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Bentley Receives Grant from Davis Educational Foundation for Complex Problems/Creative Solutions Initiative

January 22, 2009

Bentley University received a $62,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to support a pilot curriculum initiative entitled Complex Problems/Creative Solutions -- aimed at helping undergraduate students, as the leaders of tomorrow’s corporations, government agencies, and NGOs, work across disciplines to solve complex problems, such as global warming, affordable health care, and poverty.

The project will introduce a timely complex problem into the curriculum during freshman year that students will then study, analyze and ultimately try to penetrate from multiple intellectual perspectives over the course of their first two years of undergraduate study.  “Repowering Society,” the overall theme for the pilot project, will examine “The Unintended Consequences of our Consumer Choices: From Trays to TechnoTrash.”  Several co-curricular events including lectures and films will also address a dimension of the problem.

The initiative is based on two guiding principles: the first, that business must be at the forefront – along with government, NGOs and other entities – in addressing current global issues; the second is that today’s undergraduates must be better prepared to address these complicated issues in future leadership roles.

The new project builds on the success of the previous Bentley initiative Inspiring Intellectual and Civic Engagement: Integrating Liberal Learning Across the Business University, made possible by the Davis Educational Foundation.   The initiative inspired “Davis Faculty Development Workshops” during which Bentley faculty worked across disciplines to infuse the principles of liberal learning into the courses they teach. This initiative, in concert with Bentley’s popular new interdisciplinary Liberal Studies major, was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s BELL project (Business Entrepreneurship and Liberal Learning).

The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’ retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

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

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