Future of the University

Events autumn semester 2014:

September 18:

“Thinking about the University of the Future,” Richard Bjornson and Marilyn Waldman, from The University of the Future: Problems and Prospects (Center for Comparative Studies in the Humanities, 1990);

Humanities in the University: Retrospect and Prospect,” Andrew Delbanco (2004)   http://www.acls.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/OP/Occasional_Paper_063_2007.pdf

What were the main issues described in 1990 and 2004?  How were these addressed or how did the “university of the future” unfold to meet them?  What can we learn about “futuring” from reading these documents?  If we were to write a similar pieces today, what would the main challenges be?  What vision of the future would we enunciate?  What does it mean to “think about the future of the university?”

October 16: “Visions for the Humanities”

Reading/discussing recent reports from Harvard, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MLA that imagine a path forward for the humanities.

"The Heart of the Matter: The humanities and social sciences for a vibrant, competitive, and secure nation” American Academy of Arts and Sciences report; http://www.humanitiescommission.org/_pdf/hss_report.pdf

“The Teaching of the Arts and Humanities at Harvard College: Mapping the Future;”  http://artsandhumanities.fas.harvard.edu/files/humanities/files/mapping_the_future_31_may_2013.pdf

“Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature” http://www.mla.org/pdf/taskforcedocstudy2014.pdf

November 6: “Wither the Humanities?”

Reading/discussing recent articles that discuss the present state of and future prospects for the humanities

“As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/education/as-interest-fades-in-the-humanities-colleges-worry.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

“Why Teach English?” http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/why-teach-english

“Science Is Not Your Enemy” http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114127/science-not-enemy-humanities

“Crimes Against Humanities” http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114548/leon-wieseltier-responds-steven-pinkers-scientism

December 4:  “From Knowledge to Wisdom in the University”

Nicholas Maxwell, “From Knowledge to Wisdom: The Need for an Academic Revolution” in Ronald Barnett and Nicholas Maxwell, Wisdom in the University (Routledge 2008)

Do we agree with Maxwell’s assessment of the world today?  With his assessment of what the university can be doing to address these and, specifically, the role the humanities should be playing?

Events over the 2013-14 academic year: 

·         September 26, 2013: STEAM and the Future of the University, (Discussion with Roman Holowinsky, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the STEAM Factory)

·         October 24, 2013: "The Remediation of Higher Education and the Harm of Student Debt" presentation by Jeff Williams, Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University

·         December 5, 2013 book discussion of Creating the Market University
February 26, 2014 "Is there a Future for the Graduate Seminar?" Discussion of article published by Frank Donoghue, Professor of English

·         March 27, Trends in Higher Education (with the Center for Higher Education Enterprise) Presentations by Gordon Gee, Wayne Carlson and David Staley, video of presentations at http://chee.osu.edu/enterprise-lab/2014/04/trends-in-undergraduate-education/

Then break out discussions with 70+ participants.  Results of these discussions at http://chee.osu.edu/assets/uploads/CHEE%20Discussion%20on%20Trends%20in%20Undergrad%20Education.pdf

·         April 22, 2014 "The Current Health and Future Well-Being of the American Research University" Discussion of a recent research report. 

For next year, we would like to host a symposium on the topic “The Future of Education for Citizenship.”

For the past two academic years, a group of faculty, staff and graduate students from a number of departments in the arts and sciences have been gathering as a book group to read and reflect upon important books on the current status and future prospects of the university.  Those meetings will continue, on a monthly basis, organized as a Humanities Institute working group.  This group will continue to read/discuss books, and invite some authors to campus via Skype video.  Books to be discussed for the first year include:

•         Tara Brabazon, The University of Google: Education in the [Post] Information Age

•         Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change

•         Andrew Delbanco, College: What it Was, Is, And Should Be

•         Robert Archibald and David Feldman, Why Does College Cost So Much?

•         Ben Wildavsky, The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World

•         Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein, Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century

•         William Bowen, Higher Education in a Digital Age

Other colleagues in the area, including the presidents of the Columbus College of Art and Design, Otterbein and Ohio Dominican, will be invited to share research and discuss essays. The working group will culminate in a two-day conference with discussions and presentations on the future of the university.

Coordinated by

Angela BrintlingerFrank DonoghueHarvey GraffRobert HolubDavid Staley

Angela Brintlinger,  Frank Donoghue,   Harvey Graff,        Robert Holub,     and     David Staley