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Event Details


Monday, March 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Reception: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. (Hors d’oeuvres Served)
Keynote & Panel Discussion: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Michigan League Ballroom (911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104)


How might we bring a Michigan education to learners around the world and bring learners from around the world to Michigan? As part of the Academic Innovation Initiative, President Mark Schlissel will open a community wide forum on broadening the Michigan community of learners with a special announcement about an innovative mechanism for Michigan faculty to dialogue with the public around current events and issues. Forum participants will explore the many ways in which U-M is leveraging academic innovation to address the problems, events, and phenomena most important to society.

Following President Schlissel’s remarks, edX CEO Anant Agarwal will deliver a keynote address about how technology is affording scholars with new audiences and new channels for public engagement. Agarwal will share examples of innovation taking place at universities across the globe. A panel of U-M innovators will then share insights into how we are currently engaging pre-college, lifelong and lifewide learners and how we can create catalysts for academic innovation to further scale and enhance these efforts. The panel will provide examples of programmatic, technological, and pedagogical innovation already underway.


We welcome all members of the U-M community and the public to this event. Individuals particularly interested in how universities can utilize new technologies to engage pre-college learners, support lifewide and life-long learning, and share research and interdisciplinary insights about pressing societal concerns might be particularly drawn to this event. Forum participants will have an opportunity to hear from and interact with University of Michigan leaders and innovators who are working to help U-M connect more deeply with a global community of learners.

The forum on broadening the Michigan community includes a reception at 5 p.m. for you to share your ideas and insights with others. President Mark Schlissel will open the formal program at 6 p.m. with a special announcement. This will be followed by a keynote address by Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX.

The forum will conclude with a panel discussion amongst U-M innovators, moderated by Barry Fishman, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, School of Information and School of Education.

  • Kedra Ishop, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, will share insights into how the University of Michigan is reaching out to underrepresented communities and broadening the diversity of students studying on campus.
  • Joanna Millunchick, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering will describe how M-STEM Academies has been working to support and prepare students to thrive in Engineering at Michigan and what opportunities she sees to scale these types of efforts with technology.
  • Thomas Finholt, Dean, School of Information, will describe how the School of Information is creating new on-ramps into the U-M curriculum through the “For Everyone” MOOCs and Specializations and the User Experience Design MicroMasters.
  • Arun Agrawal, Samuel Trask Dana Professor, Professor of Natural Resources, School of Natural Resources and Environment, will describe mechanisms for faculty to engage the public in dialogue about their scholarship as it relates to current events.


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