Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Reinventing Liberal Education

Reinventing Liberal Education

A National Symposium

Fall 2013


1. Presentations

How should we rethink and reshape liberal education for the 21st century? How can we maintain our commitment to the goals of liberal learning during a time of urgent economic and social pressures? How can we ensure that our colleges are providing the type of liberal education that empowers new graduates to become engaged participants in a complex global society?

The emerging challenges of the 21st century – such as climate change and cross-cultural cooperation – will require creative and flexible thinking that involves the integration of multiple skills and perspectives. Undergraduate liberal education has traditionally developed students’ capacities of open-minded inquiry and critical thinking, while expanding their intellectual horizons through guided engagement with the arts, literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

In recent years, however, some critics have chastised liberal education as being an ivory tower indulgence that is losing its relevance in an increasingly competitive global economy. The recent economic crisis, coupled with pessimistic employment prospects for many college graduates, has generated pressure on colleges to increase their focus on vocational training. The rising costs of college tuition during a time of economic hardship have prompted more students and parents to scrutinize the monetary value of a college degree.

These countervailing trends of criticism and support have placed the liberal arts at a critical juncture. During this two-day symposium, through keynote presentations, plenary panels, and breakout sessions, we will have the opportunity to discuss insights and strategies for promoting the liberal arts.

In November 2013 faculty members and other representatives of Faculty Resource Network institutions addressed these questions and issues during a national symposium on “Reinventing Liberal Education,” hosted by University of Miami in Miami, Florida.

In this eleventh issue of our online NETWORK: A Journal of Faculty Development, we present excerpts from a number of the presentations that were delivered during that symposium.


A Plea for Close Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Scott L. Newstok, Rhodes College.

Back to the Basics: Innovative Strategies to Prepare Traditional and Adult Learners in the Social Sciences for 21st Century Workforce
Excerpts from a presentation by Nicola Davis Bivens, Anita Bledsoe-Gardner, and Dezette Johnson, Johnson C. Smith University.

Clearer Thinkers, Better People? Unpacking Assumptions in Liberal Education
Excerpts from a presentation by Eric Hartman, School of Leadership Studies, Kansas State University, and Antoinette Hertel, St. Joseph’s College of New York.

Empathetic Teaching Strategies for the College Classroom
Excerpts from a presentation by Janice L. Sumler-Edmond, Huston-Tillotson University.

Enhancing Student Learning Through Web 2.0 and Social Networking Technology
Excerpts from a presentation by Aditi Pai, Spelman College, Jim Stenerson, Pace University, and Michael Gaines, Miami University.

Expanding Liberal Education for Inclusion of Outreach Projects of Social Justice
Excerpts from a presentation by James P. Lawler, Pace University.

Globalizing Liberal Education: Study Abroad and the European History Class.
Excerpts from a presentation by Jeffrey Gaab, Farmingdale State College (SUNY).

Going Global: Students’ Opportunities and Choices
Excerpts from a presentation by Richard Vogel, Farmingdale State College.

Judgment and Democracy
Excerpts from a presentation by Evelyn Wortsman Deluty, Nassau Community College.

Liberal Education with a Passport
Excerpts from a presentation by James Blakeley, Thomas Petriano, and Wendy C. Turgeon, St. Joseph’s College.

Old MacDonald’s Farm and the Liberal Arts
Excerpts from the keynote presentation by Catharine R. Stimpson, New York University.

PACEPrep: A Preparatory Course for Incoming First Year Students to Pace University (2013)
Excerpts from a presentation by Andrés Villagrá, Pace University.

Paradox of Liberal Education: Interfacing Technology with Student-Centered and Student-Led Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Alice E. Stephens, Clark Atlanta University, April D. Lundy, Clark Atlanta University, Rosalee Martin, Huston-Tillotson University, and Pamela Waldron-Moore, Xavier University of Louisiana.

Re-Authenticating the Dialogue Among the Disciplines in Liberal Education: Bridging the Gap With Art and Technology
Excerpts from a presentation by Estelle L. Finley, Spelman College.

Supporting Liberal Education for Divergent/Convergent Student Populations
Excerpts from a presentation by Joanna Davis-Showell, Bethune-Cookman University, Leslie Baker-Kimmons, Chicago University, and Deborah L. Freckleton, Bethune-Cookman University.

Women in Law, History and Literature: A Study of the Historical and Contemporary Legal Status of Women in American Society as Infused With the Liberal Arts
Excerpts from a presentation by Audrey Wolfson Latourette, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.