Presentation of the Luce Design Workshop for a New Academy at the 2022 ACLS Annual Meeting

The Luce Design Workshop for a New Academy is an exciting initiative made possible with generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation. It aims to design and circulate blueprints for action on positive change in higher education that can not only be enacted at the participating institutions, but also serve as influential examples for institutions of higher education across the United States.


The Luce Design Workshop brings teams from six ACLS Associate Member schools representing the diversity of size, funding, and communities of learners that define higher education today – University of California, Davis; University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of Pittsburgh; the College of William and Mary; Washington University in St. Louis; and Stony Brook University – with more than a dozen individual participants, including designers of new initiatives in the humanities and social sciences, leaders of humanities centers, writers about change in academia, and ACLS leadership. The teams included a range of academic voices: administrators, tenure-track faculty, contingent or contract faculty, and graduate students. 


Through virtual sessions guided by a design consultant, Design Workshop participants share concerns about the flourishing of the humanities and related social sciences in the United States, and together explore experience-driven solutions to foster disciplinary vision, culture, and practices that can be adapted by a variety of departments, divisions, and schools.


Topics currently in development by the six participating teams include responses to the work the academy captures and the work it often overlooks or excludes; the design of doctoral curricula and the persistence of long-standing admissions and curricular requirements; the ways in which faculty and graduate students engage with administration and with the public; and how knowledge is organized in departments, programs, and centers, as well as through various forms of certification.

Many other organizations are engaged in the work of transformational change in academia, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Association of American Universities, Imagining America, the Council of Graduate Schools, and many more. One important outcome from the Workshop is the circulation of information about our approach and the teams’ projects and results to these audiences and more, including our 39-member ACLS Research University Consortium.


The Luce Design Workshop contributes to a distinctive century-long history of ACLS-led convenings driven by the need for progress in higher education and humanistic scholarship. Learn more about our history and impact.

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, ACLS held a virtual discussion among participants of the Luce Design Workshop. The event showcased their results and set the stage for further exchange and collaboration.

Watch the recording.