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ACM Notes-December 2008

ACM Notes is a newsletter for faculty and administrators at ACM member colleges.


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ACM welcomes Luther College as newest member

Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, will join ACM in 2009, becoming the consortium's 14th member.

In making the announcement, Roger Taylor, President of Knox College and chair of the ACM Board of Directors, said “The Board is pleased to welcome an outstanding college that, like all of the ACM member colleges, is dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and to international education. We believe that students, faculty, and staff at all of the ACM colleges and at Luther College will benefit from our association.”

Luther College is a four-year, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861 and affiliated with the Lutheran church (ELCA). The college offers a rigorous curriculum leading to the bachelor of arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs, with the greatest number of graduates majoring in biology, education, and music. Luther’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter and its academic honor societies in 14 disciplines attest the academic excellence of the college.

“Luther College is honored to accept this invitation to the prestigious consortium of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest,” said Luther President Richard Torgerson. “Luther will benefit from the shared wisdom, expertise and resources of the colleges of the ACM, and Luther has much to offer the association. We are pleased to be part of this working group of many of the nation’s best liberal arts institutions.”

Luther joins the ACM as the consortium celebrates its 50th anniversary. ACM has been a leader since the early 1960s in providing off-campus study programs around the world for undergraduates. Today, ACM administers programs in Botswana, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Tanzania, the U.K., and the U.S., and is establishing a program in Brazil. The consortium also has a long tradition of collaboration among its member institutions in areas such as faculty development, information sharing, and innovation in teaching and learning.

“The ACM community, especially its faculty and campus leadership, already has strong ties with Luther College,” said ACM President Christopher Welna. “We look forward to deepening those connections as Luther becomes a partner in ACM’s programs and activities.”

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ACM begins a new program in Brazil

ACM will launch a new off-campus study program in Brazil this spring, offering exciting opportunities for students to live in a dynamic country at the center of Latin American culture, economics, and politics.

At the same time, the program's structure will help foster internationalization on ACM campuses and open a wide range of connections with one of Brazil’s top universities.

View of the UFJF campusThe Brazil Exchange program will be the first ACM program in South America. Students will take classes at the highly-regarded Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and become immersed in Brazilian culture.

This will also be ACM's first exchange program, structured to be revenue-neutral for the colleges that participate. After a student from an ACM college studies for a spring semester in Brazil, a UFJF student will spend the fall semester at the ACM college. As the program develops, faculty exchanges and short-term visits may also be established.

A program for students in all majors

At UFJF, ACM students will study Portuguese language, including a two-week “crash” course when they arrive, and choose among courses in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. UFJF is especially strong in the sciences, making this a good international program for science majors, as well as students from all other departments.

Juiz de Flora, the site of the program, is a pleasant city about a two-hour bus ride from Rio de Janeiro. ACM students will have the option of living with a Brazilian host family or in an apartment with Brazilian students.

During the exchange semester, students will remain enrolled at their home ACM college and pay their regular tuition, a program fee, and travel and living expenses. For most students, financial aid will apply. Complete details are on the Brazil Exchange webpage.

The Brazil Exchange grows out of an exchange program that Colorado College has enjoyed with UFJF since 2001.

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Grants available for faculty to use resources at the University of Chicago

Faculty at ACM colleges now have opportunities to take advantage of resources at the University of Chicago — workshops and seminars, libraries, discussion groups — through a new grant program generously sponsored by the University.

The ACM-University of Chicago Faculty Development Grant Program will fund awards of up to $1,500 to support travel and costs associated with brief residencies or collaborations at the University.

The main areas of focus include:

  1. Participation in one of the Graduate Workshops sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CAS). These workshops typically involve interdisciplinary collaborations and presentations by university faculty members, graduate students, and guest speakers from other institutions.
  2. Focused research in the University’s libraries that takes advantage of collections and holdings otherwise not available to faculty at ACM colleges. Visitor access to the libraries will be arranged as part of the grant award.
  3. Participation in other collaborations with University of Chicago faculty arranged through ongoing disciplinary associations or participation in other University of Chicago-affiliated seminar or discussion groups.

 Projects can involve a combination of activities. For example, a faculty member may participate in the meetings of a CAS workshop and build in library research time around that event.

Proposals for the first round of funding — to begin January 1, 2009 — will be due December 15, 2008. See the grant program webpage for details about applying.

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ACM Notes is published by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) for faculty and administrators at the ACM member colleges.

Posted on December 3, 2008