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Lecture, discussion to explore challenges facing liberal arts education

Emory Report | Sept. 29, 2015

A lecture and discussion on the challenging future of the liberal arts in American higher education will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. 

“The Liberal Arts in the Breach” will be presented by James F. Jones, who was most recently president of Sweet Briar College.

During Jones’ tenure at Sweet Briar, the difficult and controversial decision was made to close the institution. Sufficient funds were raised by the Sweet Briar alumnae to keep the school open for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Jones fears that Sweet Briar’s situation will confront other liberal arts colleges in the not too distant future.

The discussion will focus on the general challenges facing liberal arts education, at a time when almost all colleges and universities are facing enormous fiscal and other pressures.

“Jones will deal with the broader issues at stake in this debate out of his own experience as a scholar, teacher and administrator,” says James W. Flannery,  who is organizing the event under the auspices of the Atlanta and Emory chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

These are important issues and there is an opportunity to better understand the challenges facing liberal arts colleges, according to Flannery, who is director of the W.B. Yeats Foundation and Emory’s Winship Professor Emeritus of the Arts and Humanities.

The lecture and the discussion that follows are being presented by the Metropolitan Atlanta Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa in conjunction with Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Emory.