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Conference Schedule

All events will be held at the College of Saint Benedict on Monday and Tuesday and Saint John's University on Wednesday. All sessions held at Saint Ben's will be in the Gorecki Center unless otherwise noted. Conference materials will be available on [email protected].

Monday, July 11

2 - 6 p.m.
Registration and Check-in

6 - 8 p.m.

Opening Plenary Session and Dinner — What is College For?

Dr. Andrew Delbanco, Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies at Columbia University
Introduction by Dr. Mary Dana Hinton and Dr. Michael Hemesath, Conference Co-Hosts

At a time of rising public anxiety about the cost and value of liberal education, Andrew Delbanco, author of College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be?, will speak about the past, present, and future of a distinctive institution: the American college. How can we help students become active citizens and fulfilled human beings? How can we know if a college education is effective—and to what end? Educators must help to frame and answer these urgent questions; otherwise others will do it for us.

8 - 9:30 p.m.
Social Hour with Random Road

Random Road is a group of talented local musicians making music in and around the St. Joseph and St. Cloud areas. Through alumnae/I and former and current employees, the band has many connections to the CSB/SJU community and is excited to be a part of Liberal Arts Illuminated and support the benefits of a liberal arts education. "We hope you enjoy our music and have a successful conference filled with enthusiasm and new ideas."

Tuesday, July 12

6:30 - 7:30 a.m.
Yoga, Haehn Campus Center, Lower Level
Instructor: Jessie L. Sandoval, J.S. Wellness, Inc.

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Hot Buffet Breakfast

8:30 - 10 a.m.

The Liberal Arts Experience Panel Discussion

High-impact teaching and learning practices are generally seen as hallmarks of liberal arts colleges. The enhanced engagement and learning outcomes associated with these practices have been objectively confirmed. What are the specific strengths of the liberal arts experience? Are there some unfounded assumptions about the advantages of liberal arts colleges over other academic models, and are there opportunities to strengthen all of our institutions by building upon the most successful models among our peer campuses?

10 - 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Challenging the Constraints: The Economic Issues Panel Discussion

The Wall Street and Main Street economies present two different tales, one of growth and productivity, the other of continued uncertainty and no small measure of fear.  Led by economic, demographic, and cultural changes that converged during the depths of the Great Recession, the higher education landscape has been reshaped in ways that demand renewed consideration of value and vision.  This conversational session will examine the economics of the new marketplace and their implications for colleges and universities. 

11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Luncheon Plenary Session — Public Policy and the Liberal Arts

Dr. Zakiya Smith, Lumina Foundation
Introduction by Mr. Paul Cerkvenik, Minnesota Private College Council

Many seem to feel that the liberal arts are under attack, particularly by those with an adversarial agenda in political office. Policies that focus exclusively on quantitative outcomes seem to reduce higher education to that which can be counted and minimize the true impact of higher education for both individuals and society as a whole. What are the factors influencing policymakers shift towards an outcomes-based focus? And where do the liberal arts fit into these considerations?

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Challenging the Constraints: Access Panel Discussion

This session begins with the premise that liberal arts colleges provide value to their students, and that this valuable experience should be accessible to all students. Yet political conversations about accessible (and even free) education for all students often focus on vocational preparation and community colleges as the primary higher education delivery vehicle for the majority of students. At this session, panelists will discuss how we ensure broad financial, social and cultural access to a liberal arts education.

2:30 - 3 p.m.
Afternoon Break

3 - 4:30 p.m.

What Makes the Liberal Arts Essential for the Next 50 Years? Panel Discussion

Liberal arts education, and each small college that delivers it quintessentially well, now occupies a tenuous position in our society. If the liberal arts are to be as foundational to our future as our past — capable of effecting a more connected, informed, and civic-minded nation and a more humane and just world — then what must we do differently, and how might we shape a new conversation with the public?  In this discussion session, liberal arts college leaders will look to the future of liberal arts colleges.  What is changing, what needs to change, and what are commitments that should endure even in the midst of change?

