A Reflection on the Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Liberal Arts Education

By Theodore Sawruk.

Published by The International Journal of Humanities Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 22, 2015 $US5.00

The last decade has seen an economic downturn that has brought about significant hardship for most American families, businesses, and institutions. The crisis has affected every aspect of life, including the pursuit of higher education. In an attempt to offset expenses and potentially prosper, many colleges and universities have found it necessary to raise tuition costs, increase student numbers, and reconsider faculty and program expenditures. The Innovative University (2011) places the reader directly in the middle of this ongoing dilemma and postulates on various opportunities and alternatives higher education could adopt to survive and flourish within an “innovation-fueled renaissance.” In an essence, Christensen and Eyring reveal an increasingly competitive future, leading to a “survival of the fittest” competition, warning of an ensuing “adapt or die” paradox. The traditional liberal arts genome, inspired by Harvard and perpetuated throughout the US, needs to evolve into four or more new species, each with its own means, methods, and student focus. While foreboding, the perspective is optimistic. If traditional universities are willing to integrate some, if not all, the critical innovations proposed in this paper, they may find a way to survive and flourish.

Keywords: Liberal Arts Education, Future Directions, Institutional Restructuring, Innovative University

The International Journal of Humanities Education, Volume 14, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.17-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 22, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 508.852KB)).

Associate Professor Theodore Sawruk

Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT, USA