Inaugural Symposia


Join Brandeis faculty panelists and moderators Judith Shapiro '63 and Michael Sandel '75 as they debate and discuss the global liberal arts university.

Four panels over two days will examine the future challenges and obstacles that liberal arts universities will face as they move into the mid-21st century.


Time 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Location Faculty Club
Moderator Judith Shapiro '63
Panel 1
The business of the University and
the University as a business: Issues of work, money, and power and the liberal arts university

What is the business of a liberal arts university (or, how is a university a business)? How do we handle the tension between a liberal arts education and pre-professional programs? What kinds of relationships should universities have with corporations and governments? How are global developments in economics and technology changing the higher education landscape?

Panel 2 Sciences, the creative instinct, and the liberal arts
How does the creative instinct inform and inspire advances in the arts, the sciences, and  scholarship generally? How does technology affect the creative instinct and imagination in humans? What is the value of a liberal arts education for the sciences, more generally?  In what contexts and with what sort of teaching can creativity flourish?


Time 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Location Faculty Club
Moderator Michael Sandel '75
Panel 1
Diverse communities and the liberal arts
In a world of diasporas and immigration, where national boundaries no longer easily define our students’ sense of themselves, what will and what should change about a liberal arts education? Does the increasingly diversified and international character of the university require us to re-examine the traditional liberal arts curriculum?

Panel 2 Human values, global challenges and the liberal arts
What does it mean to have a mission of social justice in the context of a liberal arts university?  How is social justice to be defined in the increasingly complex, culturally differentiated context of a global university? Is there such a thing as “pure science” or “pure research”? How do our values inform what we study, what we conclude? What are the obligations and opportunities for Brandeis to help address major global problems?