October 2, 2018 | PCLA receives $150,000 grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) is pleased to announce that we have received a $150,000 grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to augment and support the robust faculty diversity initiatives underway at our member institutions. Specifically, this two year award, titled “Sustaining Underrepresented Faculty”, will enable the PCLA to bridge two PCLA member sponsored efforts, with revamped consortium sponsored offerings that will enhance our collective impact in this crucial area of faculty recruitment and retention.

In January of 2018, Swarthmore College, with the support of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) Award, hosted the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) workshop entitled “Solo Success: How to thrive in the Academy when you’re the only __ in your Department” in collaboration with the PCLA. Facilitated by Connecticut College associate professor of Dance Rosemarie Roberts, PhD, the daylong workshop focused on the unique pressures underrepresented faculty face within the context of a residential small liberal arts institution. Faculty and staff from seven consortium members attended this event that was spearheaded by Swarthmore colleagues Tania Johnson, director of Sponsored Programs, and Sunka Simon, PhD, professor of German, Film and Media Studies (and former associate provost for Faculty Development).

On November 9th and 10th 2018, Muhlenberg College, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be hosting a conference entitled “Expanding and Welcoming a Diverse Professoriate” which will offer a chance for liberal arts institutions to share best practices on how to address this critical piece of the faculty recruitment and retention process. Keynoted by University of Maryland, Baltimore County president Freeman A. Hrabowski III, PhD, panelists and speakers will include senior leaders from Amherst College, Bucknell University, The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Muhlenberg College, and more. The full schedule may be accessed here, and registration closes on October 17th 2018. Funding from the Booth Ferris Foundation award will be available to reimburse consortium institutions for travel costs associated with attending this event.

Beginning in May of 2017, the PCLA has offered our annual daylong “Department Chair Workshop” a comprehensive overview of the conflict management skills, mentoring, and administrative role that academic department chairs play within their institutions. Originally conceived solely as a daylong workshop on managing conflict at the department level, the workshop expanded to its current form to ensure that recently appointed department chairs were aware of the full scope of their new responsibilities. With funding from the Booth Ferris Foundation, we will be able to further expand this workshop to include modules on the role a department chair plays in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty colleagues.

If you would like further information about this award, please contact the consortium’s implementation manager 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) serving ~20,000 undergraduate students.

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 implementation manager. 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 5, 2018 | PCLA/Arthur Vining Davis Teaching and Learning Award open for 2019

The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA) is excited to announce that the fall period for submitting PCLA/Arthur Vining Davis Teaching and Learning Award proposals is open. We will be accepting proposal submissions through 4:30pm on Monday, November 19th 2018. Proposal drafts may be submitted for feedback until Monday, November 5th 2018.

The Teaching and Learning Award is an internal PCLA funding opportunity that is generously funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Teaching and Learning Award funding may only directly benefit PCLA member institutions. These funds are intended to be an avenue for PCLA faculty and staff to explore innovative pedagogy in close concert with the students of their institution. Student involvement in every aspect of the proposal is the hallmark of the Teaching and Learning Award. A single institution may submit a proposal for up to $5,000, but proposals with at least two institutions can submit proposals for up to $15,000. A successful application should include the following:

  • A research based approach to solving a teaching and learning problem.
  • Student input and involvement in all aspects of the project.
  • If including PCLA partners, full participation and collaboration by two or more PCLA member institutions.
  • A plan for generative sustainability that provides the opportunity to gain from what is learned.
  • An assessment/evaluation plan that provides meaningful feedback on the project.
  • A clear, balanced budget that is focused on outcomes with a narrative description.

Previous awards have endeavored to amplify inclusion efforts within the classroom, enhance the visibility of digital humanities/learning within the liberal arts context, and explore how elements of online learning can enhance the learning undertaken within the brick and mortar walls of our institutions...to name a few.

Those interested in attending the culminating "Showcase of Teaching and Learning Award 2017 Awardees", where previous awardees will present their work for feedback and discussion, are welcome to join us at Franklin & Marshall College on Saturday, September 29th between 9am - 4:30pm for $15/person ($25/person for folks outside the PCLA membership) plus applicable fees. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite here.

For more information about, and application instructions for, the Teaching and Learning Award click here or copy and paste www.pcla.info/avd-award into your web browser. Please don’t hesitate to email the consortium implementation manager, Robert Diggs, with any questions.

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) serving ~20,000 undergraduate students.

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 implementation manager. 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 13, 2018 | PCLA Board Transitions for the 2018-19 Academic Year

The PCLA is proud to announce the elections of Bryn Mawr College president Kimberly W. Cassidy, PhD, and Muhlenberg College president John I. Williams Jr., JD, to two year terms as chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the PCLA Board of Presidents. President Cassidy ascends to the chairship after serving two years as vice-chair, while President Williams joined the four person Executive Committee at the outset of the 2017-18 academic year. Juniata College president James A. Troha, PhD, will be continuing his service to the executive committee.

The Board itself will be welcoming a new president to the group when Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) president-elect Barbara K. Altmann, PhD, takes up her post in August. Eric W. Noll, MBA, is providing interim leadership at F&M as former president Daniel R. Porterfield, PhD, joined the Aspen Institute as president and CEO in June.

With these transitions, we say thank you to Gettysburg College president Janet Morgan Riggs, PhD, who served as the second chair of the PCLA Board for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. President Riggs will remain a member of the executive committee as past-chair, but will be concluding her service to the board with her retirement from the presidency of Gettysburg at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.

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) serving ~20,000 undergraduate students.

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 implementation manager. 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 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.

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.

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.