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Future U Podcast

91 EpisodesProduced by Jeff Selingo, Michael HornWebsite

Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn discuss what’s next for higher ed and talk with the newsmakers you want to hear from most.

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What's Going on with the Workforce?

October 26th, 2021


New York Times economics writer Ben Casselman and Guild CEO and co-founder Rachel Romer Carlson join the Jeff and Michael to talk about why there are so many Help Wanted signs and how higher ed might fill the void for …

Transforming a Prestigious HBCU

September 14th, 2021


David Thomas, president of Morehouse College, joins us to talk about the challenges of building on the legacy of a storied institution and stretching …

Kickoff to Season 5

August 31st, 2021


So much for the much-heralded “hot vax summer.” As Jeff and Michael return from their summer break, they continue to talk about the impact of Covid on higher ed and catch up on the news headlines from the sale of edX to …

Farewell to a Remote Year

May 18th, 2021


Jeff and Michael recap what they've learned from this past year, answer audience questions, and look ahead to next fall in the final episode of this …

Reporters Roundtable On Vaccines and Visas

May 4th, 2021


As the academic year comes to a close, Jeff and Michael spoke with higher education reporters from the Washington Post, NPR, and the Chronicle for HIgher Education and Open Campus about their perspective on the past …

Eyewitness to University Leadership

April 20th, 2021


In the wake of COVID-19, many university presidents have struggled to communicate amidst a fluid and fast-changing set of circumstances outside their …

What's Behind Enrollment Declines at Community Colleges?

April 6th, 2021


Michael Baston, president of Rockland Community College, joins Jeff and Michael to talk about the precipitous decline in enrollments in community …

Perceptions of Higher Ed One Year Into the Pandemic

March 30th, 2021


Tamara Hiler joins us to talk through the opinions of higher education institutions and policy by students and the public, and Jeff and Michael …

The Secretaries of Education

March 23rd, 2021


Former Secretaries of Education Margaret Spellings and John King join Jeff and Michael to discuss their views about the new administration in …

The Post-Pandemic University

March 9th, 2021


With daily signs of momentum in the effort to vaccinate U.S. adults, college leaders are beginning to plan for a new normal in higher ed after the …

What’s Ahead for Congress

February 23rd, 2021


Colleges have received more than $36 billion from federal stimulus bills over the last year. Two former Hill staffers representing both sides of the …

Good Jobs in Bad Times

February 9th, 2021


The pandemic has dramatically changed the outlook for new college graduates. Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, a labor-market …

Preparing For Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist

January 26th, 2021


Michelle Weise returns to Future U to talk about her new book, Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Even Exist Yet and why creating a new learning ecosystem for what’s ahead is so critical for all of us.

The …

Behind the Headlines

January 12th, 2021


As part of an annual tradition on the podcast, Jeff and Michael sit down with higher ed reporters to talk about the biggest stories and trends. Melissa Korn from the Wall Street Journal and Kirk Carapezza from GBH radio …

Early To Go All Remote

December 15th, 2020


The 23-campus California State University system was among the first to announce in the spring it would go mostly online for the fall (and eventually …

The Debate Over Reopening Colleges

December 1st, 2020


As colleges considered whether to open their campuses to students in-person for the fall, different institutions approached the question from …

The Role of the Public Intellectual

November 17th, 2020


Emily Oster joins Michael and Jeff as the debate over reopening both K–12 schools and colleges has reached a fever pitch. Oster, a Brown University …

Rethinking the Regional Public

November 10th, 2020


Regional public universities are the workhorses of the higher ed systems of many states. Overall, the 400-plus regional public universities across the U.S. educate some 40% of all American undergraduates. But often they …

The Hybrid University

October 27th, 2020


When we think of hybrid education we tend to think of the classroom–a mix between online and face-to-face learning. In this episode, Marni Baker Stein, provost and chief academic officer at Western Governors University …

Blurring the Lines of the University

October 6th, 2020


Southern New Hampshire University has skyrocketed to the top of largest higher education institutions over the past decade, as its president, Paul …

Will Graduate Schools Face a Reckoning in 2020?

