Joni E. Finney

Practice Professor
Director, Institute for Research on Higher Education

Higher Education Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-573-4960

Email: jonif@gse.upenn.edu

Professional Biography

Dr. Finney is Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Institute for Research in Higher Education (IRHE). She teaches graduate courses in the public finance of higher education and public policies and higher education. Prior to that she was vice-president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education from 1997-2007. She has also held senior policy positions at the California Higher Education Policy Center and the Education Commission of the States. For over 25 years Dr. Finney has worked with state and national leaders on improving public policy for higher education.

Finney pioneered the development of the nation's first report card on higher education, Measuring Up. She currently researches state policy and its relationship to state performance; she also assists states in developing public policies to increase educational attainment and reduce gaps in performance. Most recently, working with colleagues across the nation, Finney co-authored Financing American Higher Education in The Era of Globalization (2012) published by Harvard Education Press. She has also written two other books: Public and Private Finance of Higher Education: Shaping Public Policy for the Future and Designing State Higher Education Systems for a New Century.

Dr. Finney is a frequent speaker, resource for media and advisor to non-for-profit policy organizations. She is a board member for the newly established National Clearinghouse Research Center and Research for Action. She chairs the national selection committee for the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award sponsored by the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Council for Adult and Experimental Learning.

Selected Publications

Finney, J.: Fostering Student Success: An Interview with Julie Phelps. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning July/August 2010.

Finney, J.: The Challenge to States: Preserving College Access and Affordability in a Time of Crisis. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, March 2009.

Finney, J.: Rendell’s Tuition Relief Act is much-needed program for Pennsylvania. The Patriot News April 2009.

Finney, J.: Identifying Talent and Nurturing its Success: An Interview with Freeman Hrabowski. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning May/June 2009.

Finney, J.: Measuring Up 2008. State-by-state report cards. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education December 2008.

Callan, P., Ewell, P., Finney, J., & Jones, D.: Good Policy, Good Practice -- Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs in Higher Education. San Jose: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, June 2007.

Callan, M., Finney, J., Kirst, M., Usdan, M., and Venezia, A.: Claiming Common Ground: State Policymaking for Improving College Readiness and Success San Jose: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, March 2006.

Venezia, A., Callan, P., Finney, J., Kirst, M., and Usdan, M.: The Governance Divide: A Report on a Four-State Study on Improving College Readiness and Success. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, September 2005.

Finney, J., and Callan, P.: State-by-state report cards: Public purposes and accountability for a new century Achieving Accountability in Higher Education: Balancing Public, Academic, and Market Demands. Joseph C. Burke & Associates (eds.). Jossey-Bass, 2005.

Atwell, R., Callan, P., Finney, J., Jones, D., McGuinness, Jr., A., Mortimer, K., and Wellman, J.: State Capacity for Higher Education Policy National CrossTalk. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, July 2005.

Finney, J. & Kelly, P.: Affordability: Obtaining and making sense of information about how students, families, and states pay for higher education Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning July/August 2004.

Callan, P. and Finney, J. : Multiple Pathways and State Policy: Toward Education and Training Beyond High School. Jobs for the Future June 2003.

Callan, P. and Finney, J. : Assessing Educational Capital: An Imperative for Policy Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning July/August 2002.

Callan, M., Doyle, W., and Finney, J. : Evaluating State Higher Education Performance: Measuring Up 2000 Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning March/April 2001.

Finney, J.: Enough of Trickle-Down: It’s Time for a Flood of Aid for Needy Students The Chronicle of Higher Education May 2000.