This UFS conference engages perennial and temporal themes in American higher education: curriculum development and modifications, the fiscal administration and organization of higher education, and the vicissitudes associated with doctoral education and research.
These themes are all the more pressing in an academic climate of increased accountability and transparency in both public and private higher education, and one that is often counteracted with decreased resources.
The conference is furthermore premised on the evidence of “change” as a combination of both progressive and questionable practices occurring within higher education in the United States. The diminished role of the professoriate in decision-making processes regarding curriculum, and the rise of “non-shared” governance on campuses, present us with a convergence of crises that require immediate attention and resolution. How will these changes affect the professoriate’s role as partners in shared governance, especially regarding the curriculum? Should we acknowledge that all change is necessarily innovative? Or disruptive? Or both?
Our panelists will examine how these and other trends will affect the current and future professoriate in terms of their research, teaching and service in an increasingly diverse workplace.
Dr. Stephen Brier (“The Impact of Austerity Policies on CUNY, Past and Present”) is Professor of Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he teaches various courses on the history of public education. In 2002 he founded the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the Graduate Center, and continues to serve as its Coordinator. Dr. Brier is the co-author with Michael Fabricant of Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education (Johns Hopkins, 2016).
Dr. Angie McAlister (“How Cognitive Computing Will Change Everything: Teaching, Learning, and What it Means to be an Educated Citizen”) is Senior Vice President for Research at ACT. She has earned several patents, including for technology that adapts digital learning experiences to the real-time student needs and a provisional patent for using artificial intelligence to deliver personalized learning and analytics to learners and instructors. Formerly with Pearson Learning, Dr. McAlister led a collaboration with IBM to make Watson supercomputer technology available to college students and professors.
Dr. Robin Rogers (“Big Data, Big Money”) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she teaches courses on politics and social policy. Dr. Rogers has served as a Congressional Fellow on Women and Public Policy, a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Yale University, and a visiting fellow at Princeton University. She is a recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her research interests have included: the genesis, institutional framework, implementation, and social contexts of social policy; welfare policy; faith-based policy initiatives; the role of religion in primary elections; flaws and techniques in quantitative and qualitative sociological research methods; and the adaptation of business models in the nonprofit sector. In addition to numerous articles on social policy and politics, she is the author of The Welfare Experiments: Politics and Policy Evaluation (Stanford University Press, 2004). Currently Dr. Rogers is at work on a new book about the burgeoning role of billionaire philanthropy in shaping public policy.
Dr. Sarah Willie-LeBreton (“Democratic Tendencies: America’s Academy Transformed.”) is Chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Swarthmore College, where she has been on the faculty for 20 years and where she has served as Program Chair of Black Studies, Department Chair of Sociology & Anthropology, and Associate Provost. Dr. Willie-LeBreton has also chaired its Diversity Task Force and a Presidential Task Force on Sexual Misconduct. An applied sociologist, she is the author of Acting Black: College, Identity, and the Performance of Race (Routledge, 2003) and a contributor to and editor of Transforming the Academy: Faculty Perspectives on Diversity and Pedagogy (Rutgers University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Reconciling Order and Democracy: The Work Lives of American Librarians.
UFS Conference Organizers
Dr. Kathleen Barker, Prof. of Psychology, MEC, Vice Chair, UFS
Dr. Martin J. Burke, Prof. of History, GC/Lehman, UFS EC Member
Dr. Matthew J. Cotter, Executive Director, UFS