Skip Navigation

Office of the Provost

2007 Pepperdine University Faculty Conference

University Faculty Conference
"A New World of Ideas"
October 5, 2007


 7:30 a.m.  Continental Breakfast Joslyn Plaza 
 8:00 a.m.  Registration Joslyn Plaza 
 8:30 a.m.  Devotional Elkins Auditorium 
 9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Introduction to
the Conference
Elkins Auditorium 
10:30 a.m.
 Concurrent Sessions (assigned breakout rooms) 
10:45 a.m.

 10:45 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.

Plenary Address
"The Crisis of the Christian Scholar"
Stephen L. Carter, Yale University Law School

Elkins Auditorium 
2:00 p.m.


Musical Entertainment

Welcome by President Benton

Presentation of Howard A. White Awards for Teaching Excellence

Rockwell Dining Center 
2:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
 Concurrent Sessions  (assigned breakout rooms)


Concurrent Sessions
Faculty Conference – October 5, 2007

Morning Sessions:  9:15 to 10:30 a.m.

1.  “The Habits of Highly Effective Teachers”

 Tim Perrin (Law), Moderator

Recipients of the University’s Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence share their personal reflections about teaching—why they teach, how they teach, and what they teach—and will discuss the challenges they face in and out of the classroom.  Panelists include Jim Gash (Law), Priscilla MacRae (Seaver) Susan Hall (GSEP) Larry Bumgardner (Graziadio), Regan Schaffer (Seaver) and Farzin Madjidi (GSEP).

2.  “Preparing Students to Work with Diverse Populations”  

 Robert deMayo (GSEP), Moderator    

This panel will focus on how we can prepare our students to work with the diverse populations of Southern California and to succeed within the broader global context of the 21st century. Faculty from four schools will discuss strategies to assist our students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and global orientation to facilitate personal and professional success in a multicultural landscape. Panelists include Christine Goodman (Law), David Holmes (Seaver), Carolyn Keatinge (GSEP), Margaret Phillips (Graziadio).  

3.  “Doing Science in South America”  

 An Account of the Research of Rodney Honeycutt and Lee Kats (Seaver)

University study abroad programs provide a meaningful and unique experience for our students.  Most of the courses, at various campuses around the world, offer units in disciplines that do not require a science laboratory setting.  As a consequence, students majoring in the natural sciences must compensate by taking laboratory-based courses upon returning from their long-term study abroad programs.  In addition, many students fail to participate in summer programs, unless they focus exclusively on GE courses outside the natural sciences.  Of all our campus locations, Argentina offers the ideal natural laboratory, which requires no infrastructure, buildings, or special equipment.  The natural diversity of Argentina provides an outside laboratory for courses in the natural sciences; and as such, both majors and non-majors can take either electives or GE-required science courses during the summer months. This session will introduce the experiences that we encountered during the summer of 2007 while teaching a course that traversed natural laboratories in subtropical forests and the wind-swept coastlines of Patagonia.

4.  “Spirituality and Higher Education”  

 A Discussion with Ed Shafranske (GSEP) and Cindy Miller-Perrin (Seaver)

America is often characterized as a very religious nation; however, the nature of religious involvement appears to be shifting from what Wuthnow (1988) has characterized as a "spirituality of dwelling" to a "spirituality of seeking.” Professor Shafranske’s presentation considers the psychological features associated with developing personal meaning in light of this emerging trend and discusses implications for higher education. Professor Cindy Miller-Perrin will report on research (coauthored with Professor Don Thompson) conducted on a cohort of 200 undergraduates between 2002 and 2006 in the following areas: faith, identity, and life purpose. Her presentation describes the results of this research, with attention to factors that contribute to variation in development within these areas.  Discussion of the findings will focus on increasing our understanding of how students’ faith, identity, and life purpose change over time and the implications for faculty members who interact with them.

5.  “Classic Texts in Liberal and Professional Education”   

 Panelists:  Paul Contino (Seaver), Donna Nofziger Plank (Seaver), Don Marshall (Seaver), and Ted McAllister (Public Policy)

The importance of reading classic texts for liberal education is well recognized. But can they also play a role in professional education? What makes a “classic” text classic? What pedagogical approaches can help students derive maximum benefit from reading classic texts? Can the traditional list of classic texts be extended to include Eastern great books and the natural sciences? These and related issues will be discussed by faculty from Seaver College’s Great Books Program and Faith and Reason seminars, and the School of Public Policy Great Book and Great Ideas course.

6.  “The Power of a Good Story: Martin Luther King, the Exodus Narrative, and the American Civil Rights Movement” 

 Presenter: Gary Selby (Seaver)

Professor Selby will present from his forthcoming book, Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom: The Exodus in America’s Struggle for Civil Rights.  His presentation will explore the central role that the biblical story played in the movement’s initial formation, in King’s rise to leadership as the movement’s prophetic leader and, much later, in the emergence of the campaign’s most important mode of collective action, the protest march.  His study will argue that by persistently representing the struggle for equality as the enactment of a modern-day Exodus, King was able to offer his hearers a structure of meaning that explained their present circumstances, urged their engagement in united action, and provided an overwhelming conviction that they would succeed.

