Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute

About the Institutes

DCLA program logo

CIC offered two Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institutes in 2018 and 2019. The Institutes were intended to address major issues driving student unrest at the time, including protests directed at public policy, social inequity, bias, and identity that sometimes became disruptive or even violent. While many institutions responded to these pressures with new institutional policies or an emphasis on calming students’ emotional responses, the Institute offered a very different approach: deepening students’ cognitive understanding of the issues by engaging with the best work of scholars in the humanities and social sciences. The Institutes drew on the most precious resources that independent colleges and universities have to understand human behavior: teaching, learning, and research in the liberal arts.

Institutional teams from 50 CIC member colleges and universities were selected to participate in the Institutes. Each college was represented by four people: a senior academic leader (usually the chief academic officer), a senior student affairs leader (such as the vice president for student affairs or the chief diversity officer), and two faculty members. Each participating institution was expected to apply the content of the Institute to a specific campus plan to address diversity and equity issues.

The Institutes were directed by Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College, and generously supported by the Mellon Foundation.