On Monday, April 18, Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a symposium with Board of Regents Chairman Nicholas M. Donofrio and former Chairman Lewis J. Robinson, Esq. Chairman Donofrio’s intellectually invigorating presentation on Making Value for America was well-attended by NVCC faculty, staff, and management. The program led to a discussion on the role higher education and public libraries play in transforming the U.S. economy from one in which ideas are generated to one in which those ideas produce long term value. Chairman Donofrio’s visit marked the beginning of an exciting week of intellectual discourse for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
Later that same week, on Friday, April 22, NVCC’s Faculty Senate and Office of Academic Affairs sponsored a system-wide colloquium on The Role of the Liberal Arts in Higher Education and Democracy. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. welcomed everyone. “Dear friends, let’s embrace this beautiful April day in 2016 and explore what it means to educate so many both to be bread-winners and thoughtful, civic-minded human beings who contribute generously to a world that evolves and transforms as must we transform with it as we find the means to both subsist and exist.”
Over 90 faculty, staff, and administrators from nearly every Connecticut State College and University (CSCU) institution attended to hear a keynote address from Dr. Michael S. Roth, President of Wesleyan University,
“Why Liberal Education Matters.” Dr. Roth’s speech was followed by energetic intellectual discourse, including
a question-and-answer period as well as concurrent sessions featuring faculty and staff from throughout the system. Of special note were presentations by NVCC’s own ACE Director Rob Sheftel, PA 12-40 Coordinator Rose-Mary Rodrigues, and Social Science faculty member Bernie Fitzpatrick.
Faculty Senate President, Kathy Taylor, Esq. noted that, “This was a very timely discussion – in light of the current political climate and at a time when our country appears to be wrestling with the future of higher education. Like Beyond the University, Dr. Roth’s keynote succinctly and humorously made a compelling argument espousing the virtues and the need for liberal education. Dr. Roth continues a great tradition whereby influential and distinguished thinkers debate vocational versus liberal education. He reminded all of us that education must cultivate freedom and curiosity, promote civic engagement and responsibility and instill hope for both the future and humanity. “