Day One: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1:00-1:30 pm Welcome and Conference Overview

Nathan O. Hatch, President, Wake Forest University

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Dean of Wake Forest College, Wake Forest University

Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University

President Hatch will welcome conference attendees and provide his personal perspective for the future of America’s liberal arts universities and colleges if we stick with the status quo. Dean Fetrow will provide context for why this issue is so important to liberal arts colleges and how to engage faculty in this crucial conversation. Vice President Chan will outline the purpose and goals for the conference and review the agenda and logistical information.

1:30-3:00 pm  The Historical Perspective


Andrew Delbanco, Director, American Studies, Columbia University

Stanley N. Katz, Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University


Michele Gillespie, Kahle Associate Professor of History, and former Associate Provost, Wake Forest University

How have U.S. liberal arts colleges and universities changed over time?

How has the definition and perception of the liberal arts changed over time and why has it changed?

Given history, what can we forecast will happen to liberal arts institutions over the 21st Century?

3:00-3:15 pm   Break

3:15-4:45 pm   Employment and Market Data and Trends


Philip D. Gardner, Director of Research, Collegiate Employment Research Institute, Michigan State University

Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics; Founder,


Steve Nelson, Partner and Managing Director, Wakefield Group; Co-Chair, North Carolina Innovation Council

  • How are liberal arts students faring in the market today vs. 10, 20, 30 years ago?
  • What is the current state of the employment market and where is it headed?
  • What skills/education/experiences/mind-sets are most desired and expected by employers and graduate schools?
  • What is the economic value of specific majors and graduate schools? How does this value compare to the financial investment?

5:30-6:30 pm  Keynote Speech, Wait Chapel

Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State; Professor and Senior Fellow at Stanford University; Founding Partner, The Rice Hadley Group

The State of America and the Role of Higher Education

Day Two: Thursday, April 12, 2012

8:00-8:30 am  Continental Breakfast

8:30-10:00 am View from the Top – University Presidents


Christopher B. Howard, Hampden-Sydney College

David W. Oxtoby, Pomona College

Carol E. Quillen, Davidson College

Teresa A. Sullivan, University of Virginia


Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed

  • How are university presidents responding to a perceived decline in the value of a liberal arts education?
  • What concrete actions are these presidents taking to communicate the value of a liberal arts education to internal and external constituents?
  • What can we do to help/support all liberal arts institutions in facing this challenge?

10:00-10:15 am  Break

10:15-11:45 am   View from Liberal Arts Colleges


Stanton W. Green, Dean, McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Anthropology, Monmouth University

Martha O’Connell, Executive Director, Colleges That Change Lives, Inc.

Mark W. Roche, Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C Professor of German Language and Literature, and Concurrent Professor of Philosophy, and former Dean of the University of Notre Dame


Mary F. Foskett, Director, Humanities Institute, and Associate Professor of Religion, Wake Forest University

  • What practical skills do well-prepared liberal arts students bring to the marketplace and how do we best communicate those?
  • What sorts of schools are doing the best job of preparing those? How? What can be improved?
  • How can we communicate the value of a liberal arts education better, both internally and externally?
  • How can faculty be more effectively engaged in this process?

11:45-12:oo pm Break

12:00-1:30 pm  Lunch and Keynote Speech

AG Lafley, Former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Procter & Gamble; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Hamilton College

Employers and Colleges: Divergent Perspectives and Roles with Serious Consequences

1:30-3:00 pm  Understanding Today’s Students


Katharine S. Brooks, Director, Liberal Arts Career Services, University of Texas at Austin

Neil Howe, Partner and President, LifeCourse Associates

Caroline Naughton, Presidential Fellow, Office of Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University


Christy Buchanan, Professor of Psychology, Wake Forest University

  • What are students experiencing on the journey from college to career?
  • How does this experience compare to what they were expecting and what they need developmentally?
  • What do students want from their college faculty and career centers with regards to career and professional development, and graduate school assessment and preparation?
  • What must be done to motivate students to be engaged, informed and proactive in this process?

3:00-3:15 pm  Break

3:15-4:45 pm  View of the Current and Future World of Work


Donna A. Boswell, Partner, Hogan and Lovells

Marc B. Lautenbach, Managing Partner, Global Business Services, North America, IBM Corporation

John D. McConnell, Chief Executive Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Eric C. Wiseman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,VF Corporation


Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University

  • What organizations are most interested in hiring liberal arts students and why do they perceive them to be strong potential candidates?
  • What are organizations looking for in their entry-level hires and what specific knowledge, skills and competencies are they they expecting from today’s college student?
  • What types of 21st Century careers will be the most attractive and of greatest value to liberal arts students?
  • What must liberal arts colleges do to help their students be competitive and able to identify and secure fulfilling and meaningful work and lives?
  • How can liberal arts colleges and universities and their faculty work with employers to address these issues?

Day Three: Friday, April 13, 2012

8:00-8:30 am    Continental Breakfast

8:30-10:00 am  Real Transformational Change


Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University

Meredith Daw, Director of Career Advising and Planning Services, University of Chicago

Mark Smith, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director, Career Center, Washington University, St. Louis


Sheila Curran, President and Chief Strategy Consultant, Curran Career Consulting

  • Describe  your approach for preparing students for life and careers after college?
  • What circumstances and factors enabled transformational change to occur on your campus?
  • What were the key factors for success?
  • How have you developed partnerships with faculty, senior administration, and other important constituents and influencers?
  • How are you making this transformation a sustainable part of your culture?

10:00-10:15 am Break

10:15-11:45 am  Facilitated Breakouts-What Will We Take Back to Our Campuses and Implement?

Conference participants will be led in facilitated small group discussion and strategic planning to develop action plans for creating transformational change on their individual campuses.

11:45-1:15 pm Closing Remarks and Lunch

Nathan O. Hatch, President, Wake Forest University

Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Dean of Wake Forest College, Wake Forest University

Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University

Lessons from the conference, next steps to continue the dialogue and maintain momentum.