In this topical lecture, investor and philanthropist Gerald Chan examines the role of philanthropy in the rapidly changing higher education environment. He proposes that society will be short-changed if the purpose of universities is seen as human resource rather than humanity. Dr Chan argues that the independence of universities is crucial for maintaining the balance between their dual role as engines of the economy and places of curiosity-driven research, and that a philanthropic public private partnership is vital to that. ‘Higher education is not cheap; but what is more expensive to society are the consequences of not supporting its universities… In a democratic society, governments come and go, and government funding priorities come and go, but a properly managed endowment endures.’ Dr Chan’s thought-provoking lecture ranges from pre-Enlightenment beliefs to the invention by Steve Jobs of the first Apple Macs, to demonstrate the vital role of universities to humanity.
Dr Gerald Chan is a Boston-based investor who co-founded the international investment group Morningside. Dr Chan received his BS and MS degrees in Engineering from UCLA, a Master of Science degree in Medical Radiological Physics, and a Doctor of Science degree in Radiation Biology from Harvard University. He completed his post-doctoral training in pathology at the Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The Research University in Today's Society
Open Access PDF
March 10, 2017