Augsburg News

News Archives - 2001

Augsburg College awarded a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation

Aug. 01, 2001

Augsburg College President William Frame recently announced that the college has been awarded a half million-dollar grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles to support the development of statistical literacy as an interdisciplinary curriculum in the liberal arts. This interdisciplinary project will help bridge the gap between formal mathematical statistics and informal critical thinking, between experimental studies and observational studies in the physical sciences, and between the social sciences and the humanities. It could have tremendous impact on the college’s curriculum.

The goal of this project is to reform the teaching of statistics to include the use of observationally based statistics. Milo Schield, business administration professor, is the project leader and organizer of the proposal.

This is the first time the W.M. Keck Foundation, which is one of the top national science funding foundations, has awarded a grant to Augsburg College.

John Knight, director of corporate and foundation relations at Augsburg College, said this is "ground breaking" for the college. Guided and driven by Augsburg 2004, Augsburg College has the opportunity to forward its vision through this project, create a new discipline that informs and is informed by other academic disciplines, and extend the value of this work to instructors across the United States.

During the three-year project, Schield will be responsible for writing a statistical literacy text that is useful to students and usable by faculty in various disciplines. There will also be a phase for training in teachers and testing materials. Eight other faculty members will be team-teaching with Schield.

This project will introduce new ways of thinking about age-old problems into statistical education and ultimately into all of undergraduate education.