September 22nd, 2020


With international enrollment down sharply, especially in STEM fields, and potential students questioning the worth of mostly online education, how …

Who Gets In and Why

September 8th, 2020


Jeff and Michael preview Jeff’s new book, Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions, which goes on sale September 15. Jeff, who embedded …

Reversing Course on the Fall

August 20th, 2020


Higher education is now facing another fall of remote learning, just months after many colleges and universities had announced they’d be coming back …

Kicking Off a Fall Like No Other

August 18th, 2020


Is summer over already? Higher ed didn’t have much of a summer break this year, and Michael and Jeff begin the fourth season of FutureU by reviewing the big headlines and talk about the trends that will shape the coming …

The End of a Crazy Year

June 30th, 2020


When Michael and Jeff began season three of the podcast last August, few could have imagined the disruptions to higher ed and the country by the time …

Calculating the ROI of Higher Ed

June 25th, 2020


Martin Van Der Werf from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce joins the podcast to discuss the center’s attempts to rank …

A President and Provost on Plans for the Fall

June 15th, 2020


As colleges and universities announce their plans for getting students back on campus, Michael and Jeff talk with Farnam Jahanian, president of …

Will COVID-19 Permanently Change Instruction and Costs In Higher Ed?

May 12th, 2020


John Katzman, founder and CEO of Noodle Partners, and Ben Nelson, founder and CEO of the Minerva Project, join Jeff and Michael to talk about how COVID-19 might transform higher education in the longer – and what …

The Three Digital Waves of Higher Ed in a Pandemic

May 1st, 2020


Fernando Bleichmar from Cengage joins Michael and Jeff to talk about three waves of the higher ed response to Covid-19, what’s worked and not worked …

The Coming Enrollment Crunch

April 23rd, 2020


What happens to enrollment and revenue for colleges and universities in the next few months amidst a recession and COVID-19 shuttering physical …

Leading a Liberal Arts College During the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 6th, 2020


Carol Quillen, president of Davidson College, is the guest with Michael and Jeff to talk about how to build community with students spread out and …

Keeping a University Financially Sustainable During the Coronavirus Crisis

April 1st, 2020


Deloitte’s Scott Friedman and Tim Hurley join Jeff and Michael to talk about what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on university finances and how institutions can plan their cash flow in the rocky months …

Managing the Coronavirus Crisis: On the Front Lines with Northeastern University

March 30th, 2020


The co-chair of Northeastern’s COVID-19 task force, Mike Armini, joins Michael and Jeff to discuss what’s next for university planning after most institutions have sent their residential students home and shifted to …

Balancing the Tradeoffs in Admissions

March 23rd, 2020


Angel B. Pérez, vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College, in Hartford, joins Jeff and guest co-host Karin Fischer to …

The Quick Pivot to Remote Education

March 16th, 2020


A provost at a regional public university and a faculty member at a private college join Michael and Jeff to talk about what it’s really like to turn …

Managing Campuses During the Coronavirus

March 13th, 2020


Scott Cowen, who led Tulane University in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, joined Michael and Jeff to talk about how to manage a campus through an …

The Opportunities for Small Colleges

March 3rd, 2020


Mary Marcy, the president of Dominican University of California joins Jeff and Michael to talk about her new book The Small College Imperative, and …

Reporters’ Roundtable

February 18th, 2020


Jeff sits down with reporters Goldie Blumenstyk of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Open Campus’s Sara Hebel, and Paul Fain of Inside Higher Ed to …

Higher Ed as a Strategic Priority for a State

February 4th, 2020


Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Kim Hunter Reed, join Jeff and guest co-host Paul Fain to talk about the state’s new master plan for …

The Controversy Behind Transparency

January 21st, 2020


Edmit cofounders Sabrina Manville and Nick Ducoff join Michael and Jeff to talk about the controversy behind their projections of the financial …

What’s Ahead for Higher Ed in 2020?

January 7th, 2020


Michael and Jeff take a look back at last year’s biggest higher ed stories and share and react to listeners’ predictions for 2020.

A Quick Update

December 19th, 2019


As Future U takes a brief break in December, Michael previews what’s coming up on the podcast in 2020.

