CIC and ACM Awarded $8.1 Million Grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Apr 05, 2015

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) will share an $8.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fourteen colleges and universities of the ACM and the fifteen research universities of the CIC will participate in the seven-year initiative, called the Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate.

This unique endeavor gathers institutions from two sectors on an unusual scale, allowing the consortia to launch a program that encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in graduate school preparation and to consider careers teaching at liberal arts colleges.  The program will offer college students internships at research universities in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and the arts.  It will also help colleges to attract new Ph.D.’s interested in helping the colleges strengthen diversity on their campuses through a new program of teaching fellowships.  Funds will also underwrite workshops to help colleges use inclusive hiring practices.   

The key components of the Fellows Program include: 

  • Undergraduate fellowships to support mentoring, career development, and experiential research opportunities for 280 students from ACM colleges.These will include a paid summer research internship on a CIC campus.Students will work directly with a graduate professor in their field to give them first-hand experience with the benefits that could be achieved through graduate training.
  • Faculty fellowships in tenure-track positions at ACM colleges for 30 new scholars with terminal Master’s or doctoral degrees, preferably from CIC universities, whose backgrounds, life experiences and goals will enhance diversity on the ACM campuses. The program will offer mentoring and scholarly development support in the first two to four years of their faculty appointments.
  • A series of annual ACM-CIC meetings and workshops focused on strengthening connections between the liberal arts colleges and research universities in the two consortia.These meetings will provide resources for colleges to create academic settings and hiring practices to support diverse and inclusive faculties.

"One of the most remarkable features of American higher education since 1950 is its democratization,” observed Mellon Foundation President, Earl Lewis. “The number of colleges and universities has doubled, the number of first-time enrolled students has grown sevenfold, and access has increased significantly.  As we look to the future, it remains for the academy to develop an ever more diverse pool of talent that matches this continued democratization. This grant aids in that effort and it serves as a model for collaboration between the liberal arts college and research university sectors."

“The Fellows Program will leverage the strengths of these two consortia,” said Barbara McFadden Allen, Executive Director of the CIC, “both individually and as partners in collaboration, to address the challenges of diversifying the professoriate. Together we can connect undergraduate and graduate programs across research universities and liberal arts colleges.  This allows us to foster a systemic approach to broadening access for new scholars, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, and preparing them for success as faculty.” 

“This extraordinary collaboration with the CIC presents opportunities to enhance the education of all students at our colleges,” said ACM President Christopher Welna.  “The Mellon Foundation’s generous support will help colleges increase diversity among their faculty so they can better encourage inclusive curricula and pedagogies, providing support for students from all kinds of backgrounds to succeed and thrive.”



About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with assets of $6.2 billion, makes grants in five core program areas:  Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Diversity; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects.

About the CIC

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation is the academic consortium of Big Ten Conference member universities and the University of Chicago.  Since 1958, CIC members have collaborated to advance their academic missions, generate unique opportunities for students and faculty, and serve the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and creating innovative programming. For more, please see

About the ACM

Fourteen intentionally small, residential liberal arts colleges in five states compose the ACM, which was founded in 1958 as a vehicle to support the colleges’ academic missions. The colleges use their consortium to augment the high-quality learning opportunities for their students, through shared study away programs and online learning, as well as through support for the professional development of their faculties and staff. For more, please see



The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Eugene M. Tobin
Senior Program Officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities

Barbara McFadden Allen
Executive Director

Christopher Welna