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Seattle U in the News: Incoming Seattle U President Eduardo Peñalver Rethinks the Future of Learning

December 15, 2020

The president elect spoke with the Puget Sound Business Journal about his plans coming into the role and the future of education.

The full text of the Journal's story, published online today, can be found here. Following are some excerpts from the story.

Eduardo Peñalver said his decades-long effort to return to the Puget Sound region is “like a bad romantic comedy – it just has never been the right time.”

But beginning in January, the Puyallup native and current Cornell Law School dean will step down from his post and work alongside Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg as he prepares to take over Sundborg’s position on July 1.

What will be your first priorities as Seattle University’s next president? The first priority is learning and listening.

What ways will you look to engage the local business community? Right now, there’s a real hunger for conversations about this intersection between technology and values, between technology and democracy, technology and ethics. There’s a hunger for that among students. 

Are there ways you think the pandemic has changed education permanently? Certainly there’s a greater comfort with this technology that we’ve been forced to use. It’s not that we’re not going to come back to residential education. I think that’s still so enriching for students in so many different ways, and they’re clearly hungry for that. 

What does the future of higher education look like? The core of it — which is the residential educational experience, whether that be for the undergraduates or professional students or graduate students — remains even after Covid.