Learning Beyond Measure? Assessing the Liberal Arts

The Seventh Annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts

February 16-17, 2007




Conversation Speakers and Panelists



Daryl G. Smith is Professor of Education and Psychology at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Prior to assuming her current faculty position at CGU in 1987, Smith served as a college administrator for 21 years in planning, institutional research, and student affairs. Dr. Smith’s current research, teaching, and publications have been in the areas of organizational implications of diversity, assessment and evaluation, planning, governance, student affairs, and the impact of women's colleges and other special purpose institutions. In addition to numerous articles and papers, she is an author or co-author of Interrupting the Usual: Successful Strategies for Diversifying the Faculty Assessing Campus Diversity Initiatives, The Impending Loss of Talent: Challenging the Assumption of Testing and Merit, The Challenge of Diversity: Alienation or Involvement in the Academy, Achieving Faculty Diversity: Debunking The Myths, Diversity Works; The Emerging Picture of How Students Benefit. For the last six years, she has been the Co-Pi on a major evaluation project for the James Irvine Foundation working with selected private colleges in California to evaluate their progress on diversity initiatives which has produced a report, three research briefs, and a monograph. She has worked on issues of evaluation issues both nationally and internationally, with numerous foundations across the country, and has served on many accreditation teams.



Patricia M. King is a Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan . Her research focuses on learning and development among late adolescents and adults, including college students. She is especially interested in approaches to student development that explore the intersections among developmental domains, such as intellectual, identity and social development, and how these affect collegiate outcomes ranging from citizenship to intercultural maturity to character development. In addition to having published over 50 articles, she coauthored Developing Reflective Judgment and co-edited Learning Partnerships: Theories and Models of Practice to Educate for Self-Authorship. She is currently Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan team of the National Study of Liberal Arts Education sponsored by the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College . She served as the founding editor of About Campus: Enriching the Student Learning Experience. She has also served as Director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, Assistant Vice President for Student Services at Ohio State University, and Senior Research Psychologist at the University of Iowa.



James R. Appleton is Chancellor of the University of Redlands . Previously, he was President of the University of Redlands for 18 years. Prior to that, he served for 15 years at the University of Southern California as a member of the faculty, as vice president for student affairs, and then as vice president for development. Before 1972 he served in various faculty and administrative positions at Oakland University in Rochester , Michigan . Dr. Appleton has taught graduate courses that focus on issues and trends in higher education. He recently completed a three-year term as Chair of the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. He served on a UNESCO working group from 2001-2003.  He served for many years on the executive committee of the board of the Washington-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the President’s Council of NCAA. He is on the Board of Directors of Redlands Centennial Bank. Dr. Appleton received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.



Charles Blaich currently serves as the Director of Inquiries at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1986. After a research post-doc at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Psychology at Eastern Illinois University from 1987-1991. Blaich joined Wabash College in the fall of 1991. While at Wabash College, Blaich received the Colleges McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award and two National Science Foundation grants. He previously received teaching awards from the University of Connecticut and Eastern Illinois University. In 2002, Blaich assumed his current position at the Center of Inquiry. Blaich is also currently directing the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. Blaich's recent publications include "Do Liberal Arts Colleges Really Foster Good Practices in Undergraduate Education?" and "Liberal Arts Colleges and Liberal Arts Education: New Evidence on Impacts."



Jill N. Reich has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Bates College since the summer of 2000. She received her B.A. from Regis College and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Dartmouth . She went on to build a distinguished career in developmental psychology at Loyola University of Chicago. Her research focused on the long term effects of prematurity, illness, and prolonged hospitalization and their impact on the development of perception, memory, and learning in infants and young children. At Bates, Dean Reich has successfully reorganized the faculty workload, completed a comprehensive curriculum review leading to new General Education requirements, and launched a multiyear, consortial project that is currently working on identifying best practices for assessment and student learning.



Robert C. Froh serves as Associate Director for the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). In this position, he supports the Commission and member institutions in framing expectations and support for assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness; and supports institutions and the Commission in completing and reviewing institutional reports, self-studies, and peer evaluations. He has led several collaborative efforts among institutions designed to strengthen assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness. These efforts have benefited from funding from the PEW Charitable Trusts, the Davis Educational Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation. He was Director of Assessment at the Center for Teaching Learning and Writing at Duke University from 1995-2000 and Associate Director of Evaluation at the Center for Instructional Development at Syracuse University from 1980-1995. He earned his Ph.D. in Measurement and Statistics at the University of Chicago where his mentors were Benjamin Bloom , Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi , and Benjamin Wright.



Barbara Wright is Associate Director of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). She is a well-known and respected national expert on assessment and has extensive experience in accreditation, serving six years as a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. She has experience in a variety of higher education administrative positions, and is a frequent consultant on assessment, general education, foreign language instruction, and faculty development. She is also co-author, with Andrea Leskes, of The Art and Science of Assessing General Education Outcomes.


Docter Mary Docter is Professor of Spanish at Westmont College. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Spanish and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures, all from UCLA. She taught elementary school in Mexico for two years as well as teaching at Scripps College (Claremont) and UCLA. She has been at Westmont since 1992, where she is currently a member of the WASC assessment team.