Donald Heller Becomes Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education
By Nicole Gallo
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Donald E. Heller, senior research associate and associate professor of education, has been appointed the director of Penn State’s Center for The Study of Higher Education by College of Education Dean David Monk, effective July 1.
“Dr. Heller is a widely respected scholar in higher education, and we are very fortunate to have the benefit of his leadership for the Center. He is keenly aware of the emerging issues in higher education and will be building upon the Center’s longstanding tradition of conducting research that significantly improves the field,” said Monk.
Heller is assuming the position upon the departure of Carol Colbeck, who is leaving to become dean of the Graduate College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
”I look forward to the challenge of the directorship of the Center for the Study of Higher Education,” said Heller. “The Center has a long tradition of excellent research and service to colleges and universities as well as governmental and policy organizations, and I am excited about the opportunity of working with my colleagues to continue that tradition.”
Heller has earned a national reputation for his studies of higher education finance, tuition pricing, financial aid, and student access in general. Much of his research serves to inform higher education policy organizations, state governing boards, legislative agencies, and the public about postsecondary education policy issues.
Heller earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and holds an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Tufts University.
Heller’s research has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Higher Education, the Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of Student Financial Aid. His edited books include Condition of Access: Higher Education for Lower Income Students (ACE/Praeger, 2002) and The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability (Johns Hopkins, 2001). His most recent book just published this spring, co-edited with Kathleen Shaw of Temple University, is State Postsecondary Education Research: New Methods to Inform Policy and Practice (Stylus Publishers).
Prior to earning his doctorate, Heller served as an information technology manager for over ten years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he gained expertise in academic and administrative uses of technology in higher education.