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Inaugural Institute Hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges


SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (March 16, 2018) – John Brown University is one of 26 institutions selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in the inaugural Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute, held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 3 – 6. JBU President Dr. Chip Pollard; Dr. Rod Reed, JBU chaplain; Dr. Trisha Posey, JBU associate professor of history; and Dr. Marquita Smith, JBU associate professor of journalism and coordinator of diversity relations, will represent JBU at the institute.

The institute is designed to help faculty and administrators learn about research and best practices that enable students to understand and engage in thoughtful discussions on issues of diversity, civility and the causes of social unrest that are prominent on campuses today.

“Diversity and civility are important on every campus," Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College and a leading scholar of race and higher education who is directing the institute, said. "But college students don’t always know how to talk about issues that are painful or may make them angry—and sometimes both students and instructors need to know more about the context and history of potentially controversial and emotional topics. This institute will focus on applying recent scholarship and enduring concepts to current student concerns, empowering participants to design effective knowledge-based campus interventions.”

During the four-day institute, the nation’s leading scholars in diversity, history, literature, social change and political philosophy from Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University and more will present key concepts and recent developments in their fields, to be applied to understand student concerns and deepen the educational experience. JBU, selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, will develop strategies to incorporate the content in to courses, advising and counseling services, and co-curricular activities.

“We are extremely excited and honored to participate in such an important discussion. Universities and colleges across the nation are experiencing unrest as students, staff and faculty disagree about politics, group identities and social change,” Dr. Smith said. “Faith institutions are not invulnerable to such conflict, including campus protests directed at public policy and social inequity. This institute will allow our JBU team to consider deeply how truth and grace should prevail in our community. Additionally, I hope the institute will help us better facilitate increasingly complex conversations while still supporting and promoting diversity of thought.”

The institute is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will be offered again in 2019. For more information, visit www.cic.edu/DiversityInstitute.
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 767 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.


John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2018), JBU enrolls more than 2,500 students from 41 states and 50 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.

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