COPLAC The Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) advances the aims of its member institutions and drives awareness of the value of high-quality, public liberal arts education in a student-centered, residential environment.
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Established in 1987 and now consisting of 30 colleges and universities in 28 states and one Canadian province, COPLAC represents a distinguished sector in higher education. Some campuses have received designation from their state legislatures or public university systems as the state's public liberal arts college or the public honors college for the liberal arts. Others have carved out a less formal but no less visible role as such in their states or province. COPLAC serves both external and internal constituencies. It communicates to state and federal policy makers the vital importance and benefits of providing students with comprehensive public higher education in the liberal arts and sciences. It collaborates with major national higher education organizations like the Association of American Colleges and Universities to advance the aims of liberal learning in a global society. And it partners with the Council on Undergraduate Research to advance student learning through a recognized high impact practice. COPLAC enjoys an organizational and administrative structure that facilitates member collaborations, including multi-campus faculty and student research projects, professional development opportunities for faculty and professional staff, and enhanced information sharing through its interactive web portal. COPLAC has developed regional undergraduate research conferences and a web-based platform for outstanding scholarship at the undergraduate level. Students who enroll at a COPLAC institution are now directly engaged in the wider mission of public liberal arts education, the best preparation for a meaningful life and professional career. The Governing Board of COPLAC consists of the 30 Presidents/Chancellors or their designees. The Board elects a president of the organization for a two-year term and the full board meets on a semi-annual basis. The Board also elects a five-person Executive Committee whose members oversee the administrative work of the Director of COPLAC.

Mission: The Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges advances the aims of its member institutions and drives awareness of the value of high-quality, public liberal arts education in a student-centered, residential environment.

Operating as usual

According to Nature, “2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed science to the forefront and domi...
02/04/2021
St. Mary's College of Maryland Professor's Photo Named Top 10 Scientific Images of 2020 by Nature - The Southern Maryland Chronicle

According to Nature, “2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed science to the forefront and dominated lives. But the year also produced fresh images unrelated to the virus. From wafer-thin solar cells to gene-edited squid, here are the striking shots from science that caught the eye of Nature’s news and art team.”
https://southernmarylandchronicle.com/2021/01/04/st-marys-college-of-maryland-professors-photo-named-top-10-scientific-images-of-2020-by-nature/

A research photograph taken by Professor of Biology Karen Crawford has been selected by Nature as one of the top 10 scientific images of 2020.  According to Nature, “2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed science to the forefront and dominated lives. But the year also pr...

"University of Mary Washington sophomore Brooke Prevedel considered dozens of schools on her quest to study ancient Gree...
02/01/2021
Mary Washington Classics Program Shines as No. 1 Among Student Rankings - News

"University of Mary Washington sophomore Brooke Prevedel considered dozens of schools on her quest to study ancient Greece and Rome in college. What she learned about the classics program at UMW catapulted it to the top of her list and convinced her to move 2,000 miles across the country from Colorado."
https://www.umw.edu/news/2021/01/19/umw-classics-program-shines-no-1-among-students/

University of Mary Washington sophomore Brooke Prevedel considered dozens of schools in her quest to study ancient Greece and Rome in college. What she learned about the classics program at UMW catapulted it to the top of her list and convinced her to move 2,000 miles across the country from Colorad...

"With a lot of emphasis on social responsibility and opportunities for community engagement, liberal arts students spend...
01/26/2021
5 Reasons Why You Need Liberal Arts Education

"With a lot of emphasis on social responsibility and opportunities for community engagement, liberal arts students spend considerable amount of time in projects that make them understand the social fabric of the country."
http://bweducation.businessworld.in/article/5-Reasons-Why-You-Need-Liberal-Arts-Education/20-01-2021-367657/

BW Education - , Higher Education-Liberal arts education follows an interdisciplinary approach to learning, integrating different areas of study and exposing students to a wide array of subjects.

As we reflect on the year, we're proud of our members for adapting to this challenging higher education landscape, prior...
01/01/2021

As we reflect on the year, we're proud of our members for adapting to this challenging higher education landscape, prioritizing the safety and health of their students and community, and providing high-quality, public liberal arts education. We look forward to continuing to work together and learn from each other in the new year!

