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Conference Speakers


The 2012 Summer Institute keynote speakers are Lloyd Armstrong, John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot, and Stephen Chew:

Wednesday, June 20: Lloyd Armstrong, Professor and Provost Emeritus, University of Southern California

The Rapidly Changing Environment for Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunitites

Description: A perfect storm of long term economic problems, demographic changes, increasing international competition, and rising educational costs is drastically changing the environment for higher education in the US. The status quo is very likely to be unsustainable for most institutions of higher education. In such times, successful institutions will look closely and creatively at the most central parts of their missions, and seek new ways in which they can carry out that core mission even more effectively and efficiently than in the past.

A physicist who earned his PhD from UC-Berkeley before becoming Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Armstrong is an affiliated professor in the Unviersity of Southern California's Rossier School's Pullias Center for Higher Education.  His main focus is university leadership, knowledge production, and change.  He served as the university's provost from 1993 to 2005.  His accomplishments include the overhaul of the core undergraduate curriculum and the university's student-recruitment program, as well as the creation and implementation of the 1994 strategic plan and its 1998 update, all of which have transformed USC into one fo the most selecteive unversities in the coungtry.  Following this plan, the university significantly revamped its undergraduate programs, greatly encouraged and strenghtened interdisciplinary research and teaching and significantly increased its already strong emphasis on the benefits of globalization for its faculty and students.  Dr. Armstrong is the recipient of the University of Southern California's highest honor, the Presidential Medallion.


Thursday, June 21:John N. Gardner, President, and Betsy O. Barefoot, Vice President and Senior Scholar,
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Achieving Educational and Market Distinctiveness in the First Year of College and Beyond

Description: Betsy Barefoot and John Gardner, this year's recipients of the Association's Ernest L. Boyer award, will share with us their thoughts about the importance of the beginning college experience and how that experience lays the foundation for our efforts in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. They will share data from a new survey that investigates academic and student support programs for all undergraduate students. They will argue the need for a strong vision of educational excellence as a means of promoting student learning, enhancing retention rates, and assuring institutional distinctiveness.

Dr. Gardner is the president of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, which he and his wife, Dr. Betsy O. Barefoot, founded in October 1999.  He is an educator, university professor and administrator, author, editor, public speaker, consultant, change agent, student retention specialist, first-year students' advocate, and initiator and scholar of the American first -year and senior-year reform movements.  The Gardner Institute works with colleges and universities to strengthen resolve and processes for the undertaking of assessment and improvement of student learning and retention.  Currently, the institute's work focuses on implementing a previously non-existent set of aspirational standards for the first-year and the transfer student experiences.  These standards are known as "Foundational Dimensions" in a process called Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year or Foundations of Excellence--Transfer Focus.

At the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Dr. Barefoot is directly involved in the development of instruments and strategies to evaluate and improve the first-year experience. She conducts seminars on the first-year experience and assists colleges and universities in implementing and evaluating first-year programs.  Prior to this position, Dr. Barefoot served as co-director for Research and Publications in the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.  There, she engaged in ongoing research on first-year programming in American higher education and co-edited a number of publications.  Dr. Barefoot also served as a clinical faculty member in the university's college of Education and taught graduate courses in Principles of College Teaching, Contemporary Trends, and Issues in Higher Education, a special topics seminar on the First-Year Experience, as well as the University 101 first-year seminar. 

Friday, June 22: Stephen L. Chew, Professor and Chair of Psychology, Samford University
Making Students More Effective Learners by Challenging their Misconceptions about Learning

Description: Psychology professor Stephen L. Chew shares his experiences with programs he designed to help students transition to college-level work and success. As its major emphasis, one program involves identifying and correcting common student misconceptions that undermine their learning. The success of his work in this area spawned a follow-up program for at-risk students and the creation of a series of brief videos on how to study. In this presentation, Chew discusses the development of the programs, demonstrates some of the activities involved, and explores how teachers can make the best use of the “how to study” videos in their courses.

Dr. Chew has been a professor and chair of psychology at Samford University since 1993.  He is trained as a cognitive psychologist and is now a recognized authority on teaching research, theory, and practice.  One of his primary research areas is the cognitive basis of effective teaching.  Other areas include the use of examples in teaching, the tenacious misconceptions that students bring with them into the classroom, and the role of questions in learning.  He has received local and national awards for the quality of his teaching.  Most recently, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Dr. Chew the 2011 US Professor of the Year for Master's Universities and Colleges.