President John I. Williams, Jr. Named Vice-Chair of Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal ArtsThe two-year appointment will begin with the start of the 2018-2019 academic calendar.
By: Bill Keller Friday, July 20, 2018 02:05 PM
The Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA), founded in 2014, is a consortium of eleven small liberal arts colleges across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, Juniata, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus and Washington & Jefferson Colleges), who collectively serve 20,000 undergraduate students.
Williams took office July 1, 2015 as the 12th president of Muhlenberg College and brought wide-ranging experience in liberal arts colleges and an extensive background in corporate leadership and entrepreneurship. He has led the development of a new College Strategic Plan, invested in new leadership positions across campus, raised quality and championed diversity in our entering classes and shown a deep commitment to supporting the faculty in their work as teachers and as scholars. In his role as PCLA vice-chair, Williams will work closely with consortium chair Kimberly W. Cassidy, president of Bryn Mawr College.
"I am honored and delighted to work with such outstanding colleagues at the great liberal arts colleges that comprise the PCLA," said Williams. "Our consortium works to improve the quality of our collective academic and cultural programs, prioritize faculty development, increase resources and participation in study abroad and support diverse institutional and campus cultures. I am deeply honored to have an opportunity to help advance this effort."
Muhlenberg College is a founding member of the PCLA, which was formed partly in recognition that Pennsylvania—with more liberal arts colleges than any other state—is at the epicenter of liberal arts education. As a member of the PCLA consortium, Muhlenberg participates in several beneficial programs that are enabled by the collective efforts of this group of eleven outstanding colleges, particularly in the areas of faculty support, diversity and inclusion and community engagement.
The PCLA strives to enhance cross-institutional knowledge among its members in order to improve the quality of those institutions and programs as well as to create opportunities for cost efficiencies. The consortium’s activities will contribute to the national conversation about how America’s liberal arts colleges can address concerns such as increasing access and opportunity. The consortium's founding was made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by The Teagle Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
About Muhlenberg College
Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college offering baccalaureate and graduate programs. With an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences; selected preprofessional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health; and progressive workforce-focused post-baccalaureate certificates and master’s degrees. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, approximately 90 miles west of New York City, Muhlenberg is a member of the Centennial Conference, competing in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.