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The Future of the Academy - Agenda

Report on the Meeting | The Meeting Agenda | List of Participants


Participants from a range of disciplines, institutions and countries will meet in a small medieval village. Prior to the meeting they will be encouraged to exchange views and positions via the Internet. Rather than consisting of a series of formal presentations the meeting will foster a warm atmosphere of of informal round-table discussions that extend over dinner into the evenings. Prior to the meeting they will be encouraged to exchange views and positions via the Internet.

Friday 8 September
6.30pm - 7.30pm Arrivals, Welcoming Ceremony and Reception, Opening Remarks, Participant's input to agenda and last minute changes
7.30pm     Informal Dinner

Saturday 9 September

9.30am - 12.30pm Session I: The Contemporary University
12.30pm - 2.30pm Lunch, Guided stroll round the village
2.30pm - 6.00pm Session II The Historic Role of the Academy
7.30pm     Dinner and Concert

Sunday 10 September

9.30am - 12.00pm Session III. Comodification of Knowledge
12.00pm - 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 6.00pm Session IV Knowledge and The Post Modern Condition
8.00pm     Closing Dinner and Concert of Traditional Italian Music

Monday 11 Septembe

9.00am - 11.00am Closing Remarks and Wrap up
11.00am -   Departure for airports
      Lunch is also available for those with later departures

Program Content

Note: Each session will begin with a short presentation made by one of the participants. In traditional meetings some of the most interesting comments and discussions are made over dinner or during a coffee break. For this reason the overall pace of the meeting will be leisurely with lunches and dinners considered as an extension of the round table itself.

Session I The Contemporary University
Roundtable introductions and statements of interest.

Short presentation on the role and position of Universities today.

  • issues of structure and funding
  • alignment of science with the interests of big business and commerce
  • impoverishment of education at all levels
  • integration of technical subjects (medicine, engineering, etc) into traditional university settings
  • university education as a public good and university education as job training

Round table discussion

Session II The Historic Role of the Academy
Short presentation on the History of the Academy, evolution of universities and their position in society

  • relationship to the values of society
  • what role did the academy play and in whose interests was it funded and maintained, and why
  • keepers of knowledge and traditions
  • stabilizing force within society
  • what is valuable and relevant about the Academy in the modern world
  • what is important to retain

Round table discussion

Session III The Comodification of Knowledge
Short Presentation on the Comodification of Knowledge

  • Knowledge and big business
  • Professors as consultants
  • Universities as knowledge factories
  • the fragmentation of knowledge and the rise of specialist subjects
  • the rise of the "expert" and role of the expert in shaping public
  • who judges the value of knowledge
  • knowledge and globalization
  • the emergence of the counter culture and alternative academies
  • impoverishment of learning at all levels

Round table discussion

Session IV; The Post Modern Academy
Short Presentation on the Post Modern Condition

  • role of learning in the modern world
  • learning as an end versus leaning that can be comodified
  • alternatives to the Universities
  • Internet and distance education
  • The Academy, who Pays and Why?
  • Mass Culture
  • Alternatives to the Academy and their failures
  • Large Corporations take over experts and knowledge bases
  • Universities administer programs on behalf of high tech companies to provide trained workers
  • Wither the humanities, philosophy and pure research

Round table discussion

I would like to express my gratitute to Arthur Cordell who has given me invaluable support and encouragement towards this meeting.

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