Anticipating the Future of Agricultural Teaching, Research, and Service: Seminar Description


Anticipating the Future of Research, Education, and Extension Programs in Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

Sponsored by the Partnership Working Group and CSREES

Hosted by the Virginia Cooperative Extension


May 15-18, 2005

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
110 Shenandoah Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone: 540.853.8290        

James L. Morrison, Facilitator

Participants are encouraged to make travel arrangements that allow participation in the full conference as noted in the schedule below.

As university leaders, we are being bombarded by tumultuous forces for change as we go into the 21st Century: Virtual classrooms, global communications, global economies, telecourses, distance learning, corporate classrooms, increased competition among social agencies for scarce resources, pressure for institutional mergers, state-wide program review, developments in biotechnology, and so on. In order to plan programs in U.S. land grant institutions effectively in this environment, we must be able to anticipate and plan for new developments that will affect learning, discovery, and engagement.


The objective of this conference is to assist leaders in land grant colleges and universities to systematically factor the external environment into their planning activities. The expected outcomes are:

  • identify critical trends that define the context within which programs in U.S. land-grant institutions will function in the coming decade;
  • identify potential events that could affect extension, research, and teaching;
  • develop elementary scenarios portraying the impact of critical events on programs in land-grant institutions;
  • draft issue briefs of issues and emerging issues facing programs in land-grant institutions


Participants are requested to review the following publications prior to this conference:

Approaches to anticipating the future:


  1. Ashley, W. L. & Morrison, J. L. (1996). "Anticipatory Management Tools for the 21st Century." The Futures Research Quarterly, 12 (2), 35-49.


  1. Ashley, W. L. & Morrison, J. L. (1997). "Anticipatory Management: Tools for Better Decision Making." The Futurist, 31(5), 47-50.
  2. Morrison & Wilson. "Analyzing Environments and Developing Scenarios for Uncertain Times." in M. W. Peterson, D. D. Dill, L. A. Mets, and Associates (eds.), Planning and Management for a Changing Environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997

Perspectives on the future of land grant institutions:


  1. Mack, T. "An Interview with a Futurist." Futures Research Quarterly, 2003, 19 (1), 61-69
  2. Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. Returning to Our Roots: A Learning Society. Fourth Report, 1999, September.
  3. Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. "Renewing the Covenant: Learning Discovery, and Engagement is a New Age and Different World." Sixth Report, 2000, March. 
  4. Jischke, M. (2004). "Adapting Justin Morrill's Vision to a New Century: The Imperative of Change for Land-Grant Institutions." Invited presentation at the 2004 National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Annual Meeting, San Diego.
  5. Muscoplat, C. and Carlson, C. (2004). "Agriculture: I Don't Want to Talk About It." Presentation at the 2004 National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Annual Meeting, San Diego.


  1. Boggs, G. R. "Focus on Learning." On the Horizon, 1998, 6(1), 1, 5-6.
  2. Morrison, J. L. "Anticipating the Future." On the Horizon, 1996, 4(3), 2-3.
  3. Morrison, J. L. "Transforming Educational Organizations." On the Horizon, 1997, 5(1), 2-3.
  4. Morrison, J. L., Sargison, A., & Francis, D. (1997). Using The Futures Program As A Tool For Transformation: A Case Study of Lincoln University, New Zealand. In Donald M. Norris and James L. Morrison, Mobilizing for Transformation: How Campuses Are Preparing for the Knowledge Age. New Directions in Institutional Research Number 94 (19-30). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Available on-line:
  5. Morrison, J. L. (2003). US Higher Education in Transition. On the Horizon, 11(1), 6-10.
  6. NASULGC ESCOP Task Force on Building a Science Roadmap, "A Science Roadmap for Agriculture." 2001, November.
  7. NASULGC Office of Public Affairs. "The Extension System: A Vision for the 21st Century." 2002, February.
  8. O'Banion, T. "Schooling is Out--Learning is In." On the Horizon, 1996, 3(5), 1-2, 5-6.
  9. Snyder, D. P. "High Tech and Higher Education: A Wave of Creative Destruction is Rolling Toward the Halls of Academe."   On the Horizon, 1996, 4(5), 1, 3-7.


Sunday, May 15

3:30-4:00 pm  

Introduction/Orientation: How do we anticipate the future?

4:30-5:30 pm

Video: Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms

5:30-6:00 pm

Preparing for small group work for the remainder of the conference

6:00-7:00 pm

Cash bar 

7:00-8:30 pm 


Monday, May 16

7:00-7:45 am 


7:45-8:45 am  

Identifying critical trends

8:45-9:30 am  

Discussion/prioritization of critical trends

9:30-9:45 am    

Prepare group reports

9:45-10:00 am  


10:00-10:45 am

Group reports

10:45-11:30 am

Identifying potential events

11:30-12:00 pm

Discussion of critical events

12:00-1:00 pm


1:00-2:00 pm

Continue discussion/Prioritize events

2:00-2:45 pm

Identify the signals that the five most critical events could occur

2:45-3:15 pm

Prepare group report of five most critical events and the signals that they could occur

3:15-3:30 pm


3:30-4:45 pm

Group reports 

4:45-5:00 pm

Preparation for Tuesday's work

Tuesday, May 17

7:00-8:00 am


8:00-9:15 am

Developing scenarios using impact networks

9:15-10:15 am

Implications derived from scenarios

10:15-11:00 am

Prepare group report of impact network exercise

11:00-12:00 am

Group reports

12:00-1:00 pm


1:00-2:00 pm

Identify major issues challenging programs in land-grant institutions

2:00-5:00 pm

Prepare issue briefs

Wednesday, May 18

7:00-8:00 am



Preparing group reports


Group reports


Next steps

Conference Participants

All material within the HORIZON site, unless otherwise noted, may be distributed freely for educational purposes. If you do redistribute any of this material, it must retain this copyright notice and you must use appropriate citation including the URL. Also, we would appreciate your sending James L. Morrison a note as to how you are using it. HTML and design by Noel Fiser, ©2006. Page last modified: 8/29/2005 4:53:41 PM. 11739 visitors since February 2000.