Community College Innovation

November 19th, 2019


Marcia Ballinger, the president of Lorain County (Ohio) Community College, talks to Jeff and Michael about some of the approaches she’s implemented …

The Real Story of Student Success

November 5th, 2019


Joe May, the chancellor of the Dallas County (Texas) Community College District, joins Jeff and Michael to talk about how his institutions discovered …

Game of Loans

October 22nd, 2019


Michael and Jeff sat down with Beth Akers, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the co-author of “Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt.” Among the student debt issues she discusses, she …

A Governor Goes to College

October 8th, 2019


Purdue University President Mitch Daniels talks to Jeff and Michael about the innovations he’s brought to Purdue since arriving there in 2013. The former Indiana governor also talked about what he’s learned on his …

Choosing College

September 24th, 2019


Jeff puts Michael on the hot seat along with his coauthor of Choosing College, Bob Moesta, for this episode as he grills them about their new book (

Welcome Back!

September 10th, 2019


Season 3 of Future U kicks off with Jeff and Michael catching up on what happened over the summer in higher ed as well as what’s new in their lives, …

Future U Mailbag

May 21st, 2019


Michael and Jeff wrap up Season 2 of Future U by answering some of our listener questions.

Will MOOCs Transform Higher Ed After All?

May 7th, 2019


MIT professor Anant Agarwal, the founder and CEO of edX, a non-profit online learning destination, talks with Michael and Jeff about the evolution …

Credentials vs. Degrees: How Much Clout Does Each Have?

April 23rd, 2019


Katie Lynch-Holmes, Principal Strategic Consultant at Ellucian sat down with Michael and Jeff to unpack the results of a recent study Ellucian …

The Financial Aid Letters Mess

April 16th, 2019


Rachel Fishman, a financial aid policy expert at New America, sat down with Michael and Jeff to discuss her research into the transparency problems …

Live from ASU-GSV, Day 2

April 10th, 2019


In a round of lightning interviews in front of a studio audience at the annual ASU-GSV summit, Michael and guest co-host Goldie Blumenstyk of the …

Live from ASU-GSV, Day 1

April 9th, 2019


In a round of lightning interviews in front of a studio audience at the annual ASU-GSV summit, Michael and Jeff talk with the architects of the biggest deal announced at the conference as well as with leading CEOs and …

In the Wake of the Admissions Scandal, How Much Does the SAT Matter?

April 2nd, 2019


Harvard University associate professor of public policy Joshua Goodman sat down with Michael and Jeff to talk about his research into how taking the …

The College Admissions Scandal, a Week Later

March 19th, 2019


After a college admissions scandal rocked the world of higher education, Michael interviews Jeff to learn how it happened and what it means for the …

Can a 100-year-old Organization Shape the Next Generation of Higher Ed?

March 5th, 2019


The president of American Council on Education Ted Mitchell joins Michael and Jeff to discuss his organization’s role in a future where colleges and …

High-quality Education Doesn’t Have to Mean Small and Selective

February 19th, 2019


Michael and Jeff talk with Scott Pulsipher, president of Western Governors University, who discusses how high-quality education can be achieved at …

The Survival of Small Private Colleges

February 5th, 2019


Simmons University President Helen Drinan talked to Michael and Jeff about where small private colleges fit in the higher ed landscape and explained …

The Eroding Partnership Between Higher Education and the Public

January 22nd, 2019


Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein, authors of the book “Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and Its Colleges and …

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on the Future of Higher Ed and Lifelong Learning

January 8th, 2019


Gov. Kate Brown, D-Ore., joins Michael and guest co-host Paul Freedman and discusses some of the major issues facing higher education including …

Universities Wade Into Bootcamp Territory

December 18th, 2018


Trilogy Education Services CEO and Founder Dan Sommer talks with Jeff and Michael about the growing number of partnerships between colleges and …

What the Harvard Admissions Case Means for Higher Education

December 4th, 2018


The Atlantic’s Adam Harris joins Michael and Jeff to talk about the affirmative action lawsuit against Harvard and other stories making headlines in …

The Robots Are Coming

November 20th, 2018


Michelle Weise, the Chief Innovation Officer & SVP, Workforce Strategies at Strada Education Network, talks to Michael and Jeff about the future …

What Student Loan Default Rates Really Mean

November 6th, 2018


Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, talks to Michael about the student loan default process, how high default …

The Future of Work and What It Means for Higher Ed

October 23rd, 2018


McKinsey Global Institute partner Susan Lund talks with Michael about what’s on the horizon for the workforce and the economy and how it will affect …

Online Education and the University

October 9th, 2018


Michael and Jeff talk to 2U CEO and Co-Founder Chip Paucek about his company’s efforts to deliver digital higher education at scale as well as the …

Welcome Back!

