2018 Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute 6/3/2018 6/3/2018 6/3/20186/6/20186/6/20186/6/2018 Atlanta, GA

About the 2018 Institute (Archived)

DCLA program logoThese are tumultuous times in American society—and the nation’s college campuses reflect many sharp disagreements about politics, group identities, and social change. This Institute is intended to address major issues that drive today’s unrest on campus, including protests directed at public policy, social inequity, bias, and identity that sometimes become disruptive or even violent. While many institutions have responded with new institutional policies or an emphasis on calming students’ emotional responses, this Institute offers a very different approach. The Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute draws on the most precious resource that independent colleges and universities have to understand human behavior: teaching and learning in the liberal arts.

During the four-day Institute, teams of faculty members and administrators from CIC member institutions will come together with a group of highly distinguished scholars to:

  • Explore significant trends that are reshaping the 21st-century campus, including demographic changes, changes in how students learn in a digital world, and new challenges to academic expertise.

  • Engage both classic and cutting-edge scholarship—in history, economics, linguistics, psychology, religion, sociology, and other disciplines—that will frame discussions of controversial topics and equip participants to transform protests into teachable moments. Participants will learn what leading scholars in other disciplines consider to be basic understandings about race, gender, and other identities; historical interpretation and authority; social justice; social and political change; the hidden effects of language and stereotyping; inclusive pedagogy; and free speech issues.

  • Develop realistic plans to enable their institutions to strengthen diversity and civility on campus, both inside and outside the classroom.

Who Should Participate?

The Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute is intended for CIC member colleges and universities that have experienced episodes of student unrest, that might experience student protest, that have students who are concerned about issues of equity and social change, or that are facing the challenges of diversity and civility.

Diversity and civility are important on every campus. But college students don’t always know how to talk about issues that are painful or may make them angry—and sometimes both students and instructors need to know more about the context and history of potentially controversial and emotional topics. This Institute will focus on applying recent scholarship and enduring concepts to current student concerns, empowering participants to design effective knowledge-based campus interventions.” —Beverly Daniel Tatum
Director, Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute
President Emerita, Spelman College

Participating Institutions

Teams from the following colleges and universities participated in the inaugural Institute in June 2018:

​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 University (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

A PDFschedule and PDFreading list from the 2018 Institute are available.

​CIC hosted a voluntary informational webinar for prospective applicants on Thursday, October 5, 2017. The webinar was designed for institutions that intend to submit an application, are considering an application, or just want to know more about the program. 

During the webinar, Institute director Beverly Daniel Tatum and the CIC program staff responded to questions about the goals and content of the Institute, the application guidelines, the selection criteria, and what will be expected from individuals and institutions that are selected to participate in the Institute.

PDFPresentation slides, a recording of the webinarOpens in new window, and PDFGuidelines for Applicants remain available, but note that the guidelines have been revised for the 2019 Institute.

Institute Faculty



  • Beverly Daniel Tatum
    Beverly Daniel Tatum
    Institute Director
  • Danielle S. Allen
    Danielle S. Allen
    Harvard University
  • David Blight
    David Blight
    Yale University
  • Geoffrey Cohen
    Geoffrey Cohen
    Stanford University
  • Cathy N. Davidson
    Cathy N. Davidson
    CUNY Graduate Center
  • Nathan D. Grawe
    Nathan D. Grawe
    Carleton College
  • Allan Metcalf
    Allan Metcalf
    MacMurray College
  • Eboo Patel
    Eboo Patel
    Interfaith Youth Core
  • Craig Steven Wilder
    Craig Steven Wilder
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran
    Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran
    Kalamazoo College
  • Jonathan Zimmerman
    Jonathan Zimmerman
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Kristie A. Ford
    Kristie A. Ford
    Skidmore College

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Application Process and Guidelines

Please review the PDF Guidelines for Applicants before submitting an application, as the instructions on this page do not include all the considerations that applicants should keep in mind.

​Applications must be submitted online. Complete applications will include the following:

  1. A narrative statement of no more than six (6) pages that addresses: (a) specific challenges or opportunities related to diversity and civility that the Institute may help address; (b) previous or current efforts to support diversity and civility on campus; (c) a preliminary plan to apply the content of the Institute to the curriculum and co-curricular activities; and (d) the relevant experience and campus roles of the proposed team members. An important selection criterion is the likelihood that participating teams will apply what they learn at the Institute to effect positive change on campus.

  2. A brief biography of each team member.

  3. A letter of support from the institution’s president that affirms the institution’s commitment to key points that are detailed in the application.

Please submit applications by Friday, November 17, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. EST. The selected institutions will be notified in January 2018.

Contact Information

​Questions regarding the Institute should be directed to Philip M. Katz, CIC director of projects, at pkatz@cic.edu or (202) 466-7230.