Coleman served as Bennington College’s ninth president from 1987 to 2013. She is widely recognized as an early and outspoken champion of cross-disciplinary education — bucking the trend to push students toward increasingly narrow areas of study and instead advocating an approach that dynamically combines disciplines to address the great problems of our day.

“As one moves up the ladder, values other than technical competence are viewed with increasing suspicion,” she said in a 2009 TED Talk, “A Call to Reinvent Liberal Arts Education,” which has since garnered more than a half million views. “Questions such as, ‘What kind of a world are we making? What kind of a world should we be making? What kind of a world can we be making?’ are treated with more and more skepticism, and move off the table.”

At Bennington, Coleman was credited with building a vibrant cross-disciplinary learning environment in which students and faculty embraced higher education as an active pursuit and a “performing art.” Her vision calls for a broadened perspective, one-on-one interactions between professors and students, deep engagement with primary sources, highly individual majors, and an emphasis on civic mindedness.

Coleman’s foresight for a new kind of liberal arts education has been recognized nationally by her place on the Select Committee of the Association of American Colleges and the board of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Coleman has also served on the Council for a Community of Democracies and as chair of the Vermont Rhodes Scholarship Trust.

A former consultant to the Annenberg Corporation on a public broadcasting project, she currently serves on the boards of the Neurosciences Institute; the Annapolis Group, an organization of leading independent liberal arts colleges; the Committee for Economic Development; and the Council of Advisors for the European College of Liberal Arts.


Guy ROCHER, Ph.D. (Harvard) est sociologue, a enseigné la sociologie à l’Université Laval (1952-1960), a été professeur titulaire au Département de sociologie (de 1960 à 2010) et chercheur au Centre de recherche en droit public de la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal (de 1979 à aujourd’hui). Il est maintenant professeur émérite et aussi professeur associé à la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal. Il a été membre de la Commission royale d’enquête sur l’enseignement (Commission Parent) (1961-1966) et a participé à la rédaction du Rapport de cette Commission. Il a aussi été sous-ministre au développement culturel et au développement social, au Conseil exécutif du Gouvernement du Québec (1977-1982). Dans cette fonction, il a participé à l’élaboration et à la mise en application de la Charte de la langue française (1977). Il a publié de nombreux articles et une vingtaine d’ouvrages, entre autres une Introduction à la sociologie générale, Le Québec en mutation, Études de sociologie du droit et de l’éthique et, en collaboration, Entre les rêves et l’histoire, Théories et émergence du droit et La Loi 101 et l’école primaire à clientèle pluriethnique.