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image courtesy of Colgate University
image courtesy of Colgate University

Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart will join five other college presidents on a panel titled “Seizing the Initiative in the Digital Age,” part of the day-long Innovation+Disruption symposium to be hosted by Colgate University on May 5. The focus of the event will be on technology, the liberal arts and preparing graduates for the future. The event is being held at the TimesCenter in Manhattan.

The other five presidents include Jeffrey Herbst, Colgate University;  Adam Falk, Williams College; Raynard Kington, Grinnell College; Georgia Nugent (emerita), Kenyon College; and David Oxtoby, Pomona College. Jeffrey Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes and chairman of CBS News, will moderate the panel discussion.

Clayton Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and co-founder of the consulting firm Innosight, will deliver the keynote address at the symposium. Other sessions will include presentations by professors from Colgate and Davidson College; Debra Humphreys, Association of American Colleges and Universities Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement; Philip Gardner, Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute director; and Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education senior writer.

Symposium organizers have invited academic leaders, foundation officials, media and other thought leaders. Colgate will provide a live webcast of the event, and the panel discussion will be archived for future viewing. Viewers can join the discussion via Twitter by using the hashtag #innovationdisruption.

Colgate President Herbst initiated the event to broaden the public debate about how online learning and the digital revolution will affect higher education. Hamilton recently joined online non-profit learning platform edX in partnership with Colgate to facilitate the delivery of online courses and explore the potential of new technologies in a liberal arts environment. Having established a Mellon-funded digital humanities collaboration in which new media and computing technologies are used to promote humanities-based research, scholarship and teaching across the liberal arts, Hamilton is already a leader in digital humanities initiatives.

Commenting on her participation in the Innovation+Disruption symposium, President Stewart said, “The conversation about new technologies and their applicability to teaching and learning is one of the most important conversations taking place in the world of education today.”

President Stewart has been involved in a consideration of emerging national-scale digital projects and technologies in her role as a member of the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education. Formed in 2012 by the Council on Library and Information Resources and Vanderbilt University, the Committee is interested in the potential of large-scale digital projects to transform teaching and scholarship.

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