Faculty and student discussions

Colloquium on Liberal Education

Come join the inaugural national meeting on Revolutions in Liberal Education, a call to reinvigorate liberal education in the face of the numerous challenges, theoretical and practical, it currently confronts.

Ursinus Colloquium on Liberal Education*

This year’s theme: Revolutions in Liberal Education
June 1-2, 2023, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA

*Funded thanks to the generous support of a Teagle Cornerstone Grant


The Colloquium will foster candid and probing discussions about the future of liberal education, including its theoretical underpinnings, the current threats to its survival, and the various approaches colleges can take to meet these challenges. In the spirit of Socratic inquiry, we will think together about a series of open questions currently facing advocates of liberal education:

  • What is liberal education? What should it be?
  • What are the obstacles to liberal education, in and out of the academy?
  • What is the role of “transformative texts” in liberal education? Are they uniquely constitutive of liberal education and, if so, what makes a text transformative?
  • What should be the role of the disciplines and specialized research in liberal education?
  • What is or should be the relationship between pre-professional and liberal education?
  • How can liberal arts colleges face the financial crises confronting them and become more welcoming and supportive of a diverse student body?
  • How can advocates of liberal education best make the case to the public for the importance and accessibility of the education we provide?

Roundtable discussions on these topics will be led by invited leaders in liberal education, including:

Andy Delbanco, Columbia University, President of the Teagle Foundation, author of College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be

Roosevelt Montás, Columbia University, author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed my Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation

Wendy Fischman, Harvard University, co-author with Howard Gardner of Rethinking College: What Higher Education Is and What it Can Be

Brian Rosenberg, president emeritus of Macalester College, visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education


Local conference expenses (hotels and food) for participants will be covered with support from the Teagle Foundation and Ursinus College Department of Academic Affairs. Because we aim for this to be an intimate community of inquiry, spaces are limited.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this survey to submit a brief application by February 15.