For over half a century, ACLS has partnered with HBCUs to promote research, education, and scholarship in the humanities and interpretative social sciences.
ACLS Welcomes New Associate Members
As part of its continued commitment to inclusive excellence, ACLS has been working for the past year to expand and diversify its Associate Membership institutions to better reflect the rich tapestry of learners represented in the United States. This includes Historically Black universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), regional comprehensive universities, and community colleges. ACLS is proud to welcome these new and returning institutions, which represent the backbone of American higher education today.
Among the more than 200 ACLS Associates are 42 HBCUs and HSIs, 27 of which are new members. This movement aligns with the Strategic Priorities introduced by ACLS in spring 2020, which include enhancing efforts to support scholars that have been historically marginalized within the academy.
“For over half a century, ACLS has partnered with HBCUs to promote research, education, and scholarship in the humanities and interpretative social sciences,” said Dolores Bradley Brennan, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Spelman College. “Spelman faculty from a variety of disciplines have had their scholarship enriched by their participation in the ACLS Fellowship Program, which serves to enhance the educational experience of our students.”
Last year, ACLS staff met virtually with dozens of faculty and administrators at HBCUs to learn how best it could support HBCU faculty undertaking research in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, and help nurture a professional community of HBCU faculty. We were delighted to have Dean Dorie Gilbert, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Prairie View A&M University, one of the featured panelists for “Forward Looking Philanthropy,” a March 2021 discussion on funding Black scholars. In May 2021, faculty at HBCUs across the country were invited to a webinar hosted by ACLS featuring presentations from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Humanities Alliance, Newberry Library, and Social Science Research Council on fellowship opportunities in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
In June 2021, deans of HSI member schools were invited to meet each other virtually and share about successful initiatives at their respective schools. For Jacqueline Mattis, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark, this offered a rare opportunity to have an in-depth conversation centered solely on HSIs.
As someone new to the ACLS community, I left our conversation energized and with a range of ideas about ways that I can impact students and faculty in my school. Jacqueline Mattis, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark
“For any dean in this moment, it is important to be part of conversations that ignite creativity and excitement about our potential to impact our communities,” Mattis said. “As someone new to the ACLS community, I left our conversation energized and with a range of ideas about ways that I can impact students and faculty in my school. It was especially useful to be part of a conversation with leaders from HSIs and MSIs [minority-serving institutions] who were generous in sharing their vision and journeys.”
ACLS looks forward to providing more resources to our HBCU and HSI members, particularly in the context of fostering a professional network for administrators and faculty. ACLS is also excited to welcome the newest Associate Members to the ACLS Annual Meeting April 28-30, 2022, where they will be invited to a special Associates-only session.
If your organization is interested in becoming an associate member of ACLS, please contact Mary Richter.
ACLS’s Associate members are an assembly of dozens of institutions that make up the backbone of American higher education – colleges, universities, research libraries, and other scholarly institutions.