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Schedule of Events

Event Location

Mason’s Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall (Ground Floor)

Friday, November 2

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Opening Remarks/ Welcome

Ángel Cabrera, President, George Mason University
On the challenge: the conundrum of pursuing initiatives to improve learning combined with imperatives to cut costs

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Setting the Stage: College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education

Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education
The New School of Thought for Higher Education


10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Panel I: Engaging Students and Strengthening Learning

Moderator: Maggie Daniels, Assoc. Professor and Program Coordinator, Recreation, Health and Tourism

  • Alexander McCormick, National Survey of Student Engagement
  • Jeanne Narum, Independent Colleges Office
  • Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Mills Kelly, Director, Global Affairs Program
  • Kelly Schrum, Educ Projects Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center Hist & New Media
  • Anthony M. Pellegrino, Assistant Professor of History/Social Studies Secondary Education
  • James Trefil, Robinson Professor, Physics

Key Questions: What do we know about pedagogies and learning environments that promote student learning? Where are we challenged with current pedagogies? How can we do better? What and how should 21st century students learn?


12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Lunch and Plenary Speaker

Anya Kamenetz, Higher Education Futures / Learner-centered education

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Panel II: Alternative Frameworks for Educational Delivery
(lessons from for-profits, stacked credentialing, open source etc.)

Moderator: Michele Petochi, Director, Academic Networks, World Economic Forum

  • Burck Smith, Founder, StraighterLine
  • Andrew Rosen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan, Inc.
  • Sally Johnstone, VP of Academic Advancement, Western Governor’s University
  • Jeff Offutt , Professor, Computer Science
  • Tyler Cowen, Professor, Economics

Key Questions: What is working well and why? What are the lessons for state universities? What is working well from a fiscal perspective? From students’ and faculty perspectives? And what do we know/need to know about student learning?


4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Panel III: Fostering Change in Public Universities
(or 800-Pound Gazelles: Moving the Large State University)

Moderator: Phil Auerswald, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy

  • Anya Kamenetz
  • Peter Blake, Director, State Council of Higher Ed for Virginia
  • Phil Regier, Exec VP/Dean , ASU Online
  • Dan Cohen, Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center Hist & New Media
  • Nance Lucas, Associate Dean, New Century College, CHSS

Key Questions: How might we in public universities feasibly improve educational outcomes and increase inclusiveness at the same time we reduce costs? Do the linked imperatives facing higher education favor one set of disciplines over another? What is the relationship between cost-cutting and increased inclusion? What particular obstacles exist to transformation in public universities, and how can they be overcome?

Saturday, November 3

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
What’s at stake?

Suzanne Walsh, Gates Foundation

9:15a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Panel IV: Beyond the Lecture Hall: Technology and Student Learning

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor, Public & International Affairs

  • Bryan Alexander, Senior Fellow, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)
  • Robert Beichner, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, Physics Education, NC State
  • Anne Moore, Associate VP & Director of Information Technology Initiatives and Terri Bourdon, Math Emporium, Virginia Tech
  • Kevin Clark, Professor, GSE, College of Educ & Human Development
  • Mark Sample, Associate Professor, Department of English

Key Questions: Can technology improve student learning and cut costs? Will the balance among science and non-science fields be affected, and with what results? What are the most promising experiments in unconventional education? How can we reach wider and more diverse audiences?

11:15 – noon
What will make a great teacher and university of tomorrow?

Ken Bain, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of the District of Columbia

In his 2005 book, Our Underachieving College, Derek Bok points out that research universities like Harvard traditionally pay great respect to the value of research in every area, except one: the research on how university students learn and how best to foster that learning. As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, we can no longer afford such disregard of evidence-based practices. This talk discusses why universities must take up Bok’s challenge to better connect research on student learning to overall university goals and practices.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Discussion
What are relevant national frameworks for innovation?

Eduardo Ochoa, President, California State University, Monterey Bay

1:45 p.m. – 3:41 p.m.
Summary: What are the implications?

  • Ángel Cabrera, President
  • Peter N. Stearns, Provost and Executive Vice-President, Academic Affairs
  • Kim Eby, Associate Provost, Fac Dev/Dir Teaching and Faculty Excellence Center
  • James Goodlett McDaniel, Associate Provost, Distance Education
  • Janette Kenner Muir, Associate Provost, Undergraduate Education
  • Sharon Pitt, Executive Director, Division of Instructional Technology