Educating for the Common Good: 
Perspectives for Higher Education in The 21st Century

Beverly and Kay Boyer, and friends

Beverly Boyer, Kay Boyer and friends
 Enjoy the Boyer Center after the Symposium

Contributing to the common good has historically been an important aim of American higher education. At the same time, the primacy of the common good in the debate regarding higher education’s mission has also been a point of sharp debate. Some critics of the academy claim that an emphasis on individual professional preparation and credentialing has overshadowed our attention to serving the common good.  At the same time, other critics of the academy suggest the caring for the common good—social change and renewal — is beyond the scope of higher education’s purpose and capacity.  And yet, how we see higher education’s connection to the common good is evident in the significant and complex debates—regarding mission, finances, leadership, curriculum, and access— prominent today. 

Ernest L. Boyer Sr. offered keen insights into the common good throughout his rich body of scholarship.  This Symposium invites scholars and teachers from across the disciplines, higher education administrators, and students to join us as we bring the ideas of Ernest L. Boyer Sr. into dialogue with the vital questions facing the academy education today. What does it mean to prepare students to serve the well-being of global society?  What distinctive skills are demanded of higher education leaders in the contemporary climate?  What creative avenues might we pursue to fulfill the interconnected aims of access, equity, and educational excellence?

In addition to an exciting dialogue among prominent higher education scholars, the Symposium will highlight The Ernest L. Boyer Center’s recent initiative to catalogue and digitize previously unpublished papers of Ernest L. Boyer Sr. and make them accessible to scholars and educational leaders through a centralized, web-based platform.