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Concluding Conversation about Lectures on Undergraduate Education on Campus

Champaign , USA

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The series began this September with a visit by Professor Emerita Nancy Folbre (University of Massachussets, Amherst). Folbre, an economist, provided a helpful history of shifts in funding for public higher education. She also reflected on the grassroots political work that she and others undertook to maintain state funding for UMass. In November, we heard a lecture from Coursera CEO and former Yale President, Rick Levin. Levin made the case for a common curriculum designed to foster cross-cultural understanding along with other core competencies. Carolyn Dever joined us in December, describing efforts at Dartmouth, where she serves as Provost, to rethink liberal arts education. Among other things, Dever stressed the importance of multidisciplinary teaching and living/learning communities to bring campus-wide faculty and students together in dialogue of many kinds. The series concluded this February with a visit by Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College. Boyte challenged the audience not to reduce democracy to the machinery of government or civics to volunteer work, but to transcend our ivory tower detachment and imagine higher education as the very work of democracy.

Blog posts about two of the lectures are available here:

Videos of three of the lectures are available here:

Now it is time to use these lectures as occasions to continue our Campus Conversation. We hope that you will join us regardless of how many of the lectures you were able to attend. The session will begin with brief recaps of each lecture and then shift to open discussion. Light refreshments will be served.


Lecture and Discussion Committee of The Campus Conversation on Undergraduate Education