Presidents' Symposium on the Future of Collegiate Education

Where Innovation Is Tradition.

May 28, 2010


Presidents’ Symposium on The Future of Collegiate Education

Presentation On-Demand (Click on the link to download presentation)

Opening Remarks/Welcome
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 12:13)
Alan Merten, President, George Mason University
Peter McPherson, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Panel 1. The Market Landscape—From Budgetary Challenges to New Business Models
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 48:23)

With state budgets likely to remain under strain for some time, public universities around the country have been seeking ways to reduce costs without reducing educational quality or availability. The greatest challenges faced in coming years by traditional four-year colleges may well turn out to come not from budgetary pressures but rather from innovative, low-cost business models for collegiate education currently under development. Such alternative models are likely to become increasingly competitive as global business seeks demonstrated competencies over credentials and students are decreasingly able to finance a traditional four-year college education. The first panel of the symposium will explore these trends.

Moderator: Philip Auerswald, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, George Mason University
Panelist: Amy Bernstein, VP of Thought Leadership, Manpower Inc.
Panelist: Anya Kamenetz, author DIY U
Commentary: Angel Cabrera, President, Thunderbird School of Global Management

Panel 2. Learning by Design—Technology and the Classroom
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 1:00:55)

For decades, colleges have depended on revenues from a small number of large lecture courses to offer the large number of low-enrollment electives that represent the full richness of university education. The structure of large lecture courses has evolved subject to budgetary realities. In the past decade, new technologies have opened up new instructional possibilities. In some leading universities self-paced learning, peer-mentoring, and automated assessment combine in low-cost, highly effective models of instruction for core content. Elsewhere, universities are pioneering collaborative classrooms and problem-based learning environments that increase the relevance of educational experiences. This panel will consider the full range of transformations to college classrooms currently being affected by technological innovation and the near-term actions they suggest for leaders of public universities.

Moderator: James H. Turner Jr., Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Panelist: Burck Smith, founder and CEO, Straighterline Inc.
Panelist: Ray Swift, Director, Certificate Accreditation Program, American National Standards Institute
Commentary: Luis Proenza, President, University of Akron

Panel 3. Opensource Education—Course Content, Learning Networks, and Evaluation
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 38:04)

While the impact of technology on pedagogy in the classroom—as discussed in panel 2—is dramatic, the greatest impacts of technology on collegiate education extend beyond the classroom and the campus. Open access knowledge and shared databases of instructional materials have already made home-schooling an increasingly plausible alternative for parents of children in at the K-12 level. Even “do-it-yourself” collegiate education, as described by author Anya Kamenetz, is a newly conceivable possibility. Other new possibilities are being created by the connection technology allows among students, between campuses, and across the boundaries have long separated universities from broader society. This panel will discuss the new possibilities for course content, learning networks, and evaluation created in the open-source education environment of the 21st century.

Moderator: Elliot Maxwell, author and lecturer
Panelist: Cecilia d'Oliveira, Executive Director, MIT OpenCourseWare
Panelist: Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy, The Smithsonian Institution
Commentary: Michelle Fox, U.S. Department of Energy

Panel 4. Creating Social Value—Entrepreneurship and Societal Engagement
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 41:50)

As institutions of higher learning experience the same process of “unbundling” to which other industries have been subject over recent decades, those forms of instruction least amenable to automated assessment will be of increasing importance to universities. Among these, the problem-oriented practice of entrepreneurship may be of particular significance. This is in part because students entering a rapidly changing world of work will increasingly demand the ability to be job-makers, not just job seekers. At the same time, universities may find their own success to be increasingly dependent on effective strategies of engagement with the local communities and regional ecosystems of innovation within which they are situated. This session will explore innovations in placing entrepreneurship and societal engagement at the heart of the collegiate experience.

Moderator: Melissa Carrier, Executive Director, University of Maryland
Panelist: William Green, Vice Provost, University of Miami
Panelist: Erin Krampetz, Business and Program Development Manager, AshokaU
Commentary: George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change, AASCU

Closing Discussion Among University Presidents
VIDEO | AUDIO (RT: 22:36)

Moderator: Peter McPherson, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Alan Merten, President, George Mason University
Luis Proenza, President, University of Akron
Angel Cabrera, President, Thunderbird University