"Social Sustainability in the Global Wine Industry examines the social dimension – people and communities – of sustainab...
12/28/2020
Prestigious International Awards Distinguish Wine Business Institute Research and Publications - Wine Industry Advisor

"Social Sustainability in the Global Wine Industry examines the social dimension – people and communities – of sustainability in the wine industry. It explores topics such as philanthropy, poverty, natural disasters, communication, and wine tourism from a global perspective using research and case studies in developed and developing countries."
https://wineindustryadvisor.com/2020/12/03/prestigious-awards-distinguish-wine-business-institute

Rohnert Park, CA – Sonoma State University recently received prestigious awards from international authorities on wine and viticulture research. Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business, was presented with the Best Case Bronze Award at the October 2020 virtual conference of the North...

"Students can receive a liberal education in many different circumstances at many different types of institutions, not j...
12/23/2020
Does focusing on liberal arts improve labor market outcomes?

"Students can receive a liberal education in many different circumstances at many different types of institutions, not just the elite — or even not so elite — liberal arts colleges." The report calls out the University of Minnesota, Morris as an example of a public institution that scored high because of its emphasis on collaboration between students and faculty.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/does-focusing-on-liberal-arts-improve-labor-market-outcomes/586099/

A new report from Ithaka S+R suggests that liberal arts experiences can have long-term value for low-income students.

Wishing our COPLAC family a happy holiday season!
12/20/2020

Wishing our COPLAC family a happy holiday season!

"A broad-based liberal arts education helps students to develop precisely these crucial skills: general knowledge that l...
12/18/2020
How We Train Business Leaders Needs To Change—And Higher Education Needs To Step Up

"A broad-based liberal arts education helps students to develop precisely these crucial skills: general knowledge that lets them see connections, adaptability to rapid change, and creative thinking to solve volatile problems."
https://chiefexecutive.net/how-we-train-business-leaders-needs-to-change-and-higher-education-needs-to-step-up/

Current models of business education are preparing students for the world of the past, not the future. That has to change.

ICYMI: "It is fitting that our institutions have found a creative solution to the challenge of COVID-19; I am proud of m...
12/16/2020
Eastern to host first virtual Northeast regional conference for Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

ICYMI: "It is fitting that our institutions have found a creative solution to the challenge of COVID-19; I am proud of my colleagues on our campuses as well as the staff at COPLAC for making this virtual experience possible. We hope the conference provides you with insights, networking opportunities and affirmation as you continue to advance your academic goals." -President Elsa Núñez
http://ow.ly/LtfR50CKfMi

Eastern Connecticut State University will host the first-ever virtual meeting of the Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference on Nov. 7. The event is sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges ...

"University of Illinois Springfield has broken through the barrier to offer classes and portions of classes across insti...
12/14/2020
Inter-Institutional Sharing of Courses Online

"University of Illinois Springfield has broken through the barrier to offer classes and portions of classes across institutions. UIS executive director of online professional and engaged learning and research Vickie Cook, who served on the committee arranging the guidelines for collaborations, reports that the association has developed a set of understandings that will enable future sharing."
https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/inter-institutional-sharing-courses-online

A series of events has converged to put new impetus behind sharing courses online. The COVID-19 pandemic, rapid deployment of remote learning, growth of MOOCs and mounting financial pressure on colleges and universities have combined to open minds on this topic.

10/09/2020
Bernard Lafayette on Voter and Civic Engagement

In this brief video, narrated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, civil rights icon and advisor to AAC&U's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers effort, Bernard Lafayette, offers a stirring call to action ahead of the coming election. We invite you to watch and share this video with your campus community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaGwd88ayy4&feature=youtu.be

In this brief video, narrated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, civil rights icon Bernard Lafayette offers a stirring call to action ahead of the coming e...

