What is the Summit?

The Harvard Summit on Excellence in Higher Education engages a select group of senior leaders from great American universities. Each participant is committed to strengthening academic inclusion for all students on their campuses in productive ways.  

Participants will meet on the Harvard campus for one and a half days of intensive sessions. While many institutions have organized events focused broadly on inclusion, this Summit is a bit different – it focuses more specifically and sharply on “Academic Inclusion.” The goal is to grapple with emerging challenges of academic inclusion that participants’  campuses face. Participants will capitalize on their insights to share constructive ideas for change with one another at the Summit. They will share concrete examples of successes as well as real challenges – generally from their own campuses.

When and where will the Summit take place?

The Summit on Excellence in Higher Education will take place from approximately 1pm on September 21, 2017, and end around 3pm on September 22nd.  It will be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

Who are the participants?

The Summit on Inclusion includes Provosts, Deans, and Senior Faculty and Administrators from twenty of America’s great campuses. These are people with the capacity to lead change. The most actively sought participants are those who dare to be provocative, those with fresh — even unusual or unpopular — perspectives who aren’t afraid to challenge conventional wisdom among university leaders.  

Is there a special focus on certain ideas for this Summit?

A core theme will be the Summit’s strong emphasis to focus on concrete evidence, where such evidence is available. Evidence-based ideas and solutions will then be actively discussed and debated by the entire group.

We anticipate the big ideas that emerge at our Harvard Summit can be “taken back home” to each participating campus. It may turn out that ideas generated at the Summit will extend, over time, far beyond the original Summit participants to many other campuses.

Who is sponsoring this Summit?

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard is sponsoring the Harvard Summit on Excellence in Higher Education.  

What is the Harvard Summit on Excellence in Higher Education?

Based on the successful Harvard Assessment Summits held in the 1990's and sponsored by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, this event is the first of a series of annual summits that will address different topics in higher education.  In 2017 we chose to specifically focus on Academic Inclusion; rooted in the relevant national conversations of the past year, the Summit will focus on issues of Inclusion, primarily issues of Academic Inclusion with recognition of personal and social factors as well. The goal of the summits will be to 1) engage a select group of senior leaders from great American universities; 2) grapple with emerging challenges in higher education that participating campuses face; 3) capitalize on insights to share constructive ideas for change with one another; and 4) share concrete examples of successes as well as real challenges with a focus on evidence-based ideas and solutions.

Who benefits from this program and from the Summit?

There are several beneficiaries.  First is the American higher education system. Many universities can benefit from an infusion of fresh and innovative thinking about how to most constructively encourage academic inclusion for all students.  Second are faculty members who play a critical role in implementing new ideas on any campus. It is generally faculty who will work to implement new ways to enhance students’ engagement. Third are campus leaders, the Provosts and Deans and other people on any campus who can actually “make things happen,” both inside and outside of the classroom.

We hope at a time when so many different campuses are working to create a broadly inclusive environment on campus for all students, that the Harvard Summit’s specific focus on academic inclusion - in a strong context of academic excellence - will generate ideas that participants find both useful and actionable. Participants will hear several concrete, successful examples to illustrate academic inclusion, as well as learn about struggles at various campuses.

Over a period of time we anticipate that some of the Summit’s best ideas for strengthening academic inclusion – for a broad range of students – will take root at many of America’s great universities.

I can't come to the Summit, can I send someone in my place?

If you are unable to attend this Summit, you may send one person in your place.  Please bear in mind that the intended audience for this Summit is Provosts, Deans, and Senior Administrators who can actively contribute to breakout conversations around topics of Academic Inclusion on their home campuses.  If you have additional questions about this, please email Colleen Noonan.

I'd like to bring an additional person from my University- is that possible?

We have limited attendance to very few people (1-2) from each school with the deliberate intention of creating dynamic breakout sessions and powerful small-group discussions.  As mentioned above, please bear in mind that the intended audience for this Summit is Provosts, Deans, and Senior Administrators who can actively contribute to breakout conversations around topics of Academic Inclusion on their home campuses.  If you have additional questions about this, please email Colleen Noonan as there may be a waitlist.

I have questions about the Summit, who can I contact?

Please email Colleen Noonan with any inquiries around this event.