Afternoon Sessions:  2:15 to 3:30 p.m.

7.  “Civility as the Foundation of Academic Culture”

 Jeff Zalar (Seaver) and Chris Goodman (Law)

*Preenrollment required*

As Parker Palmer, Mark Schwehn, and other leaders of Christian higher education have remarked, knowledge is a form of responsible relationship whose quality depends on respectful face-to-face interaction in a common pursuit of understanding. Civility, and all that it implies for the health of interpersonal bonds, is therefore of foundational importance to the establishment of vigorous academic communities that structure higher education and elaborate its mission.   This highly interactive session will discuss civility at Pepperdine among faculty and students with an eye toward programmatic initiatives designed to enhance it.  Advance Reading: Essay by Thomas H. Benton, “Remedial Civility Training,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 May 2007.  

8.  "Religion and the Election of 1800:  A Not-Too-Distant Mirror"

 Ed Larson (Seaver and Law) with Response by Chris Soper (Seaver)

Controversy regarding the role of religion in American politics is nothing new.  It dominated our first contested presidential election, when the alleged deist (or worse) Thomas Jefferson squared off against John Adams, who was embraced as the candidate of evangelical Christians despite his private Unitarian views.  Charges of atheism versus the establishment of religion flew back and forth, leading many Americans to worry about the very survival of the republic should the "other" candidate prevail.  As we enter another partisan election season, this look at the past may help to put the present in perspective.

9.  “Learners, Learning Environments, and Classrooms of the Future”

 Presenter: Eric Hamilton (associate dean-designate of GSEP), director of U.S.Air Force Academy Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

 Facilitator:  Margaret Weber (GSEP)

Despite the historically unrivalled pace of change in our world, it is fair to say that the education sector has changed less than virtually any other social structure.  Classrooms in 2007 look largely like classrooms of the mid-20th century and before. Yet the ways we learn, acquire new knowledge, communicate, and connect to society are fundamentally different from past eras.  Is it realistic to think that learning environments of the future, and, in particular, our classroom structures, will do more than weakly tag along society's rapid changes?  This discussion explores changes in educational settings, some of which are underway, others of which are inevitable, and still others that are not inevitable, but are lofty yet within grasp.  It is in this last category that the stakes are highest.

10.  “Taming the Email Monster: How Email Users Can Get Their Lives Back and Avoid Going to Jail”   

 Panelists: Rick Cupp (Law), Nancy Harding (GSEP), Michael Feltner (Seaver)

Do you ever have difficulty remembering how you managed to fill the hours before e-mail came along to consume your work days? E-mail has of course benefited us in many ways, but it also entails significant costs. Indeed, some e-mails have even landed their senders in jail (or subjected them to civil liability). This panel will address e-mail’s pitfalls and perils, along with how to maximize its benefits. The panel will provide tips and explore approaches to reducing the hours we spend on e-mail while still fulfilling our responsibilities.  A short but helpful book entitled SEND: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home will serve as a starting point for our panelists’ reflections. Substantial time will be reserved for audience comments, questions, and discussion.

11.  “The Virtues and Commerce: Seeds for Conversation”

 Michael Williams (Graziadio), Moderator with multiple panelists (see below)

The influence of commerce on the moral fiber of humankind has been an open question for centuries.  From the Psalms, to Adam Smith, Karl Marx to Milton Friedman, the question of how morality and markets collide has been an important yet unresolved question.  This session examines the age old issue of virtue and commerce from the educational, legal, and economic perspectives. Panelists include Tom Bost (Law) on the business lawyer as moral counselor;     Regan Schaffer (Seaver) on virtue, service, and faith in Undergraduate Business Education; Samuel Seaman, David Smith, and Michael Williams (Graziadio) on the role and necessity of virtue in Graduate Business Education; Andrew Yuengert (Seaver) on prudence, techniques and virtue in the Markets.

12.       “Pepperdine and Cultural Leadership: Initiatives to Impact Culture through the Arts and Media”

 Multiple Presenters (see below)

Todd Bouldin (Seaver, The Pepperdine Voyage) will summarize the theological vision that grounds the initiatives as a logical extension of the University’s mission, along with the proposal of a Center for theological and professional discussion of these ideas.  Nancy Dodd (Graziadio) will describe Pepperdine’s current offerings in the arts and entertainment, and will review the history of people and events that have led to these initiatives. Leslie Kreiner Wilson (Seaver) will discuss the ways in which students can become cultural leaders in the entertainment industry and thus effect redemptive, transformational social change; and how the new MFA degree can serve those goals.  Susan Salas (Seaver) will explore the future of entertainment as it is enhanced by new digital technologies. Cathy Thomas Grant (Seaver) will consider the importance of theatre, acting, and “high art” as a foundation for all new initiatives; and will provide an overview of the current degree programs in Fine Arts as well as a vision for potential programs.