Liberal Education

From the Editor

Every year since 1915, AAC&U has struggled to capture and preserve something of the flavor of our annual meetings and the insights expressed and debated there. We have done this principally through Liberal Education (formerly The Bulletin). Then, in 2006, the advent of podcasting technology enabled us to share audio recordings of selected sessions. Fourteen such podcasts are available from this year’s meeting (see page 22).

As you can see from the cover of this issue, which depicts the makeshift television studio set up in a hotel foyer during the 2008 meeting, we continue to expand our options for sharing the annual meeting experience more widely. Along with presentations from the ongoing meeting itself, interviews with participants were broadcast on televisions throughout the hotel and in guest rooms as well as on the Internet. AAC&U TV also broadcast a series of video segments about effective educational programs and practices at eleven campuses active in the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. Several of the broadcasts—including all eleven LEAP campus videos—are now available to view or download from the AAC&U Web site, iTunes, and even a specially created YouTube page (for more information, see page 28).

For its part, in addition to many lovely photographs taken at the 2008 annual meeting, the Featured Topic section of this issue carries adaptations of three presentations. Miami University President David Hodge presented the “student as scholar” model as a framework for undergraduate liberal education; he and three colleagues further elaborate the model here. Addressing the Networking Luncheon for Faculty and Administrators of Color, held on the first day of the meeting, Diana Akiyama, director of religious and spiritual life at Occidental College and a member of AAC&U’s board of directors, called for a corporate campaign for diversity; the full text of her speech is printed here. Finally, rounding out the annual meeting highlights is an article on helping students develop the kind of teamwork skills employers are seeking. This article is adapted from a presentation made by Cecilia McInnis-Bowers, professor of international business at Rollins College, and E. Byron Chew, the Monaghan Professor of Management at Birmingham-Southern College.

Two thousand eight has so far been a banner year for attendance at AAC&U meetings. More than sixteen hundred people gathered in January for the annual meeting, making it the largest ever held. Then, in February, a record-setting eight hundred people attended the Network for Academic Renewal conference on general education and assessment. Stanley Katz’s plenary address to that conference appears here in the Perspectives section.

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