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Bentley Receives Davis Grant to Launch Major Curriculum Initiative

May 19, 2004

Waltham, MA - Bentley has received a $204,320 three-year grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to support a new Arts & Science initiative: Inspiring Intellectual and Civic Engagement: Integrating Liberal Learning Across the Business University. The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after his retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc., to strengthen public and private baccalaureate degree-granting institutions in New England.

The purpose of the initiative is to infuse a liberal arts focus across all disciplines at Bentley, enhancing the intellectual development of the college's business-focused students. The targeted skills sets and perspectives will include ethics and social responsibility, technology and effective communication, creative thinking and critical analysis, service to the community, and diversity and global citizenship. The grant provides resources to encourage faculty to change what and how they teach in the classroom in small, but powerful ways for student learning.


Robert Galliers, Bentley's Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs stated, "We've had a terrific track record at Bentley with regard to progressive curriculum innovation, and with great support from The Davis Foundation. The Bentley Technology Adoption Initiative, generously supported by the Foundation in 1999, transformed the classroom experience of Bentley students and earned the college national recognition and prestige for its programs and facilities at the intersection of information technology and business. This new initiative has similar potential to enrich teaching and learning at Bentley."


Bentley's initiative will address a prevalent issue among professionally-oriented undergraduates - placing a higher value on courses in their major disciplines than on courses in the arts and sciences, which are often viewed as supplemental or secondary. 94% of Bentley's undergraduates major in accounting, management, finance and other business disciplines. The initiative is designed to reshape the curriculum in such a way that its students will encounter core liberal arts skill-sets and perspectives in all of their courses, and will be able to make meaningful and productive links between and among seemingly different learning contexts. The priorities of liberal education will then be "marbled" throughout the curriculum.

Beginning in the summer of 2005, Bentley will conduct a series of intensive workshops for faculty who are interested in reshaping their syllabi, improving their courses and enhancing their pedagogy so that the critical priorities of liberal learning are integrated throughout their teachings, regardless of the discipline.


The workshops will take place over two, two-week periods during the summer on the Bentley campus and will be led by college faculty, with assistance as necessary by colleagues with particular expertise from other institutions


Under the leadership of the school's Provost and the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Kate Davy, and Dean of Business, Margi Olson, Bentley College has undertaken a comprehensive and - for other institutions - unusual effort to foster trans-disciplinary research and pedagogy. This latest initiative is part of that effort, though its roots go back many years in Bentley's evolution. Business and Arts and Sciences faculty collaborated nearly 30 years ago in founding the Center for Business Ethics, among the first such centers in the nation. More recently, in 1999 English Department faculty established the Design and Usability Testing Center to help companies and others improve the ease with which information technology products are used, and to enhance the quality of the user experience.


Bentley's ultimate goal -- to prepare students better, not only for success in their careers, but for a lifetime of success as informed and engaged citizens - will be represented and embodied in a professional who is an intellectually and civically engaged member of the workforce and community.

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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