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'Armageddon' speaker continues series on higher ed's future

Robert Zemsky, professor and chair of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak on "A Faculty Encamped Just North of Armageddon" on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

His presentation will be at 4 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library, immediately followed by a question-and-answer session.

The event is the second in a series of talks sponsored by the University Senate entitled, "Shaping Emory's Future: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century." The series examines critical issues affecting the future of private research universities.

Elaborating upon the title of his program, Zemsky writes: "As faculty members we have proved reluctant partners for that growing army of policy wonks and political operatives determined to lessen the academy's independence … it is in this sense that most of us remain encamped just north of Armageddon."

Zemsky is the founding director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. He is the author of many books, including "Remaking the American University" (Rutgers University Press 2005) and "Making Reform Work" (Rutgers University Press 2009).

His research focuses upon helping institutions of higher education balance their commitment to their mission while remaining "market smart."

Peers have described him as a strong voice for college reform and a premier thought leader for American higher education, crediting Zemsky for using solid data and common sense in providing pragmatic strategies for improvement.

Named in 1998 by "Change" magazine as one of higher education's top-40 leaders, Zemsky also served as the co-director of the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, as a senior scholar with the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, and as chair and convener of the Pew Higher Education Roundtable.

The "Shaping Emory's Future: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century" series continues with:

  • "The Law of More: Unmanaged Cost Growth in Universities" by Jeff Denneen, Bain & Company. Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 4 p.m. (location TBA)

  • "Financial Aid: Moral Imperative, Competitive Tool, or Unsustainable Burden?" by Sandy Baum, Skidmore College professor emerita and senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education. Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 4 p.m., Jones Room, Woodruff Library.

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