Improving Improvement With Partnerships and a Nod to Science
As public confidence in higher education continues to wane, more persuasive communication about the value we add will no longer suffice. Radical shifts in economic opportunity and in cultural norms about knowledge have ruptured the social contract that long accorded wide latitude to educational leaders in return for a leg up and a fair shake for the next generation. This talk will touch on models from other sectors — the “science of improvement” in health care; “big data” in genomics research — and speculate about a possible future in which institutions of higher learning may be playing very different roles as nodes in distributed networks that support lifelong collaborative learning.
Diana Chapman Walsh, Ph.D., President emerita of Wellesley College, led the college from 1993 through 2007. She currently serves on the governing boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the Corporation and its Executive Committee), the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Mind and Life Institute.
She recently completed service on the boards of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which she chaired, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She was a director of the State Street Corporation (1999-2007) and a trustee of Amherst College (1998-2010) and is now a trustee emerita. She is the recipient of eight honorary doctoral degrees, most recently from Amherst College (2013), Washington University in St. Louis (2014) and Rhodes College (2016).
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future at Clark University, Diana writes, speaks, and consults on higher education and leadership and the crisis of climate change.
Her term as president of Wellesley College (1993-2007) was marked by educational innovation, including a revision of the curriculum and expanded programs in global education, the humanities, internships and service learning, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and religious and spiritual life. She evolved a distinctive style of reflective leadership rooted in a network of resilient partnerships and anchored in the belief that trustworthy leadership starts from within.