COPLAC Announcements

UVa-Wise names convention center for David J. Prior
New College of Florida and Henderson State University select new presidents.
Dr. Donal O’Shea, Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has been selected as the next president of New College of Florida. Dr. O’Shea has been Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Holyoke, a top 25 ranked private liberal arts women’s college, since 1998. A Harvard-trained mathematician and an avowed advocate of liberal arts education, O’Shea has been at Mount Holyoke since 1980. He previously headed sponsored research and chaired the college’s mathematics department. O’Shea earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Harvard University and his master’s and doctorate from Queens College, Ontario, a prominent Canadian Research I university.

Glendell Jones Jr. has been named Henderson State University’s 17th president. Jones, who is interim vice chancellor and provost at Arkansas State University, will officially assume presidential duties at Henderson on July 1, 2012. President-elect Jones earned his bachelor of business administration degree from Henderson in 1992, his juris doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1995, and his master of laws in taxation from the University of Florida College of Law in 1996. Before joining Arkansas State administration, Jones was an assistant professor of accounting at Henderson, assistant professor of business law at Arkansas State, and an estate planning and business planning consultant.

Truman celebrates 25 years as Missouri’s Public Liberal Arts campus
Truman State University is hosting a year-long “Conversation on the Liberal Arts” series during the 2011-2012 academic year to mark the 25th anniversary of the institution’s mission change. The presentations aim to examine the question, “Why a Public Liberal Arts and Sciences University in the 21st Century?” Much has changed in higher education in the last quarter century and these discussions will offer the Truman community an opportunity to reflect on the University’s mission and share thoughts on its future. Faculty presentations from the fall of 2011 are available on the COPLAC website under The PLAN
Annual Faculty Summer Institute to focus on Mathematics
Asheville, NC 7th-9th of June, 2012
COPLAC’s Summer Institute on Liberal Learning in the Disciplines is scheduled for June 7th-9th on the campus of UNC Asheville. Inaugurated in 2005, the Summer Institute is a professional development opportunity for faculty at member institutions who wish to share best practices, collaborate on strategies for improvement in the discipline, and define best practices in the major at public liberal arts institutions.
Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference to be hosted by Georgia College
Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA 13th and 14th of April, 2012
COPLAC’s third annual Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference will take place on April 13th and 14th on the campus of Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA. The regional conferences showcase student research and creative activities at five member campuses located in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Midwestern State University innovates in undergraduate research
Midwestern State University's engineering and drama departments worked together to create an onstage production of Bandersnatch, a new play written by two MSU professors inspired by Lewis Carroll's Jaberwocky, Students developed human-size robotic creatures that performed in the play. Click below to see a 3 1/2 minute video on their work.


COPLAC is participating in two sessions at the upcoming annual meeting of AAC&U in January 2012.
Washington, DC 25-28 of January, 2011
COPLAC is participating in two sessions at the upcoming annual meeting of AAC&U in January 2012.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 4:15-5:45 PM

Expanding Undergraduate Research Opportunities at the Consortium Level:
Opportunities and Challenges in the Public Liberal Arts Sector

Since 2009 the 26-member institutions of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges have worked intentionally to create new opportunities for students to publish and present their scholarly and creative work. So far the consortium has developed a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary electronic journal of undergraduate research and a series of regional undergraduate research conferences. Currently, COPLAC received support from the Teagle Foundation to design a project to test the viability of distanced-mentored undergraduate research, allowing students in the consortium to work under the direction of a faculty member at another COPLAC institution using computer mediated technology. This distance model has the potential to dramatically increase the range of disciplinary expertise available to students. This session will discuss the potential for expanding democratic access to a recognized “high-impact” practice at the consortium level through publication, presentation, and distance mentoring.
Bill Spellman, Director, Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges; Steven Greenlaw, Professor of Economics, Mary Washington University, Carol Long, Provost, State University of New York at Geneseo

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 4:15-5:45 PM

Bringing High-Impact Practices to Scale: Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity within Systems and Consortia
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is working with six state systems and public and private consortia to improve the quality of undergraduate education at each of the constituent campuses and within the larger systems/consortia by focusing on institutionalizing undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity within each system and consortium. The systems/consortia include the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, University of Wisconsin System, California State University System, City University of New York System, Great Lakes Colleges Association, and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Panelists will discuss what has worked, current challenges, ongoing implementation issues, and lessons-learned from their own experiences.
Jeffrey M. Osborn, Dean, School of Science, The College of New Jersey, and Past-President, Council on Undergraduate Research; Elizabeth L. Ambos, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Initiatives and Partnerships, California State University; William Spellman, Director, Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges; Karen Havholm, Director of the Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
This session is presented by the Council on Undergraduate Research

COPLAC Board Meeting
Washington, DC 6:00 pm 25th of January, 2011
The COPLAC Board Meeting will be held in Washington DC at 6:00pm January 25, 2011
Truman Celebrates 25 years as a public liberal arts campus
Truman State University is hosting a year-long “Conversation on the Liberal Arts” as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Truman’s mission change to Missouri’s public liberal arts university. Speakers and topics for the fall semester can be found here
COPLAC highlighted in Reader’s Digest
The September 2011 issue Reader’s Digest includes an article by Michael Crouch based on the book by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, Higher Education? How Colleges are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids. Hacker and Dreifus recommend “any of the public liberal arts colleges nationwide” for affordability, a student-centered culture and good core values.

New College of Florida celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010-2011 and Sonoma State University celebrates its 50th during the 2011-2012 academic year.