Behind Rollins College Chief's Battle, a Broader Liberal-Arts Debate

Behind Rollins College Chief's Battle, a Broader Liberal-Arts Debate 1

Brian Blanco for The Chronicle

Lewis M. Duncan, president of Rollins College, said in response to last week's no-confidence vote that "change is inevitable, that decisions and actions frequently must be undertaken more quickly than the deliberative pace at which faculty bodies are inclined to act, that change evokes resistance, and that broad consensus for change is often unrealizable."

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close Behind Rollins College Chief's Battle, a Broader Liberal-Arts Debate 1

Brian Blanco for The Chronicle

Lewis M. Duncan, president of Rollins College, said in response to last week's no-confidence vote that "change is inevitable, that decisions and actions frequently must be undertaken more quickly than the deliberative pace at which faculty bodies are inclined to act, that change evokes resistance, and that broad consensus for change is often unrealizable."

Just days before his long-simmering conflict with professors came to a head last week at Rollins College, its president, Lewis M. Duncan, gave a sobering speech about the future of higher education.

Speaking at a March 15 faculty meeting, Mr. Duncan appeared to cast online learning as a viable replacement for traditional liberal-arts institutions like Rollins, which serves about 3,200 students in Winter Park, Fla. Over the course of 49 PowerPoint slides, Mr. Duncan cited dozens of