From the Desk of the Chancellor, Jan. 26, 2010
Chancellor Charles R. Bantz View print-quality image
January 26, 2010
- Diane Brown
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IUPUI is firmly committed to the value of liberal education and the importance of the campus in the economic, educational, and cultural development of central Indiana. Therefore in 2009, I joined in establishing the Presidents’ Trust, whose members have pledged to make the case for liberal education and its civic and economic value in today’s world. We will do so, in part, using data gathered by the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ “Liberal Education & America’s Promise” (LEAP) initiative. IUPUI hosted a meeting of this group last June.
In a study just released at the AAC&U annual meeting, employers surveyed by Hart Research Associates said they “want their employees to use a broader set of skills and have higher levels of learning and knowledge than in the past to meet the increasingly complex demands they will face in the workplace.” These employers endorsed learning outcomes for college graduates that are developed through a blend of liberal and applied learning. Good news for IUPUI since our commitment to the Principles of Undergraduate Learning means our graduates develop such a blend of liberal and applied learning.
IUPUI’s commitment to liberal education for the 21st century began with the Hesburgh award-winning Principles of Undergraduate Learning, adopted by our faculty more than a decade ago. The principles define expectations for skills all IUPUI graduates should have. As it happens, these are also skills employers want. Employers in the study reported being frustrated with their inability to find “360 degree people” who have the technical skills and the broader skills necessary for both the employee and the company to be successful.
Moreover, data show there is greater economic benefit for the liberally educated employee as well. From a federal database analyzing qualifications for 1,100 different jobs, there is consistent evidence that the highest salaries apply to positions that call for intensive use of liberal education, including writing, reasoning, judgment, decision making, problem solving, social/interpersonal skills, mathematics, and originality—all skills addressed within our Principles of Undergraduate Learning.
There is more information about the LEAP Initiative, the Presidents’ Trust, and its research at the AAC&U web site.