Pacific Northwest liberal arts colleges form consortium

Through an $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the newly formed Northwest Five Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges will create learning, research and development opportunities for faculty and students.

Lewis & Clark, Reed College, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College and Willamette University make up the consortium, which will use combined resources to establish a broader and more diverse intellectual community. Through the partnership, faculty members will join communities of practice to enhance research, develop innovative approaches to teaching and create new academic initiatives.

The consortium will host an annual interdisciplinary workshop for faculty and staff, develop a NW5C website and establish a fund for innovation in teaching and learning — empowering collaborative faculty teams to share resources and expand student opportunities. The grant will support a program coordinator with an office at Willamette.

“Willamette University looks forward to working with colleagues at Northwest liberal arts colleges to enhance our students’ learning experiences through collaboration,” said Marlene Moore, dean of Willamette’s College of Liberal Arts. “This is a wonderful opportunity to build a broader learning community for college faculty leaders.”

“The timing is right for this collaborative effort to develop innovation in teaching and learning among a distinguished group of colleges in the Northwest,” said Ronald R. Thomas, president of University of Puget Sound. “The partnership will allow us to offer some exciting new resources for faculty and new opportunities for students by combining the distinctive strengths and intellectual capital of our five campuses.”