Higher education has been a focus of the Foundation’s grantmaking since the Foundation’s very first grant in 1936 to Yenching University in Beijing. Over half of all grant monies awarded since the Foundation’s establishment have been to higher education institutions.
The Higher Education program today makes only a small number of grants each year. These grants primarily support projects involving faculty and doctoral students in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Such grants aim to:
- stimulate and support scholarship, especially projects that break new ground and that cross disciplinary and geographic boundaries
- ensure that high-quality research informs policymaking and public discussion
- prepare the next generation of diverse faculty and academic leaders
Buffington has long experience in higher education, having served most recently as president of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and before that as associate provost at Harvard University.