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Bentley awarded coveted NEH grant

September 9, 2003

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Bentley a $25,000 Focus Grant that reinforces Bentley's commitment to the belief that the arts and sciences must play a dynamic and central role in a business school. Bentley was one of only 24 out of 170 applicants to receive the highly coveted grant which helps schools, colleges, universities and other non-profit educational institutions improve humanities education in the U.S.

Under Bentley's Grant Buying into the Humanities: Engaging the Liberal Arts at a Business School, a task force of four Bentley arts and sciences faculty members will work with Dean of Arts and Sciences Kate Davy and Associate Dean Lynne Durkin along with 20 affiliated faculty members from both business and arts and sciences. In awarding the grant, the NEH committee indicated they hope the Bentley faculty will design a new model not only for this institution but also for colleges and universities nationwide that seek ways to strengthen the relevance of humanities in pre-professional education.

This new model will consider several aspects of the Bentley curriculum during the 2003-04 academic year. These include the idea of folding general education requirements into a liberal studies major within which students choose from among a number of interdisciplinary concentrations. The task force also will examine Bentley's First-Year Seminar, arts and sciences electives chosen around a single discipline or interdisciplinary liberal arts concentration, and creation of a senior capstone course that would allow each student to apply the critical "ways of knowing" to real world problems through an individual or group project.

"The NEH supports what we are doing because it has implications far beyond strengthening the liberal arts in the context of business schools," said Dean Kate Davy. "It will serve as a model for revitalizing general education at institutions everywhere, be they research, liberal arts, or professionally focused."

Task members include Project Director Marylee Crofts, senior lecturer of History; Maureen Goldman, professor of English; Lucia Kimball, associate professor of Mathematics; and Ivan Marquez, assistant professor of Philosophy. They will work closely with the faculty affiliates to develop detailed proposals that will be presented to the faculty for discussion in May 2004.

"The NEH grant comes to Bentley at a time when we are engaged in weaving the arts and sciences throughout the business curriculum and vice versa," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Galliers. "It is what distinguishes Bentley from other academic institutions, with faculty throughout the college researching and teaching together in trans-disciplinary teams. As our president, Joe Morone says, 'We do what other schools of business won't do and what schools of liberal arts can't do.' The faculty task force will reshape the undergraduate student experience at Bentley, further solidifying the academic experience as a coherent whole that is meaningful to students and launches them on a trajectory of intellectual engagement and civic responsibility."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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