Lafayette to Host Conference on Future of Liberal Arts College

President Daniel H. Weiss and Rebecca Chopp, president of Swarthmore College, will host a groundbreaking conference on the future of the liberal arts college in America at Lafayette April 9-11, 2012.

Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the two-day forum will feature the presidents of several of the nation’s top colleges presenting their perspectives on a range of topics, including the role of the small residential college, economics and affordability, technological change and mission, extension of traditional boundaries, governance, and changes in teaching, learning, and research.

Weiss and Eugene M. Tobin of the Mellon Foundation will open the conference with remarks on the changing landscape of higher education. William G. Bowen, president emeritus of the Mellon Foundation and of Princeton University, will give a keynote address.

The conference is expected to attract an audience of college presidents and other influential leaders in higher education. Its goals are to identify and analyze key environmental factors and internal drivers that affect the mission and sustainability of residential liberal arts colleges, discover what existing pilots and/or best practices hold promise for future development, and explore new narratives and models of the liberal arts to guide undergraduate education in the 21st century.