University of California President Mark Yudof will be at UCSB today to discuss the role of accountability in higher education.

The lecture, which will take place at Corwin Pavilion, is part of the Gevirtz School of Education’s fourth symposium on the Policy Goes to School Series. The conference, titled “Accountability and Quality in Higher Education: Are They Compatible?” and will address the issue of responsibility in higher education, will feature several UCSB faculty members in addition to Yudof.

The conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today. Yudof is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m.

Chancellor Henry Yang – who will be introducing President Yudof – said via e-mail that the university is looking forward to Yudof’s arrival.

“President Yudof will also be taking this opportunity to meet with campus and Academic Senate leadership here, as he has been doing on each of the other UC campuses as well,” Yang said. “We look forward to welcoming him.”

The purpose of the symposium is to examine and evaluate the quality of work being completed at the university level, according to the Gevirtz School Web site. Higher education institutions have struggled with implementing accountability mechanisms, the site said, because they don’t use some of the formal policies that are common to K-12 schools.

Director of Community Relations for the Gevirtz School of Education Suzanne Oliver said the topic of accountability is crucial because it is an overarching concern of educators around the country.

“Accountability and higher education is an absolute national discussion and concern,” Oliver said.

UCSB in particular, the Web site stated, is struggling to accomplish greater accountability to both students and staff without compromising the school’s curriculum and research.

Moreover, Oliver said Yudof was chosen to address the UC Accountability Framework because of his knowledge and expertise in the field.

“President Yudof is an expert,” Oliver said. “He has been working on an accountability framework for all of the UCs.”

Yudof currently holds a faculty position at UC Berkeley’s School of Law in addition to being UC president, a post he took after serving as chancellor to the University of Texas for six years. He was appointed the job of president in March of 2008.

The conference is expected to cover more than just accountability, however, and will feature UCSB staff debating a variety of issues including the quality of education, diversity on campus and the university’s mission.

And with the state and UC system facing severe financial woes, the budget is sure to come to up, said Gene Lucas, UCSB’s executive vice chancellor.

“I have no doubt that the budget will be mentioned to Yudof during his stay here,” Lucas said.