NYT journalist and Wilson Fellow visiting USF to discuss education

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News release from the University of Saint Francis:

NYT journalist and Wilson Fellow visiting USF to discuss education

(March 4, 2011) – Woodrow Wilson Fellow for 2011 and former New York Times education editor and reporter Karen Arenson will give two presentations on the University of Saint Francis (USF) campus this month. The presentations are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, March 22, Arenson will participate in the panel discussion, “Shift Happens: Careers and Vocations in the 21st Century,” from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Doermer Family Center for Health Science Education room 156A. USF Assistant Provost Dr. Andrew Prall will moderate the discussion between Arenson and university faculty members Frank Connor, Joe Steensma and Connie Collins.

The panel will examine the responsibility of colleges and universities to prepare young American students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing nation and world, with complexities such as rising gasoline prices, Middle East revolutions and the flight of Midwest state lawmakers from their legislative floors.

On Thursday, March 24, Arenson will present “Money for Nothing? Higher Education in America” from 6:30-8 p.m. in Doermer Center room 156A-B.

Her discussion will focus on the past, present and future of higher education, based on her 30 years in economics and higher education news and her service as a trustee at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Questions such as these will be examined: Why has the cost of higher education risen faster than the cost of living? Does every student need higher education, as President Obama has stated? What is the best path for today’s students in this rapidly changing world?

During her tenure at the New York Times, Arenson was one of the first reporters to chronicle the growing use of early decision admissions and the explosion in endowments at some colleges and universities. She also paid close attention to the financial and political battles of public universities and to issues of student preparation and remedial instruction. She majored in economics at M.I.T. and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

USF has participated in the Woodrow Wilson Fellows Program for the past two years to generate dialogue on current issues within higher education, including academic honesty, ethics, the wealth gap between larger and smaller institution and the importance of the liberal arts tradition, among other subjects. The program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for over 35 years.


The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers 60 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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