Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC) Collaborative Workshop Guidelines

The Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC), of which Amherst is a member,  provides funds to support workshops that enable faculty members from AALAC institutions to gather and work together on a subject of mutual interest. Designed and organized by the faculty, the workshops may focus on topics relating to research, curricula, or pedagogy and, where relevant, may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary. The workshops may take place during the academic year or summer and may be held on member institution campuses or may extend a stay at professional meetings by a day or two. Faculty are invited to submit workshop proposals electronically to Janet Tobin at by May, 31, 2013.  For the upcoming round of workshops, it is anticipated that between seven and nine workshops will be funded.  These workshops may take place in the spring semester, summer, or fall semester of 2014.  All awards for the 2014 workshop program must be spent by June 30, 2015

In 2006, the Mellon Foundation awarded the Mellon 23, a group of twenty-three liberal arts colleges, which included Amherst, a Faculty Career Enhancement Program grant. This grant was used to fund collaborative initiatives to support faculty in their scholarly and creative work and to aid them in gaining a broader view of their institutions and of the pressing challenges facing American liberal arts colleges. Between 2008 and 2011, thirty-four multi-institution faculty development workshop proposals were funded.  In January of 2011, the Mellon 23 was renamed the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges to acknowledge the commitment of most of the member colleges to continue their collaborative work after the completion of the Mellon 23 grant.  Twenty schools, including Amherst, are now part of AALAC, which is supported entirely with funding from these institutions. The deans/provosts at each AALAC institution have agreed that they would provide supplemental support through their own institutional funds to enable additional members of their faculties to participate in the funded workshops. 

Workshop Guidelines
Priority will be given to proposals that are planned jointly by several faculty members from three or more (ideally, at least five) of the AALAC institutions. It is hoped that the workshops will foster collaboration among these institutions and might lead to sustained interactions in scholarship or pedagogy among faculty. The AALAC deans/provosts may help identify other interested colleagues at their institutions who might be interested in selected workshops. The AALAC award will support the travel expenses for up to two participants from each institution, to a maximum of $1,200 per person, but the workshop organizers will make the final selections of workshop participants, based on the desired size of the workshop and any space limitations. Workshop organizers should endeavor to accommodate faculty from as many AALAC institutions as possible.  The AALAC deans/provosts may provide supplemental support through their own institutional funds to enable additional colleagues to participate in a given workshop, if space permits. Workshops may vary in cost and number of participants. Funding levels will depend on the nature and scope of the workshop. The maximum funding for an individual workshop is $20,000.

Workshop proposals should contain the following items:
A description (not to exceed 500 words) of the proposed workshop, its rationale and intended audience, its schedule and format, and its goals and intended impact.  Proposals should also include a discussion of any anticipated follow-up activities that workshop groups might envision. 

A list of the faculty members who will be the workshop leaders and of other faculty members who will assist in the detailed planning of the workshop.

The name, email address, and institutional affiliation of one designated workshop liaison.  This individual must be one of the workshop organizers at the institution that would host the workshop.  He or she will be responsible for submitting the proposal to the dean/provost at the proposed host institution and for conveying information to the other members of the workshop group.  The dean/provost at the proposed host institution will decide whether the proposal should be forwarded to the collaborative Workshop Subcommittee of the AALAC.

Condensed CVs (not to exceed two pages) of the above individuals

  1. A preliminary budget, which may support the following:
  • A modest stipend to be shared among the primary workshop organizer(s) ($500 for smaller workshops, up to $1,000 for larger ones)
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for faculty participants from the AALAC
  • Travel and accommodation expenses and a modest stipend for speakers from outside the AALAC. Please note that $1,000 is the maximum honorarium fee for each speaker.  
  • Modest staff support for organizing the logistics (hotel space, etc.) for the workshop
  • Administrative expenses (mailing of notices, duplication of conference materials, etc.)
  • Plans for the evaluation of the workshop

Examples of workshop proposals that were funded recently may be found at:   

Contact Janet Tobin with questions.

AALAC members: Amherst College, Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Carleton College, Denison University, Furman University, Grinnell College, Haverford College, Macalester College, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Reed College, Rhodes College, Scripps College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, Wellesley College, and Williams College.