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Tanner Lectures at Stanford: Is technology the answer for 'cost disease' in higher education?

This year's Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford, which are free and open to the public, will feature two lectures, "The Productivity Problem in Higher Education" and "Prospects for an Online Learning Fix."

David Lubarsky William G. Bowen portrait

William G. Bowen will present this year's Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford.

William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will deliver this year's Tanner Lectures on Human Values on Oct. 10 and 11.

Stanford's Bowen H. McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society and the President's Office will host the series, which is free and open to the public.

Bowen, who also was a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton, is the author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President (2010) and Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities (2009).

Bowen will deliver two 90-minute lectures on the theme, "The 'Cost Disease' in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer?"

The first lecture, "The Productivity Problem in Higher Education," will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Cemex Auditorium in Zambrano Hall at the Knight Management Center, which is located on Serra Street.

The second lecture, "Prospects for an Online Learning Fix," will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in Cemex Auditorium.

Discussion seminars will be held a day after each lecture from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 in Lucas Conference Room 134A in the Landau Economics Building, located at 579 Serra Mall (at Galvez Street).

Stanford President John Hennessy and Howard Gardner, professor of cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will provide commentary on "The Productivity Problem in Higher Education" on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Daphne Koller, a professor of computer science at Stanford and co-founder of the online learning platform Coursera, and Andrew Delbanco, director of American studies at Columbia University, will provide commentary on "Prospects for an Online Learning Fix" on Friday, Oct. 12.

Stanford, which pioneered massive open online courses, recently unveiled two new homegrown software platforms to host 16 online courses this quarter. Koller is teaching one of those online courses, Probabilistic Graphical Models.

The Tanner Lectures are held annually at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton; the universities of California, Michigan and Utah; and the universities of Cambridge and Oxford in England. Obert Clark Tanner, the late American scholar, industrialist and philanthropist, established the lectures in 1978. The lectures are meant to advance and reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values.

Tanner Lecturers are chosen in recognition for their uncommon achievement and outstanding abilities in the field of human values.

Media Contact

Lisa Lapin, University Communications: (650) 725-8396, lapin@stanford.edu