With funding from The Teagle Foundation, a small group of faculty members, college deans and presidents, education researchers, and learned society past presidents met three times over 18 months to investigate the relation between the teacher-scholar model of undergraduate education and student learning outcomes. A resulting white paper entitled Student Learning and Faculty Research: Connecting Teaching and Scholarship was published in May 2007. 

The group found that the teacher-scholar model of faculty professional activity brings important benefits to individual student learners, institutions where that model flourishes, and to society more broadly. They also called for continued analysis and discussion to better understand the synergy between teaching and scholarship.

The ACLS-Teagle working group built on a November 2003 conference entitled “Liberal Arts Colleges in American Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities.” The conference was organized under the guidance of Francis Oakley, then-interim president of ACLS, and held in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with the support of the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College and the collaboration of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The conference proceedings were published as ACLS Occasional Paper No. 59.