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Speakers to lead discussion on Miami Plan redesign

03/26/2012

As part of the universitywide conversation on the Miami Plan redesign, two guest speakers will present "Liberal Education in the 21st Century: Miami University and the National Conversation" 3-4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, 100 Laws Hall. The presentation will repeat 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, March 30, 116 Phillips Hall.

Kevin Hovland and Paul Gaston, two representatives from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), will reflect with the Miami community on recent trends in liberal education to help inform the dialogue on the future of the Miami Plan.

Aside from two public presentations, the speakers will meet with members of the Miami Plan Redesign Task Force, the Liberal Education Council, and Miami’s Shared Futures team, which is working with AAC&U to develop global learning curricula here and across the country. Miami's office of liberal education and office of the provost are sponsoring the speakers.

Hovland is senior director of Global Initiatives and Curricular Change at the Association of American Colleges and Universities where he works in the office of diversity, equity, and global initiatives. He is responsible for the Shared Futures initiative. The ongoing Shared Futures project, “General Education for a Global Century,” encourages colleges and universities to use global learning outcomes as an organizing principle for more coherent and comprehensive general education curricular designs.

Hovland is the author of the AAC&U monograph, Shared Futures: Global Learning and Liberal Education, as well as several articles further articulating global learning as an essential outcome of liberal education. He is also program director for AAC&U’s annual meeting, assistant director of an NEH-funded curriculum and faculty development project, "Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking," and executive editor of Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures, an AAC&U periodical.

Gaston has served as a frequent presenter on liberal education, most recently at Virginia Tech University and many others. He is a faculty member of long standing in the annual Institute on General Education sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

His most recent books are Revising General Education, co-authored with Jerry Gaff (2009), The Challenge of Bologna: What U.S. Higher Education Has to Learn from Europe and Why It Matters That We Learn It (2010), and General Education and Liberal Learning (2010).

His scholarly articles consider subjects as varied as the Italian novel, computer-dominated futures trading, the future of the book, the Bologna Process, interart analogies, the poetry of George Herbert, the fiction of Walker Percy, and minor league baseball. One of four authors of Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile (January 2011), he serves as a consultant to Lumina Foundation on its implementation and makes frequent presentations describing its development and potential uses.

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