Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum, November 2-3, 2012

Dewberry Hall, Johnson Center

Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum website

Article by Catherine Probst   Mason News 

Colleges and universities across the country are struggling with the same problem: how to deliver education in a more cost-efficient manner while also being creative and innovative in improving the quality of education.

To address these issues, Mason will host educators, university administrators and practitioners for the “Forum on the Future of Higher Education” on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

The forum will include a series of panel discussions that focus on the practical implications of recent research on learning and assessment and lessons from alternative methods of delivering education effectively.

“This is both an exciting and challenging time for higher education, and a key theme of the forum is what we can do to improve learning, how we can respond to the evolving needs and lifestyles of students and how we can adapt to increasingly tight budgets,” says Mason President Ángel Cabrera. “This forum will provide an opportunity for us to engage in critical conversations that will lead us toward a new vision and strategic plan for the university.”

Panel discussions will take place throughout the day on topics such as more effective teaching and better learning outcomes; lessons to be learned from for-profits and online programs; additional opportunities for uses of technology; and how to effect change in large, public universities.

Panelists will include Mason faculty, as well as other distinguished speakers, including members of the media, higher education and education-related businesses and associations. Some of these speakers include Anya Kamenetz, author of “DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education;” Jeffrey Selingo, editor-at-large of the Chronicle of Higher Education; and Alexander McCormick, director of the National Survey of Student Engagement.

“As we consider the future of higher education, the forum will provide an opportunity for practitioners and administrators at all levels to discuss some of the most important issues we are facing in the field,” says Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “The forum is intended to open the door for discussion of new ideas on how to prepare for future planning in higher education, but not offer a precise agenda for change.”

A number of sponsors are contributing to the Higher Education Forum including Kaplan Inc.; Blackboard; and the Learning House Inc.

A limited number of seats are available to the Mason community. For more information about the higher education forum and a complete schedule of events, visit the website.

Write to Catherine Probst at