Mellon Foundation grants 1.1 Million USD to The American University of Paris for International Digital Liberal Arts across the AMICAL Consortium
PARIS, France – January 26, 2018 — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a 1.1 million USD, three-year grant to The American University of Paris (AUP) for “Building Leadership and Capacity for Digital Liberal Arts across AMICAL.” Founded and hosted by AUP, AMICAL is a consortium of 27 American-style liberal arts institutions in 21 countries across Europe, Central and Southern Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The grant uses digital scholarship and pedagogy as a focal point for bringing librarians, faculty and technologists to work together on their shared teaching and learning missions.
The grant will support the following goals across the AMICAL Consortium’s member institutions:
- Strengthening library and technology leadership – Promoting innovative and effective leadership among librarians and technologists, in light of their changing and collaborative roles within evolving liberal arts institutions.
- Advancing programs for information and digital literacies – Helping students develop effective skills and critical dispositions in their use and creation of information in a digital environment.
- Developing localized and collaborative forms of digital liberal arts – Helping learners and scholars combine digital methods with humanistic inquiry, anchored with the resources or geo-cultural contexts of AMICAL institutions.
To achieve these goals, grant funds will be used to enable the following programs and resources for librarians, technologists and faculty:
Virtual collaboration environment
The grant will help AMICAL improve its online forum and peer profiles, while developing tools for project-partnering and shared hosting of members’ digital projects. The grant will also support strategic types of intra-consortium relationships through a mentoring framework, campus liaison programs for digital liberal arts and other initiatives.
Annual AMICAL Conference
AMICAL will expand its member-driven annual conference – an event that combines professional development, networking and work on collaborative projects.
Strategic professional development
AMICAL will organize multi-institution events and fund individual professional development opportunities, aligned with the consortial goals mentioned above.
Small grants for projects
Members will be able to apply for funding for projects that relate to AMICAL’s mission or the goals listed above. Special priority will be given to projects that help develop localized and collaborative forms of the digital liberal arts.
Capacity-building programs for the digital liberal arts
The grant will fund a fellowship for digital scholarship and pedagogy to help guide four consortial initiatives:
- Consulting visits by the fellow to member institutions
- Consortial support and virtual collaboration structures for the digital liberal arts
- Coordinated participation by AMICAL cohorts in digital humanities summer schools
- Course integrated digital collaborations
Building bridges and collaborative capacity
Members of the AMICAL Consortium tend to be locally isolated because of their American-style approach to higher education in globally dispersed locations. This grant will help AMICAL continue to build bridges between them and collaborative capacity among them.
Celeste Schenck, President of The American University of Paris, attests:
“The community of administrators, faculty, librarians, and technologists within the AMICAL Consortium has strengthened with every year since its founding and has had remarkable impact on each of the members. Jeff Gima’s leadership on behalf of both AUP as the founding institution and AMICAL itself has been an essential driver of this multinational, multilingual experiment in sharing Anglophone resources across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.”
Jeff Gima, AMICAL Consortium Director, explains some of the opportunities represented by the grant:
“Faculty and learning tech staff interested in experimenting collaboratively with digital projects will see some exciting opportunities in this grant. But librarians even more so. They’re uniquely able to make connections between digital projects, which tend to be idiosyncratic and ephemeral, and the library’s longstanding roles – like information organization and access, curating local scholarly production and cultivating information literacy. The grant will help librarians lead that side of the digital liberal arts.”
In combining the information expertise of librarians and technologists with the diverse local resources of students, faculty and their environments, this grant will help member institutions to explore their unique opportunities for developing liberal arts education that is both international and digital.
About The American University of Paris
Chartered in Paris as an American-style liberal arts college in 1962, The American University of Paris is today an international university located at the meeting point of France, Europe, and the world. The University provides a curriculum that combines liberal arts inquiry, preparation for professional life, and student-centered, active learning in small classrooms of students from many nationalities. A global faculty teach 27 undergraduate majors and four core fields of graduate study, all taught in English. AUP’s 20,000 alumni live and work in 145 countries.
For information about The American University of Paris, visit the AUP website (www.aup.edu). To find out more about the AMICAL Consortium and this grant, see the consortium’s website (www.amicalnet.org) or follow them on Twitter (@amicalnet).