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C3, a consortium that promotes diversity in higher education and of which Connecticut College is a founding partner, has received a $5.5 million, five-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The C3 program, launched in 2012 with a $4.7 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, creates interventions at every step along the academic path to ensure that scholars from underrepresented groups get the encouragement and support they need to pursue graduate studies and an academic career.
The new funding will help Connecticut College and other participating liberal arts colleges accelerate efforts to diversify their faculty. The grant will also broaden C3’s reach beyond the program’s lead liberal arts colleges––Connecticut College, Middlebury, Bates and Williams––and its partner universities: University of California at Berkeley, Columbia, Michigan, and the University of Chicago.
“C3 has been instrumental in helping us advance our goals for faculty diversity while also creating new opportunities for student research,” said Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron. “We are thrilled that this new funding from the Mellon Foundation will help us to continue this important work.”
Since 2008, the College has increased faculty diversity from 16 percent to 26 percent, including a four percent increase since the launch of C3 in 2013.
“Our association with C3 has proven to be one of the College's most effective initiatives for establishing a strong faculty recruitment pipeline,” said Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion John McKnight.
“For the past two years, Conn faculty and faculty colleagues from Bates, Williams and Middlebury have joined me at the University of Michigan for a two-day symposium with newly minted Ph.D.s in a variety of fields who are eager to learn about the teaching and research opportunities available in the liberal arts. It is inspiring to engage in these sorts of conversations with folks who are at the start of their careers in the professoriate and to begin to imagine together how the diversity they bring will positively impact the academy for generations to come."
The new grant continues several hallmarks of the C3 program, including the Undergraduate Fellowship Program for rising juniors and seniors attending any of the 28 LADO colleges and universities; panels and workshops about career opportunities at liberal arts colleges for graduate students from underrepresented groups attending partner research universities; and an annual summit that brings together undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, diversity officers, deans and presidents to focus on the program’s mission and goals.
The grant also creates new C3 Professorships that will offer funding for up to two years of tenure-track positions in the humanities, as well as a New Scholar Series that will fund events that bring emerging underrepresented scholars to campus for talks or symposia that speak to new and developing areas of their disciplines.
“Connecticut College has been a part of C3 from the very beginning, helping to craft the consortium's overarching strategy, as well as its various programmatic components,” said Dean of the Faculty Abigail Van Slyck. “The New Scholar Series is particularly exciting, as it will allow departments to host symposia or lecture series to engage with the ideas of scholars just completing their Ph.D.s and ultimately to enhance the diversity of faculty candidate pools.”
The new grant, which began Oct. 1 and supports the program through 2022, will bring the Mellon Foundation’s commitment to the program to $10.9 million over a decade.