This grant will supply the equipment to establish two new laboratory spaces on campus, a fabrication laboratory, and an ...
09/28/2020
St. Mary's College of Maryland Receives Scientific Equipment Grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation - The Southern Maryland Chronicle

This grant will supply the equipment to establish two new laboratory spaces on campus, a fabrication laboratory, and an imaging center, as well as the acquisition of observational astronomy and chemical imaging equipment that will support and expand current curricular and research offerings to both science and non-science majors.
https://southernmarylandchronicle.com/2020/09/02/st-marys-college-of-maryland-receives-scientific-equipment-grant-from-the-sherman-fairchild-foundation/

St. Mary’s City, MD- St. Mary’s College of Maryland announces a SEP Phase XV Scientific Equipment grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to support, improve and broaden the access and impact of undergraduate science education at the College. This grant will supply the equipment to establish...

The array of services the grant provides are comprehensive and include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career a...
09/23/2020
UVA WISE AWARDED $1.6 MILLION TO HELP LOW INCOME, FIRST GENERATION, AND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SUCCEED | UVA Wise

The array of services the grant provides are comprehensive and include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance.
https://www.uvawise.edu/2020/09/01/uva-wise-awarded-1-6-million-dollars-help-low-income-first-generation-students-disabilities-succeed/

The U.S. Department of Education announced that The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant totaling more than 1.6 million dollars over five years to help students succeed in and graduate from college. SSS has been at UVA Wise since 1973 and...

Two students at Mansfield University received a $4,000 research scholarship from the NASA Pennsylvania State Grant Conso...
09/21/2020
Two Mansfield University students receive $4,000 NASA research scholarships to study pancreatic cancer

Two students at Mansfield University received a $4,000 research scholarship from the NASA Pennsylvania State Grant Consortium to study pancreatic cancer.
https://www.mytwintiers.com/news-cat/top-stories/two-mansfield-university-students-receive-4000-nasa-research-scholarships-to-study-pancreatic-cancer/

MANSFIELD, P.A. (WETM) – Two students at Mansfield University are hard at work. Caitlin Beauduy and Brittney Atkins received a $4,000 research scholarship from the NASA Pennsylvania State Gra…

Thank you to our colleagues who joined us for the virtual COPLAC Annual Meeting to share ideas, accomplishments, and cha...
07/13/2020

Thank you to our colleagues who joined us for the virtual COPLAC Annual Meeting to share ideas, accomplishments, and challenges we are facing in this higher education landscape. As the keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Grant, Senior Administrative Fellow for Civics and Social Justice at Bridgewater State University, said, "Citizenship is at the heart of the liberal arts. Now is the time for us to deliver on our respective missions. It's time to collaborate in new ways."

Sign up for the COPLAC newsletter to stay engaged in this work: http://eepurl.com/ds84fX

Higher education institutions across the United States are engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement and taking acti...
06/28/2020

Higher education institutions across the United States are engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement and taking action to create more equitable campuses for Black and brown students. As high-quality, public liberal arts institutions, many COPLAC campuses are taking a close look at how they can identify and dismantle systemic racism in all of its forms at their institutions.

This is an ongoing resource page that we encourage COPLAC campuses to contribute additional content to by commenting below or contacting [email protected].

http://coplac.org/current-events/racial-justice-in-the-public-liberal-arts-conversations-actions-and-resources/

Congratulations to our 2020 Winner of the Charles Dunn Award, Dr. Olympia Nicodemi, professor of mathematics at SUNY Gen...
05/08/2020

Congratulations to our 2020 Winner of the Charles Dunn Award, Dr. Olympia Nicodemi, professor of mathematics at SUNY Geneseo! Learn more about Dr. Nicodemi's accomplishments and commitment to student success here: http://coplac.org/awards/

"My hope is that we come out of this crisis with a better understanding of how meaning and purpose grow in direct propor...
05/06/2020
Troy D. Paino column: The importance of community in times of COVID-19

"My hope is that we come out of this crisis with a better understanding of how meaning and purpose grow in direct proportion to how much we invest in other people’s lives, in how much we contribute to what Martin Luther King Jr. called the “Beloved Community” — a community built on the values of justice, equal opportunity and love for one’s fellow human beings." -Troy Paino, President of the University of Mary Washington

https://www.richmond.com/opinion/columnists/troy-d-paino-column-the-importance-of-community-in-times-of-covid-19/article_a63fab7a-1d94-57e0-9c21-5860ee39a640.html

