Technology Associations

The Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC)

The Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC) is

an organization comprising many of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, chartered to explore and promote the use of information technology in the service of our liberal arts educational missions. The group evolved from meetings of college presidents in 1985 and 1986 at Oberlin College; a brief history of the Consortium has been compiled. CLAC has focused on the uses of computing and related technologies in the service of the liberal arts mission. Academic computing, administrative computing, library automation, web services, telecommunications, and campus-wide networking all fall within the scope of the Consortium's interest. (

CLAC activities include holding an annual conference whose location rotates among the participating colleges, collection and sharing of benchmark data through the EDUCAUSE organization’s core data survey, active list serv discussion of best practices and advice, opportunities for staff exchange, and representation of the interests of liberal-arts institutions on information-technology issues at the national level when appropriate.

Last spring, CLAC board members agreed to grow membership of their consortium and accept applications for new members. With the kind nomination by CLAC member Harvey Mudd College, CMC was accepted as one of four new members. There are currently sixty-six members ( of the CLAC consortium.

It is hoped that faculty members will become interested in participating in some of the opportunities afforded through this new consortial membership.

Liberal Arts Consortium on Online Learning

Claremont McKenna President Hiram Chodosh has been helping to create a new eight-institution consortium whose goals include collaboratively addressing issues of online learning within the context of retaining the mission and character of a highly selective, residential, liberal arts college. The eight members of this consortium include Amherst, Carleton, Claremont McKenna, Haverford, Pomona, Swarthmore, Vassar, and Williams colleges.

The eight-institution consortium has just recently been named the Liberal Arts Consortium on Online Learning, or LACOL. In late February 2014, two co-directors were appointed to help with administering the work of LACOL: Dr. Andrea Nixon (Carleton College) and Dr. Bryan Penprase (Pomona College).

In winter 2014, the presidents and chief academic officers of the eight institutions established the initial goals of the Consortium. These initial goals include:

  • Developing teaching tools that our current and future students want and will expect.

  • Enabling our faculty to devote more time to intensive interaction with students.

  • Expansion of individual campus curricula (e.g., broader course offerings).

  • Creating “porous classrooms” that will draw in diverse student, faculty and other voices through online exchanges.

  • Shared access to greater stores of data about student learning (both processes and outcomes) and the impact of teaching innovations. More broadly, the consortium will promote joint exploration of applications of learning theory

  • Faculty development opportunities

  • Improving on-campus learning outcomes in residential settings.