of universities comes increased responsibility. As President Hundert has recognized in recent speeches, a large university contributes to the wider community's well-being by its very presence - by attracting external research funding and creating jobs, by purchasing locally-provided goods and services, by bringing to the community highly educated citizens who tend to care about, and contribute to, the quality of the city's schools and cultural life. But, as President Hundert has noted, these passive contributions are not enough. By adopting active strategies for civic improvement, by becoming engaged institutional citizens, we can make a major difference in the quality of urban life. Such engagement is consistent with the goals of institutions that have for centuries educated students for public service. It also benefits universities to the extent that an improved quality of urban life helps to attract the best students and faculty from around the world.

My task this morning is to relate to you the story of Yale's partnership with the city of New Haven. Over the past decade this partnership has contributed substantially to the renaissance of a city that was suffering from the absence of industrial investment and job creation, a partially-abandoned downtown, blighted neighborhoods, and an unflattering external image. In the