Office of Communications Staff Website

Nationally Distinguished Scholars and Leaders
to Discuss the Future of Higher Education

Salt Lake City-September 9, 2002 -On Saturday, October 19, Westminster College will host the first coordinated, collective response to the two-year study, Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College, by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Westminster's symposium, "Changes, Challenges, Choices: Undergraduate Education in the 21st Century," will consist of a panel of nationally distinguished scholars and higher education leaders discussing the changing nature of higher education. This interactive, innovative symposium, will help initiate the national conversation that will follow the release of the AAC&U's report at the end of September.

For the past two years, the AAC&U has been analyzing the societal challenges facing higher education. The initiative (Greater Expectations), culminated in an honest appraisal of the successes and failures in meeting those challenges. It argues that the current challenges require a radical rethinking of what we should expect from, and how we should provide, college education.

The symposium begins at 8:30 a.m. with an introduction of the panelists. Symposium attendees will then discuss specific topics in one-hour concurrent sessions led by national experts. The groups will again assemble for a 90-minute moderated roundtable discussion, where the session leaders will reflect the sentiments expressed in their individual concurrent sessions.

Concurrent session topics include: "Diversity as an Educational Resource," "The Changing Economics of Higher Education," "Values, Citizenship, and the Role of Liberal Learning," and "Student Learning: the Classroom and Beyond," a special session devoted to student concerns in which participants will read and discuss Richard J. Light's groundbreaking book Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds (Harvard University Press, 2001).

Panelists include:
Robert H. Atwell - President Emeritus, American Council on Education (roundtable moderator)

Edgar Beckham - Senior Fellow, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives

Cecelia H. Foxley - Commissioner of Higher Education, Utah

Alan E. Guskin - Co-Director and Senior Scholar, Project on the Future of Higher Education, Distinguished University Professor and President Emeritus, Antioch University

Evelyn Hu DeHart - Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University.

George D. Kuh - Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education, Indiana University

Jay Mathews - Washington Post education reporter and columnist

Rosalie Otero - President, National Collegiate Honors Council, Director of the Honors Program at the University of New Mexico

Carol Geary Schneider - President, Association of American Colleges and Universities

The symposium also coincides with the on-campus inauguration of Westminster's sixteenth president, Dr. Michael S. Bassis, a nationally known educator actively involved in the ongoing conversation on the quality of undergraduate education. His inauguration ceremony will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. following the symposium. For more information on either event, visit

Westminster College, Utah's only private, nondenominational, nonprofit college, prepares its students for personal and professional success through a foundation of liberal education, combined with professional programs that include vital technological and communication skills. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Westminster in the top tier of regional colleges and universities in the western United States for seven straight years. For more information, visit