x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Reimagining liberal education

This event occurred on
May 3, 2013
9:00am - 5:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Appleton, WI
United States

For many decades, even centuries, liberal education has been thought of as the gold standard of higher learning. But current economic trends and pressures have led many observers to question the usefulness of a liberal education and the viability of the liberal arts college. This event will bring together people who have ideas worth spreading about the future of liberal education, and about how the liberal arts college might adapt to a changing society.

Warch Campus Center, Lawrence University
711 E Boldt Way
Appleton, WI, 54911
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Bradley W. Bateman

Bradley Bateman, the provost, is the chief academic officer of Denison University. Mr. Bateman was recently named President-elect of Randolph College, a private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Jill Beck

Jill Beck has served as the 15th president of Lawrence University since 2004. She is the first woman to hold the position. During her presidency, Beck has focused on raising Lawrence’s national profile; increasing the number and spectrum of individualized learning experiences for students; fostering collaboration between the fine and performing arts and the traditional liberal arts and sciences; cultivating a desire for environmental sustainability on campus; creating greater diversity in the Lawrence community; and engaging alumni, parents and friends of the college to enhance educational experiences.

Andy Chan

Andy Chan is the vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University. In 2009, he established the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) to create a supportive college-to-career community designed to teach and equip all students to successfully navigate their path from college to career with clarity, competence and confidence. The OPCD includes Personal and, Mentoring Resource Center, Professional Development for Arts and Science Students, the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Leadership Development and the Family Business Center. Chan serves as a member of the senior staff of the Provost and is also a member of President Nathan O. Hatch’s Cabinet.

Rick Davis

Rick Davis joined George Mason University in 1991 as Artistic Director of Theater of the First Amendment. From 2000-2007 Rick also served as Associate Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Artistic Director of the Center for the Arts, Mason’s 2,000-seat home for opera, symphony, dance, and world music. In 2007 he was named Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, working on issues such as General and Liberal Education and international initiatives including the launch of Mason’s innovative Center for International Student Access. As Executive Director of Mason’s new Hylton Performing Arts Center since August, 2011, he oversees a state of the art venue with multiple performance and exhibition spaces.

Jennifer Herek

Prof. Jennifer Herek is the founding Dean of the Academy of Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences (ATLAS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The concept of liberal education is new to the Netherlands, and sweeping the country with the establishment of six colleges in the past decade. ATLAS, which opens its doors this fall, is the first to merge technology and liberal education, and Dr. Herek’s own experience is shaping the program development. She obtained a B.A. in chemistry from Lawrence University in 1990 and Ph.D. in chemical physics from Caltech in 1996. She held research appointments at Lund University (Sweden) and the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (Amsterdam) before joining the faculty of the University of Twente in 2006 as professor of physics and chair of the Optical Sciences group, part of the MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology.

Jenny Kehl

Jenny Kehl has been named the Uihlein Endowed Chair at the WATER Institute and School of Freshwater Sciences, and the Director of the Center for Water Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to joining the School of Freshwater Sciences as the founding director, Dr. Kehl was an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the Graduate Department of Public Policy at Rutgers University. Professor Kehl’s areas of specialization are Comparative Development and International Political Economy. Her research focuses on conflict in transboundary rivers and water systems, and government negotiations with foreign investors in water and natural resource extraction. Dr. Kehl’s most recent publications analyze global water-use efficiency, water and food security, transboundary water-sharing policies, and corruption and policy capture in the water sector. Dr. Kehl has worked in Africa and Asia on resolution of water resource allocation issues, with a focus on water scarcity and transboundary dispute resolution.

