I S S U E : :
PDC announces series
on the History of
Wake Forest
ZSR introduces
RootsMOOC: Intro to
Genealogy and Family
History Research
TechXploration 2015
date announced
Provost’s Newsletter
F E B R U A R Y 2 7 , 2 0 1 5
V O L U M E 3 , I S S U E 3
I N T ER E S T :
February 27: Secrest Artists
Series (rescheduled from
2/26), Benjamin Grosvenor,
solo pianist | Brendle Recital
Hall | 7:30 p.m.
March 9-12: Second Winter
Institute for Intercultural
March 23: Faculty/Staff So-
cial | Location TBD | 4:00-
5:30 p.m.
March 26-27: The Human
Face of Environmental Ine-
quality | Benson 401
April 16: Secrest Artists Se-
ries, Alisa Weilerstein and
Anon Barnatan | Brendle
Recital Hall | 7:30 p.m.
April 30: Campus Connec-
tions | Benson 401 | 8:45-
10:00 a.m.
Message from the Provost...
History of WFU’s Future
Back in fall 2013, I described in this newsletter the ‘disruptive innovations’ widely described by those
inside and outside universities as reshaping higher education in dramatic ways. Over the year and a half
since, various groups of Wake Forest faculty, staff, and occasionally students have convened to discuss
these challenges—and opportunities—and to shape the road ahead. From informal gatherings over
breakfast to a landmark Humanities Institute panel on the future of the humanities, from Vision 2020
conversations about ways in which technology might be harnessed to advance our educational mission
to several organized ‘History of the Future’ conversations, a collection of ideas, recommendations, aspi-
rations, and warnings has inspired a raft of innovative moves under contemplation across our WFU
One priority emerging from several formal and informal conversations: expanding Wake Forest pre-
college and ‘lifelong learning’ offerings. Considerable effort is underway in both areas. The Graduate
School, for example, continues to offer their Lifelong Learning courses for adult learners, which exceed-
ed even optimistic enrollment projections. Each of our professional schools has new programs in the
works. This summer in Charlotte we will launch four new Wake Forest Summer Institutes for high-
school students in areas like medicine and leadership; again, applications are running well ahead of ex-
Another promising ground for sustainable innovation lies closer to home, in the downtown Wake Forest
Innovation Quarter. This fast-growing area, adjacent to Winston-Salem’s arts/innovation hub, is home
to biomedical and analytics companies as well as research labs, housing more than 3,500 workers. The
School of Medicine’s planned move to the north portion of Building 60, an old R.J. Reynolds tobacco-
manufacturing plant, is considerably aided by state and federal tax credits. Similar incentives enable us
to explore a set of Reynolda campus programs which might be located in Building 60 South, currently
being built by Wexford Scientific (the Quarter’s developer) as laboratory, classroom, and faculty office
space. We are in an early-evaluation stage of possible programs orbiting around biomedical sciences
and technology, including biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, and neuroscience; in true liberal-arts
fashion, program proposals have also come from WFU faculty in bioethics, anthropology, and global
health, among others. School of Medicine faculty, many already located in Innovation Quarter, are also
interested in teaching in these new programs, and in some cases jointly developing them.
With the hope of having your thoughts and feedback on this Innovation Quarter prospect, we have
scheduled open discussion forums for Friday, March 6, from 3:00-4:00 pm and Wednesday, March 25,
from 3:00-4:00 pm, both in our Z. Smith Reynolds Library auditorium. Let me again underscore that this
is all in very early stages as we seek to determine whether it's wise even to move forward with further
exploration and planning.
Farther afield even than Charlotte, Global Wake Forest remains an emphasis across the university with
student and faculty experiences alike coordinated by our Center for Global Programs and Studies (GPS)
team under Kline Harrison. Also in the early exploratory stage is the possibility of a group of incoming
first-year students spending all or part of their first WFU year overseas. Our graduates regularly report
(and, way back in the mid-1980s, I had this experience) that they return more seasoned, wiser, better
able to exercise perspective. Contributions to campus are often slender, though, as they re-acclimate to
life on the Reynolda campus. We envision returning ‘global ambassadors,’ with three-plus years to
translate their global experiences and expanded horizons into improvements on campus. This to merely
list three among many promising ideas that have arisen from campus discussions. Each cleaves closely
to our core mission; each could be a distinctive WFU program. My
gratitude to all of you who have helped to advance an ‘innovation
culture’ at Wake Forest, the best shelter against the winds of dis-
ruption buffeting higher education on our campus and beyond.
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