University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Future of the University Initiative

We invite you to join a wide conversation on the future of our university, a conversation on questions of deep principle but also issues of immediate practicality. Now is not a time for merely private reflection. Our recent difficulties have opened a field of possibility and have given us the opportunity that only urgency can bring.

EVENTS: Fall 2014


November 20

Bill Deresiewicz:
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite
and the Way to a Meaningful Life

6 pm
Location TBA

Drawing from his book, Deresiewicz argues in this talk that as schools shift focus from the humanities to 'practical' subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways. Deresiewicz explains how college should be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success, so they can forge their own path. He addresses parents, students, educators, and anyone who's interested in the direction of American society, featuring quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and clearly presenting solutions.

Spring 2013

Friday, February 1

Guest Lecture: Leon Botstein

4 pm
Minor Hall AuditoriumMap >

President of Bard College, Leon Botstein, will be speaking on the Future of Higher Education.

Sponsoring Org: IHGC and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Tuesday, March 19

Guest Lecture: Stefan Collini
Making the Case: Universities and their Publics

4 pm
Minor Hall AuditoriumMap >

Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge; during 2012-13 he is a Visiting Fellow at the National Humanities Center. His books include Public Moralists (1991), English Pasts (1999), Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006), and, most recently, What Are Universities For? (2012). He is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, and Nation, as well as an occasional broadcaster.

Sponsoring Org: IHGC

FALL 2012

Wednesday, September 12

The June Events and After: The Future of the University

4:30 pm
Nau Hall 101

The IHGC and the Faculty Senate have gathered some of the University's most distinguished leaders for a roundtable discussion and panel entitled "The June Events and After: The Future of the University." On September 12th from 4:30 pm – 6 pm, we invite you to Nau Hall 101 for an afternoon of compelling conversation that will focus on the salient challenges facing this University and all institutions of higher learning. The event will be filmed and broadcasted by WUVA online.

Sponsoring Org: IHGC

Monday, October 15

Guest Lecture: Hunter Rawlings

4 pm
Minor Hall AuditoriumMap >

As part of a series of talks and lectures on the Future of the University, Hunter Rawlings, the former president of the University of Iowa and Cornell University and current president of the American Association of Universities, will speak on the future of higher education. Watch Video >

Sponsoring Org: IHGC

Friday, November 16

Guest Lecture: Martha Nussbaum

Lecture on Religious Intolerance: 1 pm
Forum on Higher Education: 3 pm
Minor Hall Auditorium

The IHGC welcomes Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, as this semester’s Global Humanities guest lecturer. Watch Video >

Sponsoring Org: IHGC