Mark Montgomery

Mark Montgomery is Donald L. Wilson Professor of Enterprise and Leadership, and Professor of Economics, at Grinnell College. He and his wife, Tinker Powell, also in the Economics Department, came to Grinnell in 1989. Mark teaches Mathematical Economics, the Economics of Education, and Environmental Economics. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin — Madison. His research has appeared in The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Industrial and Labor Relations Review, The Review of Economic Dynamics and Control, Land Economics, The Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The Economics of Education Review, The Journal of Urban Economics, and others. His essays have been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Des Moines Register, The Dallas Morning News, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Mystery Readers Journal, The American (online), and The Imperfect Parent (online), and in various edited volumes. His commentary has been heard on Public Radio International’s To the Best of Our Knowledge. He is coauthor (with Tinker Powell) of a mystery novel, Theoretically Dead (New Victoria Publishers, 2001).

Robert Perille

Bob is a Shamrock Capital Advisors Partner with over 20 years of media, entertainment, and communications investment experience. He is also founder of the “Lawrence Scholars in Business” program. Bob currently serves as a director of T3Media, PGOA Media, Harlem Globetrotters International and Triad Broadcasting. Previously, he served on the boards of NextWave Media, Ocean Design, and Citadel Communications. Prior to joining Shamrock in 2004, Bob was a Managing Partner for Banc of America Capital Investors, a $700 million private equity and mezzanine partnership. He spent 23 years with Bank of America in commercial banking, investment banking, leveraged finance and principal investing. Bob graduated from Lawrence University and earned an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Management of Babson College.

Brian Pertl

Brian Pertl is an ethnomusicologist, didjeridu player, and Dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. A graduate of Lawrence University, Pertl spent a year as a Watson Fellow in Australia and Tibet studying Aboriginal didjeridu and Tibetan Buddhist sacred music. This spectacular musical adventure launched Pertl into an eclectic musical life. He received his MA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University; lectured and performed across the United States; released three CDs including a didjeridu instructional workshop, and a recording of a performance in the great Cistern at Fort Worden where his piece Land of Snows was first performed. In addition, he spent 16 years as the manager of the Media Acquisitions Group at Microsoft, where he helped to select, caption, and license all of the music found in the Encarta Encyclopedia and the Encarta World Atlas. In 2008 he returned to Lawrence University to become Dean of the Conservatory of Music.

Jeffrey Selingo

Jeffrey Selingo, an author, reporter, columnist, and leading authority on higher education, has spent his journalism career covering colleges and universities worldwide. His forthcoming book, College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, to be released on May 7, will explore the college of future – how families will pay, what campuses will look like, and how students will learn and prove their value in the job market. Selingo is editor at large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and a senior fellow at Education Sector, an independent education think tank in Washington, DC. From 2007 until 2011, he was editor of The Chronicle, where he worked for 15 years in a variety of reporting and editing roles. His work has been honored with awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Associated Press, and he was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He has been a featured speaker before dozens of national higher-education groups and appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs, including NPR, ABC, and CBS. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and he is part of the inaugural class of thought leaders writing for LinkedIn Today. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master’s degree in government from the Johns Hopkins University.

Rik Warch

Richard Warch served as Lawrence University’s 14th president from 1979-2004, the second-longest presidential tenure in the college’s history. A gifted writer and speaker, Warch made advocacy of the residential liberal arts college model of education a hallmark of his presidency. His annual matriculation convocations frequently championed the virtues of liberal learning and serve as the basis of his 2012 book “A Matter of Style: Reflections on Liberal Education.” Warch earned a B.A. in history from Williams College, and a bachelor of divinity degree and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He directed Yale’s National Humanities Institute for two years and spent a year as associate dean of Yale College and director of the Visiting Faculty Program before coming to Lawrence in 1977 as Dean of the Faculty.

Organizing team


Appleton, WI, United States


Appleton, WI, United States
  • David Gerard
    Programming / Speaker preparation
  • Scott Corry
    Scheduling / IT liaison
  • Garth Bond
    Program materials / bookstore
  • Monica Rico
    Storytelling / lead-up activities
  • Tim Troy
    Staging / set design
  • Craig Gagnon
    Publicity / media / social media