Leadership Coalition

Proposal Period

Monday, November 1, 2010 to Saturday, December 31, 2011


Under the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, 53 university and college presidents have formed a national Leadership Coalition, committing their campuses to becoming models for what liberal education can offer—and most effectively deliver. The formation of the Coalition was made possible with the support of the S. Engelhard Center, the Charles Engelhard Foundation, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, and the Lumina Foundation.

Bringing Theory to Practice requested applications and plans from interested institutions of all types offering baccalaureate degrees. Over the next two years, the 53 colleges and universities selected will be offered grant support from BTtoP and its generous donors as they develop a Leadership Coalition.

As active participants in the Coalition, these colleges and universities will seek to create campus cultures that enhance the academic well-being and civic development of their students. The institutions will demonstrate how to achieve greater faculty and student interaction, broaden reward structures, and elevate expectations through the creation and maintenance of carefully sustained civic engagement programs. In doing so, they will provide models for how institutions can fully address and advance the intellectual, emotional, and civic dimensions of their students.

In addition to receiving grant support, the participating institutions have agreed to:

  • Hold relevant internal conversations regarding the institution’s commitment to a call for a “campus culture for learning,” what that will mean for their campus, and what strategies they may employ.
  • Establish a leadership/planning team that would initiate plans to fit their own institutional culture.
  • Put their plans into practice beginning in the calendar year of 2009, and a retrieval and dissemination conference will occur in 2010. The campus projects will constitute the examples that will become the central features of a nationally distributed publication, promulgating the institutions as models of successful, effective and affordable “Strategies for Change in Creating and Sustaining Campus Cultures for Learning.”


The initial activity of the Coalition was a Presidents' Symposium, held at the Georgetown Conference Center in Washington, DC, November 10-11, 2008. The Symposium featured presentations on the latest research on learning and institutional change, and new educational models that have been adopted by institutions of various types. Presenters and discussion facilitators included scholars, researchers, institutional leaders, foundation leaders, and professional leaders. This diverse group of presidents formed the nucleus of the Leadership Coalition. Of those that attended the Presidents' Symposium, 39 presidents and their institutional teams submitted proposals to join the Leadership Coalition over the next two years, forming the first "phase" of Coalition institutions to receive support from BTtoP.

From April 19-20 in Washington, DC, campus personnel from the 39 institutions comprising the first phase of the Leadership Coalition came together for a Follow-up Conference, confirming their commitment to the objectives of the Leadership Coalition of presidents and institutions advancing the transformative promise of liberal education.

In the Coalition's most recent step, 14 campuses were added to those institutions already participating. The presidents of these institutions met on April 27, 2009 in New York City for a Presidents Seminar, a one-day conference introducing them to the Coalition and inviting them to join in the work of the original 39 campuses.

The BTtoP Project and its funders extend their congratulations and express profound respect for the achievements exhibited by those institutions participating in the Leadership Coalition, and recognize their presidents as national educational leaders.

Conferences and Meetings:

Visit the Past Events page for more information on past Leadership Coalition gatherings.

Leadership Coalition Resources

*These presentations are in viewable PDF format that will open in full screen/ presentation mode. To exit full screen mode and review individual slides, simply press escape.