Program to Diversify Faculty Awarded $5.5 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 30, 2017—The Creating Connections Consortium (C3), a consortium that promotes diversity in higher education, has received a $5.5 million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund tenure-track positions in the humanities at Williams College and 27 other American liberal arts colleges.

The five-year grant will help Williams and other participating colleges accelerate their efforts to diversify their faculty. By including a range of member schools from the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers consortium (LADO), the grant will also broaden C3’s reach beyond its lead liberal arts colleges, Williams, Middlebury, Bates and Connecticut College.

“With Mellon’s support, C3 is transforming American colleges and their faculties,” said Williams President Adam Falk. “By funding an expanded vision of the program, in partnership with LADO, the new grant will further enrich our campuses, enhancing teaching and scholarship across the humanities. Such work ensures that our schools will be inclusive places, representative of the world as it is and as it’s becoming.”

The grant replaces the consortium’s Postdoctoral Fellows program with C3 Professorships that will offer up to two years of funding for tenure-track positions in the humanities. A minimum of 16 such positions will be allocated across the participating schools.

Graduates of any institution will be eligible for the C3-supported positions. Previously, Postdoctoral Fellows were only selected from among graduates of the C3’s four partner universities: Berkeley, Columbia, Michigan and the University of Chicago.

The new grant will also fund the New Scholar Series, departmental events that bring emerging scholars from underrepresented populations to participating campuses to speak about new and developing areas of their disciplines.

“This critical, collaborative work will enhance the experiences of faculty, students and other community members at colleges across the nation,” says Leticia S.E. Haynes, Williams’ vice president of institutional diversity and equity and a member of the C3 and LADO executive committees.

Another component of C3 is its Undergraduate Fellowship Program for rising juniors and seniors attending any of the 28 LADO colleges and universities. In partnership with LADO, C3 also organizes annual panels and workshops at its four research universities for graduate students from historically underrepresented groups, many of whom are unfamiliar with liberal arts colleges and may not have considered a career at these institutions.

C3 was launched in 2012 with funding from the Mellon Foundation. The new grant, which began October 1, 2017, and supports the program through 2022, will bring the Foundation’s commitment to the program to $10.9 million over a decade.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.