Thursday, January 14, 2010

5. Transformational Leadership

These may sound like impossible changes for the Academy undertake.

Yet there are leaders committing to transforming higher education:

Leaders like Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, who has led his university colleagues in developing The New American University.

And lest you think that adopting such a shamefully "vocational" view of higher education is something that only public campuses might consider, let me refer you to Liz Coleman, President of Bennington College, who has called for a Reinvention of Liberal Arts Education.

In her 18-minute TED talk, she throws down a dramatic indictment of the failure of liberal arts education, and makes a compelling case for the change her college is undertaking. (Who here has seen that talk? For the rest of you, if there is one thing I hope you takeaway from my presentation, it is to go to, search for Liz Coleman, and listen to her talk!)

While I'm convinced of the need to change and am staggered by the challenges ahead, I'm buoyed by President Coleman's closing words in her talk.

I share her hope that America's educators – the single biggest concentration of intelligence this country has – will change their historical practices and start creating the future we all need.

I look forward to working with you to be part of that change. Thank you.

(return to start of my remarks ➛)

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