Posted: Thursday, June 12th 2014 at 8:19am
Brenau President joins national initiative to redefine liberal arts
GAINESVILLE - The Washington, D.C.-based Council of Independent Colleges has announced the appointment of Brenau University President Ed Schrader to a 22-member blue-ribbon panel to develop a plan that encourages independent colleges and universities to revitalize their missions and business models to be more responsive to needs of future students.
The project will explore new approaches to higher education, alternative college business models, and potentially disruptive trends in American society and education along with the traditional characteristics and missions of independent liberal arts colleges that are regarded as essential to their success.
Entitled “The Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges,” the project is funded by the Lumina Foundation, the independent Indianapolis-based organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities beyond high school.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me and presidents of other top liberal arts institutions in the United States to discuss openly the ‘elephant-in-the-room’ issue in higher education,” said Schrader. “I believe that liberal arts institutions like Brenau still produce the best examples of well-rounded, critically thinking graduates. The models that served liberal arts institutions well in the 18th and 19th centuries need to adapt to a fast-paced, global society.”
“Predictions about the future of higher education by politicians, journalists, and policy analysts often disregard or deride the effectiveness of traditional colleges and universities,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “CIC, however, has always tried to find an appropriate balance between innovations in higher education that show real promise for the future and the existing features of member institutions that have long demonstrated their value. In this spirit, CIC’s new project will explore the future of independent colleges.”
The commission plans to convene Sept. 16-17 in Washington to develop a research agenda for the following year. After CIC staff members and others complete the various studies, the commission will regroup to produce an action plan to help CIC member institutions deliberately reexamine their missions and long-term strategic plan in intentional ways.
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