September 25th, 2018


After a summer hiatus, Michael and Jeff preview Season 2 of Future U and give an update on what they’ve been up to during their break, including a sneak preview of their upcoming books.

What Do People Think About Their College Experiences?

June 19th, 2018


Gallup’s Brandon Busteed chats with Jeff and Michael about what Americans think about their colleges and about how relevant their higher ed …

The Future of Small Colleges

June 12th, 2018


Pat McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, talks to Jeff and Michael about what changes and innovations she’s implemented during her three decades in charge to keep Trinity competitive.

Shifting Universities’ Mindsets Toward Innovation

June 5th, 2018


Randy Bass, the Vice Provost for Education at Georgetown University, tells Jeff and Michael how his school has introduced structural changes to …

Higher Ed’s Role in Shaping the U.S. Workforce

May 29th, 2018


Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis talks with Jeff and Michael about his organization’s goal to help higher ed institutions develop students to be better prepared to contribute to the future workforce.

Tales from a Higher Ed Disruptor

May 22nd, 2018


Long-time higher ed entrepreneur Paul Freedman talks to Jeff and Michael about his newest venture, Entangled, and how he hopes to help solve the …

Innovation in Continuing Education: The 60-Year Curriculum

May 15th, 2018


Jeff and Michael talk to Hunt Lambert, dean of Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education and University Extension, about the imperative for lifelong learning and how Harvard maintains rigorous education quality while …

A New Era of Collaboration in Higher Education

May 8th, 2018


Jeff and Michael sat down with Bridget Burns, the executive director of the University Innovation Alliance, who discussed how collaboration between …

What is the “New Urban College” Model?

May 1st, 2018


Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell talks to Jeff and Michael about how he turned around the school, which was in a financial crisis and …

Is Innovation Cultural or Strategic?

April 24th, 2018


Arizona State University President Michael Crow discusses the waves of innovation throughout the history of higher ed and how it impacts what’s next on campuses. Plus, he talks about what he’s reading right now.

Are There Unicorns in EdTech?

April 17th, 2018


Deborah Quazzo, the Founder and Managing Partner, GSV Acceleration Fund and the Co-Founder of the annual ASU+GSV Summit joined Jeff and Michael at …

What Impact Does Helicopter Parenting Have on Student Success?

April 10th, 2018


University of California at Merced sociology professor Laura Hamilton, author of “Parenting to a Degree,” joins Michael and Jeff to discuss student …

Higher Ed Innovation

April 3rd, 2018


CUNY Professor Cathy Davidson chats with Jeff and Michael about her new book, “The New Education,” and discusses why she thinks innovation in higher education isn’t happening fast enough.

Gordon Gee

March 27th, 2018


West Virginia University President Gordon Gee joins Jeff and Michael. He reveals what he thinks is the number one issue facing colleges and …

Big Changes for For-Profits

March 20th, 2018


Doug Lederman, Editor of Inside Higher Ed, sat down with Jeff and Michael to discuss big changes in the for-profit college industry as well as …

Hot Topics, Joseph Aoun

March 13th, 2018


This week, Jeff and Michael chat about some of the hot topics in higher education. Also, Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun sits down with …

Higher Ed Trends

March 8th, 2018


Goldie Blumenstyk, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, chats with Jeff and Michael about the market for adult students and why they …

Demographic Destiny?

March 6th, 2018


Carleton College economics professor Nathan Grawe, author of “Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education,” talks to Jeff and Michael about how …

Who We Are

February 28th, 2018


Get to know Jeff and Michael, the hosts of Future U and how they became experts on higher education.

Welcome to Future U.

February 28th, 2018


Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn introduce themselves and discuss what’s on tap for their new podcast, Future U.

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