Earlier this week, the ACM office hosted the Institute on College Futures here in Chicago. This was my first opportunity to attend the event and to say it was impressive would be an understatement. Faculty and administrators from all 14 member campuses attended the institute. Throughout the two-day event, participants were given information on the following topics:
- The Economics of Higher Education - Jill Tiefenthaler (President, Colorado College)
- The Tuition Driven School’s Dilemma - Scott Bierman (President, Beloit College)
- The Liberal Arts College Financial Model - Michael T. Orr (Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Lake Forest College)
- Financial Challenges for the Future - David Wheaton (Vice President for Administration and Finance, Macalester College)
In addition to hearing from experts in the field of higher education finance, participants were also broken out into groups to react and engage about current events and articles surrounding this topic and the sector issue of “why college costs so much.” The dialogue was robust and impactful at all of the sessions. Finally, participants were charged with creating specific ways to encourage discussion and continue the conversation on their campuses. After doing so, they were asked to share with other campuses and then the larger group.
The conversations and discussions revolved around how to show the value of a liberal arts education and demystified what the true cost of attending college is. Most importantly, however, students and creating an environment that was conducive to learning were at the heart of the discussion. So, although it was not focused directly on technology, although it did come up as both a cost and a benefit, this allowed me and my colleagues to gain an even deeper understanding of the already rich relationship of collaboration that exists at the ACM.
For more information on the Institute, you can click on the link above. To see summary videos by the presenters, click here.