University of Scranton President Joins New National Trust to Advance Liberal Education

Nov 24, 2009

        University of Scranton President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., has joined a new "Presidents' Trust" formed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to collectively make the case for liberal education and its value in today's world. The Presidents' Trust is a leadership group of 82 college presidents and chancellors within AAC&U's national initiative, Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes To College.

        "The pedagogy at The University of Scranton is grounded in the more than 450-year-old Jesuit tradition of providing a strong foundation in the liberal arts," said Father Pilarz. "The outcomes displayed through our graduates' commitment to service, coupled with their academic and professional achievements, makes me more confident than ever that we are providing the means for life-long success and civic engagement. I now join my colleagues in a national effort to proclaim the merits of a liberal education."

        The Presidents' Trust advocates for a twenty-first-century vision of liberal education that combines the best of that philosophy of education's traditional focus on broad knowledge, analytic reasoning, and rigorous contextual study with newer approaches to helping students integrate and apply their learning in new settings.

        "Father Pilarz is already providing valuable leadership speaking out and ensuring that University of Scranton students are receiving the kind of college education that will best prepare them for success in today's competitive global economy-an engaged and practical liberal education," said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.

        According AAC&U, members of the LEAP Presidents' Trust are leaders from all sectors of higher education. Through regional and national meetings and their own advocacy efforts, Trust members will engage with campus members and those outside of higher education about the core purposes and practices of liberal education. They are all also providing leadership for advancing reforms in the practice of liberal education both on campus and with other groups and organizations with which they are affiliated.

        In 2009-10, the core priority areas for the Presidents' Trust include: making the economic case for liberal education; making - and fulfilling - the civic case for liberal education; engaging first-generation families and new Americans with the meaning and value of liberal education; integrating liberal arts and professional preparation on campus; and charting a new direction for assessment and accountability.

Visit for full list of Presidents' Trust members.

About LEAP
Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) is an initiative that champions the value of a liberal education for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practices on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study. LEAP is AAC&U's primary vehicle for advancing and communicating about the importance of undergraduate liberal education for all students. LEAP seeks to engage the public with core questions about what really matters in college, to give students a compass to guide their learning, and to make a set of essential learning outcomes the preferred framework for educational excellence, assessment of learning, and new alignments between school and college.

About AAC&U
AAC&U is a leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1200 member institutions--including accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size. Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

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