Summer Institute

Summer Institute Logo

Adaptations: Working in Art Departments at Public Liberal Arts Colleges

8-10 June 2017  • University of North Carolina Asheville • Registration $395

One of the goals of COPLAC is to work actively with member institutions to improve the quality of liberal arts and sciences education on each campus. Since 2005, COPLAC has sponsored a Summer Faculty Institute on Liberal Learning in the Disciplines.

We follow a seminar format, with participants leading discussion, sharing their department or program’s successes and challenges, and building effective strategies for improving the undergraduate experience on our campuses. The Institute will conclude by identifying a set of “best practices” in art instruction, and with a plan of action for reaching the previously identified goals. Results from the Institute will be presented to the COPLAC Board at the annual summer meeting in late June 2017.

Thanks to support from COPLAC’s governing board, a comprehensive on-site fee of $395 covers single dormitory room (with shared bath), meals, facilities charges, airport shuttle service, and transportation for special events. Just get yourself to Asheville and we will take care of the rest!

St. Mary's Student Painting

 This institute is for: 

  • Art historians
  • Graphic designers
  • Studio artists
  • Museum and gallery directors
  • Department/Program chairs

We encourage faculty to indicate on their registration form which topics listed would be most interesting to address. The final program will be based on the areas of interest indicated by participating faculty. Please register and indicate your preferences by 15 March 2017.

Potential Institute Topics:

  • Working in and leading blended departments
  • Teaching art/arts administration without a major museum nearby
  • Delivering courses and degrees in small programs (with two or three faculty)
  • The creative process and liberal arts education
  • Political challenges facing art instruction at liberal arts colleges
  • The department’s relationship to the general education program
  • Partnering with community arts organizations
  • Senior capstone projects, undergraduate research, and demonstration of competency
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the prime location to experience the arts. The city has undergone an arts renaissance over the past two decades and now hosts multiple art galleries both downtown and in the River Arts District. Join us for the Summer Institute and see what Asheville artists have to offer.


What should I pack?

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Dress for the institute is casual, so no need to overpack. Check the weather forecast: nights in the mountains can be cool. Lodging is in a residence hall (South Ridge); linens/towels/pillows are provided, but other amenities that a hotel might offer are not. Bring your own toiletries, alarm clock, hair dryer, etc. (Campus is also walking distance from a CVS, Trader Joes, etc.)

Which nights have lodging provided?

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Your stay in the residence hall will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights (6/8, 6/9, 6/10). If you would like to extend your stay in Asheville, you will need to find other accommodation as the housing office is hosting many additional summer programs. But there are lots of options to choose from!

What is the residence hall like?

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South Ridge Hall is in a nicely wooded area off the main campus road. You will have a room to yourself but will share a bathroom with another Institute attendee. There will be a student assistant on-site (whom you will meet at check-in) available to answer questions or address any issues you have.

Will I have time to explore Asheville?

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Yes! On Friday afternoon you will have a choice of off-campus excursions. Friday night will be dinner on-your-own downtown where there is a wide variety of restaurants. Pubs, coffee shops, and specialty dessert locations.

Do I need to prepare a presentation?

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No, the sessions will be largely informal. Please simply come prepared to discuss with your colleagues your experiences, challenges, and best practices as art faculty at public liberal arts colleges.

When does the airport shuttle run?

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We will have the shuttle running between the Asheville Regional Airport and campus from 12-4pm on Thursday afternoon and from 4:30-11am on Sunday morning. If your arrival or departure is outside these windows, please let Claire Bailey ( know.

Where can I park on campus?

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If you are driving yourself to the Institute, we will provide you with a parking pass at check-in. Parking is available in a deck (P4 on the campus map) right next to the residence hall (R10).

How accessible are your campus and facilities?

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Distances at UNC Asheville are easily walkable but we are in the mountains, so campus is not flat! We can provide rides from the residence hall to the meeting areas if needed. The residence hall does have an elevator, and ground floor rooms are available upon request. Default position for the beds is lofted (5’ from bottom of mattress to floor) but these can be lowered upon request.

What meals are provided?

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Reception and dinner Thursday; breakfast, lunch, and breaks Friday; breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks Saturday. (Friday dinner is on-your-own downtown and Sunday breakfast is on-your-own while traveling.)

What does the schedule look like?

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There will be a mix of plenary and smaller breakout sessions, with ample breaks and time to enjoy Asheville. A final schedule will be shared ahead of time!