4:30 - 5:15 p.m.

CSB Mall

5:15 - 7:30 p.m.

Dinner and Plenary Session — Transforming Students, Transforming Ourselves 

Dr. Rebecca Chopp, University of Denver
Introduction by Dr. Jonathan Green, Illinois Wesleyan University
Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center

No form of education is more dedicated to the ongoing transformation of students, knowledge and society than the American liberal arts model. But in the midst of all the challenges and possibilities facing us, naming our own emerging transformations is difficult. Old categories fail to describe our new realities, and new concepts often seem superficial. Yet a powerful framing is necessary for people to understand us and to allow us to effect the transformations that are so fundamental to our mission

7:30 - 9 p.m.
Evening Entertainment: Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience

The Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience performs a swinging big band sound fused with a modern day mix of genres. Blending the musical stylings of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Michael Bublé, the Big Band Experience performs innovative, energetic and upbeat shows that audiences remember long afterward. The sizzling eight-piece bank is led by crooner Shaun Johnson, who is no stranger to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University as a 1994 graduate of SJU.

Wednesday, July 13

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Buffet Breakfast

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.

Morning Plenary Session — New Business Models for Higher Education

Mr. Rick Beyer, AGB Institutional Strategies
Introduction by Dr. Andrew Lounder, Association of Governing Boards of Universites and Colleges

The change in higher education's competitive landscape has become a challenge for colleges and universities across the country. Institutions struggle to match revenues with expenditures, while simultaneously trying to cope with lower net revenue per student, rising labor costs, evolving consumer behaviors, and shifting student demographics. As a result, institutions are forced to address critical business model issues. Too often, liberal arts institutions get stuck in a survival mindset, trying to keep above water with day-to-day challenges. To reach sustainable prosperity, liberal arts institutions need to rely on creativity and innovation in order to find opportunities for growth. This conversation will outline key business model issues and major trends in the future of higher education.

9:45 - 10 a.m.
Morning Break

10 - 11:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Liberal Arts Curricular Models
    Dr. Debra Humphreys, Association of American Colleges & Universities
    Moderated by Dr. Emily Esch, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

    Creative faculty members across the country are developing new approaches to designing general education and major curricular pathways.  The session will explore these new approaches that connect students' deep engagement with substantive bodies of knowledge and challenge students to integrate and apply intellectual skills to relevant and societally and important problems.

  2. Turbulent Waters: The Economic Future of America's Colleges and Universities
    Dr. Robert Archibald, College of William and Mary
    Moderated by Mr. Amit Mrig, Academic Impressions

    A range of apparent threats loom over higher education, including internal threats, environmental threats and technological threats. But still, the future of higher education isn't as dire as some have made it out to be. This session will focus on the economics of higher education, including some of the biggest issues facing institutions today, such as tuition dependency, cost, state support and technology. Each of these issues will be relevant to the evolution of the liberal arts college.

  3. Collaboration in Higher Education
    Dr. Mary Dana Hinton, College of Saint Benedict
    Dr. Michael Hemesath, Saint John's University
    Moderated by Mr. Jon McGee, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

    In the face of significant economic challenges, the idea of educational institutions working together to obtain efficiencies has gained significant ground. The idea of collaboration is great in theory, but where exactly does one start? The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are two independent colleges who collaborate at the heart of their liberal arts mission. This session will share lessons learned in 50 years of collaboration and tips for building a partnership that puts students first.

  4. Higher Education Media and the Liberal Arts
    Mr. Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
    Ms. Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
    Ms. Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune
    Moderated by Dr. Richard Ice, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

    This panel discussion includes leaders in media covering higher education and will focus on the perspectives on and media coverage of the liberal arts. Key issues to be discussed include: How are the liberal arts understood in various publics? How are messages about the liberal arts conveyed publicly? What are the central issues facing liberal arts institutions in various publics?

11:45 a.m. - noon
Closing Remarks — Conference Co-Hosts, Dr. Mary Dana Hinton and Dr. Michael Hemesath

Conference Adjourns —Lunch on Your Own