In the coming years, California will need a growing supply of educated workers to meet the demands of a dynamic state economy, and this supply will must come from populations that have historically been underrepresented in higher education. The higher education sector will need strong state policy leadership focused on the long-term success of the state to overcome difficult demographic, economic, and political challenges on the horizon.

The development of a new coordinating body given the proper authority and resources could provide the essential leadership necessary to confront these challenges and help secure the future prosperity of the state. The new coordinating body has the potential to maximize state investments by creating more efficient and effective higher education systems focused on achieving outcomes such as ensuring affordable access to postsecondary education, increasing educational attainment, closing equity gaps, and meeting workforce demands. Designating an entity with the responsibility to develop and provide leadership in implementing a long-term strategy to improve postsecondary education attainment and outcomes is a nationally recognized best practice in state higher education policy.