September 6, 2017 | PCLA Newsletter for Spring and Summer 2017

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) is pleased to share this update of consortium happenings during the spring semester and summer of 2017. Over that time we held an all consortium gathering on the topic of speech, piloted our revamped Academic Department Chair Workshop, awarded five year-long grants to teams from nine member institutions to explore Teaching and Learning initiatives, and held nine PCLA Cohort meetings and workshops.

For a full accounting of our spring and summer activities, you can find our newsletter here. The publicly available attachments referenced in the newsletter can be found here:

Please contact the consortium program coordinator for access to the Member Activity Report.

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The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges.) We strive to find areas of collaboration across our members that enhance the core principles of the liberal arts experience provided to the ~20,000 students that our institutions serve.

The PCLA is governed by the eleven member Board of Presidents, which is in turn led by a four person executive committee. The daily administration of PCLA activities is guided by the executive director, assisted by the program coordinator. The PCLA office is hosted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with employment and financial services provided by Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

September 4, 2017 | PCLA Opportunity Grant submission period open until November 6th

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) is excited to announce that the fall period for submitting Opportunity Grant proposals is open. We will be accepting proposal submissions through 11:59pm on Monday, November 6th.

The Opportunity Grant is an internal PCLA funding opportunity that a collaborative team from at least two PCLA institutions may apply for. Opportunity Grant funding may only directly benefit PCLA institutions. These funds are intended to be an avenue for PCLA Cohorts, and other interested groups from the consortium, to receive seed money for promising activities and programs that address one, or more, of the following principles:

  • Cost savings
  • Sharing of best practices
  • Growing consortial and institutional visibility
  • Addressing issues and concerns that would benefit from group activity
  • Advancing the "Liberal Arts" model nationally
  • Fostering intellectual discussion across consortium campuses
  • Increasing operational efficiencies

Previous awards have provided for a comprehensive on-site training of New York University’s “Faith Zone” curriculum for Religious Life Leaders and students, a risk management workshop for Off-Campus Study directors, a conference on Information Literacy Standards for librarians (which led to an interview of the keynote speaker being published in Reference Services Review), and more.

For more information about, and application instructions for, the Opportunity Grant click here or copy and paste www.pcla.info/opp-grant into your web browser.

Please don’t hesitate to email the consortium program coordinator, Robert Diggs, with any questions. The PCLA office may also be reached by calling 717-358-5992.

To share this story, please use this link.

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges.) We strive to find areas of collaboration across our members that enhance the core principles of the liberal arts experience provided to the ~20,000 students that our institutions serve.

The PCLA is governed by the eleven member Board of Presidents, which is in turn led by a four person executive committee. The daily administration of PCLA activities is guided by the executive director, assisted by the program coordinator. The PCLA office is hosted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with employment and financial services provided by Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

July 5, 2017 | PCLA welcomes Two New Presidents, Williams joins Executive Committee

The PCLA welcomes Margee Ensign, PhD and John Knapp, PhD to the PCLA Board of Presidents. Dr. Ensign assumed office at Dickinson College on July 1, while Dr. Knapp will take over leadership of Washington & Jefferson College on August 1. Both are entering their second presidencies, with Dr. Ensign coming to Pennsylvania from the American University of Nigeria, and Dr. Knapp joining us from Hope College in Michigan.

The Executive Committee of the Board also was announced at the June PCLA Board Meeting. John I. Williams, Jr., JD, president of Muhlenberg College, was chosen to fill a vacancy on the Committee, joining Janet Morgan Riggs, PhD, president of Gettysburg College and chair of the PCLA Board, Kimberly W. Cassidy, PhD, president of Bryn Mawr College and vice-chair of the PCLA Board, and James A. Troha, PhD, president of Juniata College.

With these transitions, we say thank you to Dickinson College’s provost and dean of the College, Neil Weissman, PhD, for his yearlong service as interim president and a member of the PCLA Board. We must also say thank you to Tori Haring-Smith, PhD, whose retirement from the presidency of Washington & Jefferson College marked the end of twelve years of service to W&J and nearly three years of service to the PCLA Board.

To share this story, please use this link.

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges.) We strive to find areas of collaboration across our members that enhance the core principles of the liberal arts experience provided to the ~20,000 students that our institutions serve.

The PCLA is governed by the eleven member Board of Presidents, which is in turn led by a four person executive committee. The daily administration of PCLA activities is guided by the executive director, assisted by the program coordinator. The PCLA office is hosted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with employment and financial services provided by Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

July 15, 2016 | PCLA receives $250,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) is pleased to announce that we have received a $250,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to enrich consortial efforts in Faculty Development, Blended/Digital Learning, and Interfaith Initiatives.

The Faculty Development Project will augment the skills of the high caliber faculty across the consortium by “building a community of practitioner-researchers” focusing on high-impact pedagogies. The Blended/Digital Learning Project builds on a pilot distance-learning project, using a robust videoconference platform at three of our member campuses, by hiring and training student instructional technology assistants to allow faculty and professional staff the time to focus on pedagogy and effective deployment of available resources. The Interfaith Initiatives Project will further the results of a workshop with New York University’s Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership, incorporating the principles of their innovative “Faith Zones” program into the critical work of encouraging respectful discourse on divisive topics.

If you would like further information about the grant, please contact rdiggs@fandm.edu for assistance.

To share this story, please use this link.

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges.) We strive to find areas of collaboration across our members that enhance the core principles of the liberal arts experience provided to the ~20,000 students that our institutions serve.

The PCLA is governed by the eleven member Board of Presidents, which is in turn led by a four person executive committee. The daily administration of PCLA activities is guided by the executive director, assisted by the program coordinator. The PCLA office is hosted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with employment and financial services provided by Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

July 1, 2016 | Riggs becomes Chair, Troha joins Executive Committee

On July 1, Janet Morgan Riggs, PhD, president of Gettysburg College, began her term as the chair of the Board of Presidents, the trustee level leadership group of the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA). Previously the vice-chair of the PCLA Board, Dr. Riggs was succeeded in that position by Kimberly W. Cassidy, PhD, president of Bryn Mawr College. Additionally, James A. Troha, PhD, president of Juniata College, was chosen from among his peers to fill an opening on the board’s executive committee.

Rounding out the four person executive committee is the past-chair of the PCLA Board Tori Haring-Smith, PhD, president of Washington & Jefferson College. Dr. Haring-Smith led the board from the consortium’s inception as her institution took the lead on applying for, and administering, the initial funding that allowed the PCLA to hire the staff that are employed today, and begin providing programming for our members. We thank Dr. Haring-Smith for her leadership and her continued contributions to the executive committee, and the entire board.

To share this story, please use this link.

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, and Washington & Jefferson Colleges.) We strive to find areas of collaboration across our members that enhance the core principles of the liberal arts experience provided to the ~20,000 students that our institutions serve.

The PCLA is governed by the eleven member Board of Presidents, which is in turn led by a four person executive committee. The daily administration of PCLA activities is guided by the executive director, assisted by the program coordinator. The PCLA office is hosted by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA with employment and financial services provided by Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.