CIC Selects Participating Institutions for Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute

1/31/2018 — Washington, DC

​Twenty-six CIC member institutions have been selected to participate in the inaugural Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute, to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 3–6, 2018. Each institution will send a team of two faculty leaders and two senior administrators. 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.

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 is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It will be offered again in 2019. View more information.

Participating Institutions


Andrews University (MI)
Butler University (IN)
Campbell University (NC)
College of Saint Benedict (MN)*
Dominican University (IL)
Emerson College (MA)
Goucher College (MD)
Ithaca College (NY)
John Brown University (AR)
Kenyon College (OH)
Linfield College (OR)
Lynchburg College (VA)
McDaniel College (MD)
Ripon College (WI)
Roger Williams University (RI)
Saint John’s University (MN)*
Sewanee: The University of the South (TN)
Simmons College (MA)
Talladega College (AL)
Texas Lutheran University (TX)
Thiel College (PA)
University of Richmond (VA)
Ursinus College (PA)
Wesleyan College (GA)
Whitworth University (WA)
Wilkes University (PA)


*Participating as a joint team.

The Institute faculty include some of the nation’s leading scholars of diversity, history, literature, social change, and political philosophy:

  • Danielle S. Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor, Harvard University
  • David Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History, Yale University
  • Geoffrey Cohen, James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business, Stanford University
  • Cathy N. Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Nathan D. Grawe, Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Social Sciences, Carleton College
  • Allan Metcalf, professor of English, MacMurray College
  • Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith Youth Core
  • Craig Steven Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, president emerita, Kalamazoo College
  • Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of history of education, University of Pennsylvania


​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.