Harvard Summit on Excellence in Higher Education: Exploring Our Contributions to the Public Good

In an era when Americans increasingly question the value of higher education, the second Harvard Summit on Excellence in Higher Education will probe the question of whether - and how - a liberal arts and science education serves the ‘public good.’  The Summit will convene faculty and university leaders dedicated to undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. Speakers will include senior leaders from colleges and universities, as well as from government and business. Each will share their perspective on how a liberal arts and sciences education can effectively enable students to contribute to the public good.  They also will share their perspective, often based on concrete evidence, on how well their campuses are doing right now. Additional speakers will present case studies highlighting curricular programs and/or courses that connect students with the broader community and foster skills and habits of mind that prepare students to contribute productively to society. Speakers will illustrate both successes and challenges, and our goal is to emphasize evidence-based examples.  Each participant will leave the Summit with several concrete strategies that they can implement on their campus, to connect their undergraduate curriculum with the public good in compelling ways.