Liberal Education

From the Editor

"Looking forward" could be the motto that characterizes the advances in the uses of electronic technology for learning. This issue, looking at such uses, is future oriented. In the accounts of what is developing within higher education, Steve Ehrmann observes, the new technologies being used for teaching "become more powerful....as faculty begin to think with them rather than thinking about them." Martha Nell Smith makes the same point in her description of how the humanities are enriched by computer capabilities available for a fuller presentation of authors' purposes and texts.

George Kuh provides a great service with the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), as he and his colleagues present and interpret the results of the first survey of faculty influence on student learning. If evidence were needed, the FSSE study underlines the importance of the faculty-student relationship. Or, to put it more simply, they demonstrate that faculty matter.

On a different note, with this issue I conclude twelve years at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. I hesitated over an adjective to express what editing Liberal Education has been like. Mostly exhilarating. Occasionally exasperating. (Deadlines are all, to take a cue from King Lear.) Totally engaging.

Through editing Liberal Education I have interacted with authors from the various sectors of higher education. They have entrusted their words and thoughts to me, to my--and our readers' --great gain, and I've enjoyed the art and science of enhancing what they've written. My colleagues at the Association are a wonderfully capable group with whom I've shared all the quotidian ups and downs as well as the achievements we've attained by our coordinated efforts.

As I go into quasi-retirement, I can truly say, regarding what these years have meant to me, Here is God's plenty! It's been a great opportunity, a great ride, and here's to the journal's continuing to be a voice of and for its readers.

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