Liberal Education, Summer 2006

Current Issue


2006 Annual Meeting

This issue represents the theme of AAC&U's 2006 annual meeting, “Demanding Excellence: Liberal Education in an Era of Global Competition, Anti-Intellectualism, and Disinvestment.” Included are selected papers presented at the meeting. Additional articles explore collaborative scholarship and tenure, faculty engagement in the liberal arts, and the “success” of learning communities.

Table of Contents
President's Message
From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Azar Nafisi
Imaginative knowledge provides us with a way to see ourselves in the world, to relate to the world, and thereby, to act in the world.

By Ronald A. Crutcher
When climbing a spiral staircase, you inevitably return to the same point on a vertical line but at a higher level. And so it is with life’s experiences.

By Richard Florida
The United States is currently undergoing a dramatic economic transformation, shifting from an economy based on physical inputs to one based on intellectual inputs, or human creativity. What is the role of colleges and universities in the creative age?

Liberal Education and America's Promise

By Barbara Lawton
With broad commitment and bold leadership, the LEAP campaign can help inform how government and educational institutions evolve to support citizens’ success in this time of flux, drive development of appropriate metrics to measure their effectiveness and assign responsibility for meeting those goals, and invite unprecedented partnerships to sustain them.


By Peter A. Facione
Senior academic leaders are in consensus that, for purposes of tenure, a candidate’s significant contributions to collaborative scholarship should be valued highly. But operationally, what counts as a potentially significant contribution? An informal survey of senior-level academic administrators explored the nature and significance of individual contributions to collaborative scholarship.

By Dennis Damon Moore
The outcomes of a project of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest reveal how new developments in interdisciplinary and skills-oriented offerings and programs have brought faculty members together in new conversations that have benefited those faculty members, the students they teach, and the institutions they serve.

By William M. Reichert
The biomedical engineering program at Duke University has lately succeeded in solving one of the most persistent problems in math, science, and engineering graduate education: the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority doctoral students.

My View

By Michael Mendelson
As he reflects on his experience, a learning community coordinator is troubled by a gap between the official success of the learning community initiative on his campus and his own lingering disappointment. Could his disappointment signify a general challenge to the broader learning community movement itself?

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