ILR Professor Honored

Ehrenberg selected by higher education scholars for award
Ehrenberg selected by higher education scholars for award
Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fifteen years after founding the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI), ILR Professor Ronald Ehrenberg is being honored by peers in his field.

The 2,000-member Association for the Study of Higher Education makes it official Nov. 15.

That's when it physically gives the 2013 Howard Bowen Distinguished Career Award to Ehrenberg in St. Louis, Mo., at the group's annual conference.

The award is presented annually to "an individual whose professional life has been devoted in substantial part to the study of higher education and whose career has significantly advanced the field," according to the association.

"It places Ron among the giants in our field," said UCLA Professor Mitchell Chang, awards committee chair.

Ehrenberg's research includes rising tuition costs and the financial straits of many public institutions.

In an interview, Ehrenberg said his work educating the public is far from over.

"The shift in public consciousness has already occurred. But there's a lot of confusion out there as to the reasons why tuition keeps going up," said the author of "Tuition Rising: Why College Costs So Much," published in 2002.

Including undergraduates and graduate students in his research will continue to be a priority, he said.

"Although I had produced many Ph.D. students prior to the founding of CHERI, I hadn't worked very hard to try to involve undergraduate students in research," Ehrenberg said.

"CHERI gave me the chance to extend research opportunities to undergraduate students and a number of these students have gone on to Ph.D. study in economics, education and public policy"

Ehrenberg is the recipient of the Howard Bowen Distinguished Career Award, named after the R. Stanton Avery Professor of Economics and Education at Claremont Graduate University, where he also served as president.

Bowen, who also served as president of Grinnell College and the University of Iowa, was a lifelong friend of economist Richard Heflebower, a professor who helped guide Ehrenberg when he studied for his doctoral degree at Northwestern University.

Ehrenberg's connection to Bowen made the award "an even more fitting tribute," Chang said.

Ehrenberg sits on the SUNY Board of Trustees and is a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, the American Educational Research Association and the Labor and Employment Relations Association. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Education.

In 2005, Ehrenberg was named a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, the most prestigious award for undergraduate teaching at Cornell.

He received the Jacob Mincer Award for lifetime achievement from the Society of Labor Economists, an honorary doctor of science degree from the State University of New York and an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Penn State.