University of Lynchburg is one of 26 institutions selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in the inaugural Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute, to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 3–6, 2018.
University of Lynchburg will send a team including Dr. Sally Selden, vice president and dean for academic affairs; Dr. Sabita Manian, a professor of international relations and president’s diversity faculty fellow; Dr. Sharon Foreman, a human services professor who was recently appointed as director of general education; and Aaron Smith ’05, ’07 MEd, diversity and inclusion officer.
The Institute is designed to help faculty members and administrators learn about research and best practices that enable students to understand issues of diversity, civility, and the causes of social unrest that are prominent on campuses today.
“In order to tackle contemporary identitarian movements, a divisive political climate, and challenges to a pluralist society, participating in the Institute will underscore LC’s devotion to the values of diversity, inclusiveness, and civil discourse in a liberal arts setting,” said University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren. “We are committed to pursuing high-impact practices that promote diversity and civil discourse across various constituencies at our liberal arts institution.”
The participating institutions were selected from a pool of applicants that was triple the number of participants that could be accepted. According to CIC president Richard Ekman, “the volume, quality, and urgency of the proposals reflect the commitment of independent colleges and universities to promoting diversity and civility, not just on their campuses but across the nation.”
The Institute is directed by Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College and a leading scholar of race and higher education. During the Institute, leading humanities and social sciences scholars will present key concepts and recent developments in their fields and apply these concepts to understand student concerns and deepen the educational experience. The goal is to encourage thoughtful campus discussions that engage students’ minds as well as their emotions. Each participating college will develop plans to incorporate the content into many courses, advising and counseling services, and co-curricular activities at their institutions.
The Institute faculty is comprised of some of the nation’s leading scholars of diversity, history, literature, social change, and political philosophy.
The Institute is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It will be offered again in 2019. For more information, visit www.cic.edu/DiversityInstitute.
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 767 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.