campus partner(s)

University of Pennsylvania






Special Project

award date


project director

Peter T. Struck

University of Pennsylvania

Grant Summary

$392,500 over 36 months. The National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, funded by the Teagle Foundation, is a three-year program designed to identify and prepare a core national group of emerging academic leaders to guide the future of the liberal arts. In twice-yearly seminars in New York City with the nation's leading thinkers in educational theory, practice, and policy, thirty Teagle Fellows will take part in intensive conversations designed to share and test new ideas, enrich their own pedagogical techniques, animate a fresh commitment to the liberal arts, and, ultimately, carry "best practices" back to their home universities, to education policy circles, and to the broader society. As such, the Forum will provide a high-profile and stimulating environment where the aim of improving liberal arts education is at the center of the agenda.

The Teagle Fellows will represent the next generation of top scholars, drawn from the nation's leading public and private research universities. We seek extremely talented junior faculty across the disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, who are likely to move into top teaching and administrative positions as their careers unfold, whether as master teachers or as deans and provosts. Our hope is that the Forum will profoundly influence the practices and sympathies of these scholars at a formative moment in their own development such that when they arrive at positions of academic and institutional leadership, they will be ready to inspire and innovate.
The Forum has four aims:

  • To introduce these faculty members to—and engage them in—innovative new research on learning and pedagogy.
  • To come to a clearer understanding of the current state of affairs in higher education, including the role of performance measures, market forces, institutional leadership, issues of access and equity, public opinion, and national politics.
  • To stimulate lively discussion of liberal education at the university level and develop well-grounded rationales for its intellectual and social value.
  • To address collectively how we might better articulate these goals both within our universities and beyond them in the realm of academic governance and public policy.

The National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education is funded by the Teagle Foundation, New York City, a leader in producing research on educational innovation and assessment in higher education. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Sarah E. Igo, Associate Professor of History, Sociology, and Political Science at Vanderbilt University, serve as co-directors of the Forum.