September 22, 2003
Kerr Symposium kicks off weekend celebration
Event will bring together some of the countrys
biggest names in higher education
By Jennifer McNulty
Theres something for everyone the weekend of October 10-12, when
UCSC celebrates the student experience with a scholarly conference,
a fundraising dinner, and the dedication of College Nine and College
The first annual Clark Kerr Symposium on Friday, October 10, will
bring together some of the countrys biggest names in higher education
to discuss the role of public research universities in the 21st century.
The symposium begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the College
9/10 Dining Hall. Preregistration is
encouraged online. A continental breakfast
for registered guests will begin
at 8 a.m.
Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood will welcome the guests, including Richard
Atkinson, who steps down as UC president October 1.
Atkinson will deliver the keynote speech. Also returning to UCSC will
be Chancellor Emeritus Karl Pister.
Panel discussions during the daylong symposium will address topics
such as the benefits of student diversity, creating innovative curricula,
and how best to develop the leaders of tomorrow.
Phillip Long (Cowell 76), senior strategist for academic computing
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is looking forward to
participating in the curricula discussion. MIT is at the forefront of
efforts to use technology to support new teaching strategies, including
an innovative approach to introductory physics called Studio Physics,
Instead of a 600-student lecture course, introductory physics at MIT
is now taught in 100-student active learning sessions. Students
sit in groups of nine at tables outfitted with a video projector and
screen, a whiteboard with a camera, and three laptops. Instructors deliver
20-minute mini lectures that introduce a concept or problem, then monitor
student teams as they perform calculations, do traditional experiments,
and run simulations.
Technology facilitates student work and faculty feedback, explained
Long, adding that he believes higher education is in for some radical
changes driven by technology.
Higher education institutions, next to the church, are the most
conservative institutions in the world, said Long. Theyve
resisted pressure to radically change how they do and present education,
which has been beneficial. They remain largely unchanged since the late
But the growth of interdisciplinary and global collaboration has changed
the way work and science are done--its not a lone researcher
in his lab publishing papers anymore--and colleges and universities
must modify the way they deliver education to prepare students to participate
in todays world.
Its not about students sitting in seats for 50-minute lectures
three times a week, said Long, who conceded that MITs new
approach to physics education has met with mixed reviews.
Its controversial, he said. Some of the students
have trouble with it, because theyre used to working more independently,
and they dont like having their grade depend in part on how well
their team does. Some faculty, too, dislike the redesigned course,
which is in its final year of a three-year pilot phase.
As chair of the Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning for the National
Learning Insfrastructure Initiative and author of a column called Technology
Trends for Syllabus magazine, Long brings well-rounded
expertise to what organizers hope will be a thought-provoking discussion.
Other participants throughout the day include Donald Kennedy, president
emeritus of Stanford University; I. Michael Heyman, chancellor emeritus
of UC Berkeley; Charles Young, chancellor emeritus of UCLA; Judith Ramaley,
assistant director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate
of the National Science Foundation; and James Duderstadt, president
emeritus of the University of Michigan. Leon Panetta, former White House
chief of staff under President Clinton, will also participate in the
On Saturday, October 11, the campus will celebrate its theme-oriented
residential colleges with the dedication of College Nine and College
Since its inception, UCSC has sought to create diverse living
and learning communities that cross disciplinary boundaries to prepare
students to tackle some of the worlds critical issues, said
Campbell Leaper, provost of the two colleges and a professor of psychology
at UCSC. Our new colleges continue this tradition of innovation.
The public ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at Colleges Nine and Ten.
That evening, the campus will host a first-ever gala dinner to raise
money for undergraduate and graduate students, and Atkinson will be
presented with the first UCSC Foundation Medal in recognition of his
On Sunday, October 12, current and alumni recipients of the Karl S.
Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards Program Scholarships will gather
for a reunion brunch. Established in 1993, the program helps students
from 13 regional community colleges transfer to UCSC.
That evening, the annual Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lecture hosts travel
writer and author Pico Iyer, who will discuss Islam and California:
A Cultural Romance, at 4 p.m. in the UCSC Recital Hall.
Other events taking place over the weekend include the annual Harvest
Festival at the UCSC Farm on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the quarterly
meeting of the UCSC Foundation, and a meeting of the UCSC Alumni Council.
We look forward to welcoming alumni back to campus and making
new connections with other members of the UCSC community, said
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