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Clark Kerr Symposium

The symposium will feature panel discussions focused on four themes related to higher education in public research universities:

Examining the benefits of a diverse student body

Perhaps more than any other kind of institution of higher education, public research universities are, by design, intended to offer high-quality educational experiences to the most qualified students across the socioeconomic spectrum. The population of qualified students in public research universities has become more ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse and inclusive. Panelists will examine the benefits and challenges of students experiencing a range of diverse living and learning environments.

Creating innovative curricula responsive to a changing world

Today’s curricula in most disciplines are dramatically different than the curricula of even a generation ago. Access to and retrieval of information has been transformed by information technology. Faculty deliver and students experience curricula in ways that were only imagined just 20 years ago. Entire new disciplines have been created from new knowledge and new frontiers of exploration. Multidisciplinary and multimedia approaches to teaching and learning are rapidly emerging. Changing workforce needs are placing new expectations on students as they emerge from higher education. How does the public research university adapt to these changes and adhere to its fundamental missions—teaching, research, and service?

Developing informed and engaged citizens

Public research universities play a vital role in creating an educated workforce that keeps the nation’s economy competitive. Universities must also create environments in which their graduates are informed about and engaged in their communities and the world around them. How do these institutions create environments that make natural the communication—between student and teacher, between students, and between fields of study—that is essential to the enjoyment of learning and thus promotes lifelong learning?

Preparing students to make meaningful contributions to society

Students who emerge from the nation’s public research universities will become leaders, in industry and a wide variety of commercial activities, in scientific and technological careers, in K-12 education, in higher education, and in public service at all levels. Are our institutions doing enough to ensure that students are prepared for the workforce at all levels and are able to grow into positions of leadership, creativity, and innovation?


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