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50 YEARS OF LVAIC

Leveraging our Past

As we reflect on the last 50 years of collaborative work, we recognize the many successes we celebrate. When the presidents of Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, and Muhlenberg College gathered in 1969 to share resources and expand programming, they focused on nurturing academic research and professional development for faculty and staff and expand educational options for students. Here are some notable ways in which our campuses have more today after collaborating for 50 years:

Increasing Efficiency

In an alignment around supporting the distinctiveness of member campuses while celebrating the areas in which they collaborate, LVAIC highlights areas where sharing assets results in a maximized benefit for all involved. In this way, LVAIC facilitates and supports many programs around the goal of maximizing resources and minimizing costs.

Maximizing Resources

LVAIC participates in programs aimed at sharing campus resources to maximize the symbiotic relationship among all partners. The following are programs that further campus goals and initiatives with the support of the consortium:

  • Sustainability Initiative: As LVAIC seeks to maximize resources, it offers member campuses the opportunity to share a part-time Sustainability Director who serves each campus in a consultant function while simultaneously providing a collaborative mindset to partner with other campuses. Learn more here.
  • Teagle Hybrid Learning Project: In an effort to increase the digital literacy of LVAIC’s faculty and staff, the consortium facilitates programs targeted at developing hybrid learning opportunities, including cross-institutional, cross-departmental courses and modules, while creating lasting development programs. Learn more here.
  • Funded Programs/Micro Grants: LVAIC provides resources for cross-institutional groups completing collaborative programs that further LVAIC’s goals and priorities. These resources include financial support, marketing assistance, group facilitation, and much more. Learn more here.
  • Professional and Faculty Development Programs: LVAIC supports a number of annual conferences and symposia that are collaborative in nature and innovative in their approach to delivering faculty and staff development. Learn more here.
  • Cross Registration: Cross registration provides the opportunity for undergraduate students, employees, and spouses to enrich their academic experience by completing coursework at other LVAIC institutions, offering access to expanded fields of study, courses offerings, and academic resources, all at no additional cost beyond full-time tuition. Learn more here.
  • Consortial Professors: This one-lecture or semester-long faculty exchange program affords instructors the opportunity to guest lecture at other LVAIC institutions while offering campuses experts from across the Lehigh Valley to teach their students.
  • Shared Library Services: In the spirit of maximizing resources, LVAIC’s libraries partner with community libraries to provide access to broader collections, both digital and hard-copy, through the use of a next-day courier service. Learn more here.
  • Communities of Practice: Seeking to support faculty and staff across the LVAIC community, the consortium facilitates peer groups for professional development, best practice sharing, advancement of initiatives, and development of programs. Learn more here.

Minimizing Cost

  • Purchasing Partners: In an effort to reduce costs through scaling contracts, LVAIC partners with member institutions, as well as neighboring educational institutions, regarding vendor contracts. These provides major savings to the LVAIC community, as well as employees for personal purchases. Learn more here.
  • Health Insurance Consortium: This is a self-funded health insurance trust minimize costs and maximize plan customization. This program creates major collaborative savings across all four member institutions. Learn more here.
  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI): LVAIC collaboratively purchases membership to this program to provide all member faculty, staff, and students high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, research administration, and more. Learn more here.

Connecting with the Lehigh Valley Community

The Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges serves as a connecting tool for facilitating collaboration between the Lehigh Valley community and LVAIC’s member campuses. As part of this collaboration, we showcase the following programs:

  • Lehigh Valley Research Consortium: The Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC) combines the expertise of researchers from institutions of higher education and community partners in the Lehigh Valley to examine various issues (e.g., political, economic, social, health and environmental) and solutions in a regional context. Learn more here.
  • Shared Library Services: All faculty, staff, and students at LVAIC member institutions have access to a variety of shared library services. Member faculty, students and staff may access the collective resources of all the member campus libraries and all three local, city public libraries. Learn more here.
  • College Valley: The Lehigh Valley is the destination of choice for more than 20,000 students from across the nation and around the world to attend college. LVAIC’s members institutions form the nucleus for a dynamic experience known as Pennsylvania’s “college valley.”
  • Community of Agile Partners in Education (C.A.P.E.): Beginning with LVAIC, this includes 100+ colleges, universities, school districts, medical schools and hospitals, and community-based organizations, offering educational programs around pedagogical applications of videoconferencing, Internet use, and other technologies, while sponsoring of inter-institutional cooperative faculty teaching and research projects.
  • Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC): LVAIC participates in both the Education and Talent Supply Council and the Entrepreneurship Council of the Lehigh Valley through the LVEDC. LVAIC also serves as the vice-chair of the Entrepreneurship Council, remaining engaged with the initiatives for which member campuses are championing.

Exploring our Future

While we look back on the great successes of collaboration over the last 50 years, we also look ahead to the changing landscape of higher education and the ways that LVAIC’s strategic priorities will positively impact the LVAIC community. In light of this initiative, LVAIC is launching its Thought Leadership Series, Facing Higher Education’s Future, as a way to engage the LVAIC community. The goals of this series are to understand key internal and external challenges facing higher education, to advocate and engage our campuses and LVAIC colleagues in this discussion to increase dialog and understanding, and to participate in campus and collaborative opportunities and initiatives to respond to these challenges in the campus and LVAIC community.

Visit the Facing Higher Education’s Future series website HERE.

The events in this series are:

Friday, February 8, 2019
Understanding the Next Generation of College Students
Moravian College, Haupert Union Building, Pavilion
Speaker: Nicole Loyd, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Moravian College
Register HERE.

Friday, April 12, 2019
Demography in Higher Education
Lafayette College
Speaker: Nathan Grawe, Professor of Economics, Carleton College; Author, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

Register HERE.

Late Spring 2019
Access & Affordability
Speaker: TBA
Location: TBA

August 2019
Institutional Models & Decision-Making
Speaker: TBA
Location: TBA

Mid-Fall 2019
External Expectations & Accountability
Speaker: TBA
Location: TBA

December 2019
Completion and Wrap Up
Speaker: TBA
Location: TBA