New York Times Letter to the Editor. Opinion | A Debate Over the Value of the Humanities

The debate about the value of a liberal arts education is hardly over, despite attempts to be definitive via cuts in funding for the humanities. Higher education is about more than job training. A broad-based curriculum educates young people to be productive members of society who contribute to the overall well-being of those around them, from adding beauty through art to solving problems with the latest scientific breakthroughs. A liberal arts and science education is an education for life.

What’s Your Why: Advice from Higher Ed Leadership: Leading with Heart: A Conversation with President Bilger

President Audrey Bilger, the first woman president of Reed College, is a prolific author and inclusive leader. Bilger has held numerous leadership positions across higher education. She is an active member of LGBTQ+ organizations and local Portland organizations committed to breaking down educational barriers. We talk with President Bilger about learning and questioning with joy and having the courage to lead with heart.

Pandemic Leadership: Lessons Learned at Six Institutions

For Reed College President Audrey Bilger, a positive lesson of resilience was how quickly the Reed community could mobilize to address pressing needs, such as the need for virtual instruction. “Prior to March of 2020, we had zero online classes,” Bilger says. “In the last decade, other small liberal arts colleges have increased their online courses. But that’s not a direction that we’ve taken. So when we had to make the move to send everyone to remote instruction, it was really turning on a dime.”

Audrey Bilger, Who Earned Ph.D. in English at UVA, to Lead Reed College

“College presidents have been described as the ‘narrators-in-chief’ of their institutions,” said University of Virginia alumna Audrey Bilger, who this summer will become the 16th president of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and the first woman to serve in that role. “My background as a scholar of literature and teacher in the classroom will be of enormous assistance to me in telling the impressive story of Reed College,” Bilger wrote in email from the West Coast.