Loneliness, isolation, social distancing. Our lives have been disrupted in ways we could not have imagined just a few weeks ago. While we know that now is not the time

Congratulations to our 2020 Winner of the David J. Prior Award, Zoe Frantom, from Truman State University! Read Zoe's es...
05/04/2020

Congratulations to our 2020 Winner of the David J. Prior Award, Zoe Frantom, from Truman State University! Read Zoe's essay "A Merging of Passions" here: http://coplac.org/awards/

The winter crop that has been growing in the greenhouse at Shepherd University’s Agricultural Innovation Center at Table...
05/01/2020
Shepherd University winter crop to help those unable to work during COVID-19

The winter crop that has been growing in the greenhouse at Shepherd University’s Agricultural Innovation Center at Tabler Farm is going toward helping members of the community who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/special/coronavirus/shepherd-university-winter-crop-to-help-those-unable-to-work-during-covid-19/article_8872babf-bd20-515f-82ac-366d18ae0592.html

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — The winter crop that has been growing in the greenhouse at Shepherd University’s Agricultural Innovation Center at Tabler Farm is going toward helping members of the community

By the end of the first day of its existence, 3,000 people had joined the group and now, the Higher Ed Learning Collecti...
04/29/2020
UMW professor's online support group goes global

By the end of the first day of its existence, 3,000 people had joined the group and now, the Higher Ed Learning Collective has 25,000 members in more than 100 countries and has accumulated 400,000 posts, comments ,and reactions.
https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/umw-professors-online-support-group-goes-global/article_7e09c384-a8fd-5b64-8748-498a7bdb18e1.html

John Broome didn’t realize that the Facebook group he created had gone global until a professor in Australia noted that there, the current semester isn’t “Spring 2020” but “Fall 2020.”

04/27/2020
#FLCtogether

Fort Lewis College faculty, staff, and assorted pets welcome students back for a historic and virtual end of term.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WzVMNtPfXc

FLC staff, faculty, administration and assorted pets welcome our students back for a historic & virtual end of term!

"I am very grateful to our talented faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to create critically needed medical sup...
04/24/2020
Shepherd University | FASTEnER lab to make protective face shields for first responders, medical providers

"I am very grateful to our talented faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to create critically needed medical supplies using innovative technology to combat the COVID-19 virus."
https://www.shepherd.edu/news/fastener-lab-to-make-protective-face-shields-for-first-responders-medical-providers/

The official Web site of Shepherd University, a liberal arts institution located one hour from Washington, D.C., in historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

"As instructors across the country move to remote teaching, many are worried about students who are already at a disadva...
04/22/2020
How to Help Struggling Students Succeed Online

"As instructors across the country move to remote teaching, many are worried about students who are already at a disadvantage. How can professors support them during this challenging time?"
https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-to-Help-Struggling/248325

Remote learning is tough on many students, but for disadvantaged students it can be even harder. Two experts offer advice on how to continue to support your students throughout the experience.

In an effort that is at once high-tech and homemade, a loose-knit group of people in the Asheville community and at UNC ...
04/20/2020
Community and UNC Asheville Volunteers Come Together to Protect Health Care Providers and Help Curtail COVID’s Spread - Stories from UNC Asheville

In an effort that is at once high-tech and homemade, a loose-knit group of people in the Asheville community and at UNC Asheville are working as volunteers to fabricate and donate personal protective equipment to health care providers in Asheville and beyond to help protect against spread of COVID-19.
https://stories.unca.edu/community-and-unc-asheville-volunteers-come-together-to-protect-health-care-providers-and-help-curtail-covids-spread

In an effort that is at once high-tech and homemade, a loose-knit group of people in the Asheville community and at UNC Asheville are working as volunteers to fabricate and donate PPE (personal protective equipment) to health care providers in Asheville and beyond to help protect against spread of C...

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