Our own Dr. Pat delivered the keynote and wove together a number of themes centering on our multiple crises, among which (and perhaps near the center of which) is a crisis in higher education. In a nutshell (and he can clarify and correct me on this), he argued that many of our crises can be traced to a failure to appreciate and respect our limits, a failure of which "the new science" (that is, Baconian science) is the cause. The contemporary university is in some sense the central institution housing the new science and celebrating the self-fashioning which is its most common expression. (Readers of C.S. Lewis might regard it as a N.I.C.E. place.)
We also had an interesting discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of Anthony Kronman's recent pretty good book on Education's End, which covers some of this terrain, albeit not nearly as well, in large part because he can't bring himself to admit that to counterpose (or indeed oppose) the humanities to religion (or to the possibility of religious truth) is to deprive them of a principal source of their vitality. He treats religion as essentially "fundamentalist" and anti-intellectual and thinks that one can contemplate life's big questions without taking seriously religious alternatives. I suspect that it's closer to the truth to argue that Kronman's "secular humanism" (which isn't too far from the kind of conversation across the ages that someone like Allan Bloom would have suggested) must collapse into Baconian self-fashioning if it rejects out of hand (as Kronman seems to) the possibility of religious truth.
Many thanks to all the conference attendees (among them three of Lawler's students who made the trek down from Berry and an assiduous reader of Dr. Pat's blog) and to its various sponsors, including ISI.