On July 19, 2015, Fielding Graduate University President Katrina Rogers, PhD, conferred the honorary doctorate of humane letters on Michael B. Goldstein, JD, co-chair of the Higher Education practice of Cooley LLP. In awarding this distinction, Dr. Goldstein joined other honorees including globally-known educator Paolo Friere, civil rights activist Marie Fielder, renowned psychologist Bob Goulding, LGBTQ advocate Lynn Lukow and inspired educator Eddie Seashore.
During the hooding and conferral of the degree, President Rogers reflected on Dr. Goldstein’s accomplishments, “He is a pioneer in the development of the legal environment in higher education, a counselor at the highest levels of legislation, a leader in championing creative approaches to higher education and an advocate of the highest ideals of learning as a means towards a more just and sustainable future for humanity.”
Following the conferral, Dr.Goldstein delivered the commencement address to the Fielding Summer Session 2015 graduates titled “The Importance of Timing and Convergence: Learning to Love Competency Based Learning.” In his remarks, Dr. Goldstein pointed to the barriers to learning based not on time-in-seat but demonstrated competencies, proposing the creation of what he termed a “super-accreditor specifically for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating non-time-based approaches to teaching, learning and documenting competencies.”
Dr. Goldstein served a total of 23 years as a Fielding trustee, including as its chair, before retiring from the board in 2015. In 2012, the board created the Michael B. Goldstein Endowed Board Scholarship for Dissertation Research Advancing Social Justice, in recognition of his longtime service as a trustee and distinguished leader. This scholarship supports research by Fielding doctoral candidates on topics that further the achievement of a specific aspect of social justice. President Rogers appointed Dr. Goldstein as co-chair of Fielding’s newly organized President’s Advisory Council.
Dr. Goldstein is the founder and headed the education practice at Dow Lohnes, which merged with Cooley in 2014. Dr. Goldstein is a pioneer in the development and rational regulation of online, competency based, and other nontraditional modes of learning, including the creation of innovative approaches to combining the resources of the nonprofit, public, and for-profit sectors to improve access to quality higher education. He is the 2014 recipient of WCET’s Richard Jonsen Award for leadership in e-learning and is widely recognized for his distinguished service to many higher educational organizations.
Before entering private law practice, Dr. Goldstein was Associate Vice Chancellor for Urban and Governmental Affairs and Associate Professor of Urban Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Prior to that, he was an Assistant City Administrator and the Director Of University Relations for New York City. Dr. Goldstein holds a BA from Cornell University, a JD from New York University and was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.