CIC Unveils Mobile-Friendly Website, Releases New Infographic Series

​New Website

In December 2016, CIC launched a redesigned website ( The site offers simplified navigation, faster load times, and a true mobile-friendly user experience. While the site received an updated look and feel, the implementation of a fully mobile-responsive design marks the biggest change, providing an optimal browsing experience on any size device. Thanks to the simplified navigation, events and programs are now easier to find, grouped by campus role and sortable by name, date, and deadline.

redesigned CIC website on desktop monitor and smartphone  

Liberal Arts Infographics

In January 2017, CIC released a new set of infographics to help member institutions tell a compelling story about the effectiveness of smaller private colleges like their own. These infographics are available in high-resolution format on the CIC website for institutions to download and use in their promotional materials, print and digital publications, on social media, and on websites. The new infographics address the key themes of CIC’s Power of Liberal Arts Education campaign: Affordability, Diversity, Accessibility, and Success.

infographics examples  

Since launching the social media channels for CIC’s liberal arts campaign three years ago, the first infographics proved to be the most popular posts on Twitter (@SmartColleges), Facebook (SmartColleges), and more recently on Instagram (@SmartColleges). With the help of CIC member institutions’ PR/media relations staff, alumni officers, enrollment officers, alumni, and students, the infographics will help spread the word that smaller independent colleges and universities produce graduates who are among the best prepared for success in their careers and their personal and community lives.

Inclusive Pedagogy Grant

CIC recently received a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will support two national institutes on inclusive pedagogy grounded in the liberal arts for faculty members and administrators of small colleges. The purpose of the institutes is to deepen participants’ understanding of important scholarly works that should play more prominent roles in campus discussions of such issues as prejudice, racism, discrimination, inequality, and effective methods for achieving social and political change. Recent campus unrest over these issues often has been addressed with a focus on students’ emotional responses and with ​student affairs personnel playing leading roles. The institutes aim to move the discussion into the cognitive realm by equipping faculty members in many fields with a solid knowledge of key scholarly works that represent breakthrough understandings of these issues. The institutes will take place in summer 2018 and 2019. Each institute will serve approximately 25–30 institutions, each represented by four-person teams of senior academic and student affairs administrators and full-time faculty members. CIC will announce more information on the program later this spring.

Letter to Homeland Security Secretary on International Students, Faculty and Scholars

CIC and 50 other higher education associations sent a letter (PDF) to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly in support of international students, faculty members, and scholars. The January 31 letter was written in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It affirms the importance of international students and the need to ensure that the United States remains the destination of choice for the world’s brightest students, faculty members, and scholars.

CIC in the News

Many publications recently explored questions about the potential higher ed policies of the new presidential administration. The Philadelphia Inquirer article, “The Challenge for College Presidents under Trump: When to Speak Out” (January 15), quoted CIC President Richard Ekman. The Wall Street Journal article, “College Presidents Await Donald Trump’s Administration” (January 8), reported on related discussions at CIC’s 2017 Presidents Institute. The story was disseminated by the Dow Jones newswire and picked up and adapted by other papers, including the Australian on January 9.

Higher ed publications also mentioned sessions at CIC’s 2017 Presidents Institute. The Inside Higher Ed stories, “Making the Case for Liberal Arts Colleges” (January 9) and “Challenge for Liberal Arts Communicators: Telling True Stories Well” (January 12) discussed a session on a recent survey of liberal arts college graduates. The Inside Higher Ed article, “Gender Roles and Presidential Spouses” (January 10), covered a survey of presidential spouses and partners. And a Chronicle of Higher Education daily briefing, “Strategies for Small-College Presidents” (January 9), covered discussions on colleges’ strategic change initiatives.

Ekman was quoted in three January 8 Chronicle of Higher Education stories about how small institutions can generate revenue: “Small Colleges Find New Revenue Streams Close to Home,” “A Better Use of Space,” and “Opening Gyms to the Public Can Make Money and Build Community Ties.”

These stories and others are available online.

Staff News and Notes

After more than 16 years of dedicated service, Laura Wilcox stepped down from the position of vice president for communications in February 2017. She plans to be a media relations/marketing consultant based in the Washington, DC, area.

Lynn Donham headshotLynn Donham became CIC’s vice president for communications in January, overseeing CIC publications, electronic communications, and media and public affairs. Previously, she was vice president for communications and marketing at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), editor-in-chief of AGB’s Trusteeship magazine, and senior director of marketing and communications at the University of Iowa. Earlier, Donham was a partner in two creative firms specializing in higher education, Church Street Design and EM2Brand, and a vice president of Stein Communications. Donham earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Georgia, where she was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.