The NITLE Symposium

9:00am - 5:00pm EDT April 15, 2013

Campus leaders and innovators examine high-potential instances of inter-institutional collaboration with an eye toward identifying the necessary conditions and most effective strategies for leading viable, successful collaborations and advancing campus priorities. Running in parallel with the NITLE Summit, the Symposium’s organizing theme is “Leading Successful Collaborations: Strategies for Advancing Liberal Education.”
Program Description

NITLE Symposium logoAt the Symposium, faculty, librarians, technologists, and administrators take advantage of a highly integrative, interactive forum for exploring the practical dimensions of leading successful collaborations. The framework for discussion will be a report—based on a survey of the NITLE Network community—on the perspectives and priorities held by liberal arts campus leaders and practitioners on emerging trends in higher education.      Participants have ample time to network with like-minded colleagues from peer institutions and connect with potential collaborators.

Collaboration-Focused Sessions

Forming the program’s core, concurrent sessions will showcase specific examples of inter-institutional collaboration, allowing participants to delve deeply into how campus leaders have used and can use collaboration as a strategic tool for addressing emerging trends in higher education. Discussion will focus on identifying opportunities, requirements, problems, and solutions related to making collaboration work within campuses’ strategic frameworks. Facilitation will emphasize authentic exchange about real issues that arise in developing and promoting collaboration on and across campuses. Projects and programs showcased in these sessions will be selected based on recommendations from the NITLE Network community and NITLE’s ongoing work with its members. Instances to be examined include:

  • Collegiate Collaborations. Innovators from Wesleyan University, DePauw University, Hendrix College, and Shenandoah University are working to develop shared resources to support development of inter-institutional faculty collaborations.
  • Digital Field Scholarship Sandbox. Led by Lewis & Clark College, this collaboration also involves Davidson, Muhlenberg, and Reed Colleges. It seeks to establish a sandbox that colleges can use to explore the potential of digital field scholarship.
  • Texas Language Consortium. In order to “keep foreign languages alive and flourishing,” Concordia, Lubbock Christian, Schreiner, Texas Lutheran, and Texas Wesleyan Universities joined forces to offer new languages to their students.
  • Smithsonian-Mason Semester for Conservation Studies. The Smithsonian Institution and George Mason University partnered to establish an effort to reform undergraduate education in conservation studies.
  • The Bowen Central Library of Appalachia (BCLA), a collaborative effort between the 36 colleges and universities of the Appalachian College Association that provides library information resources to its members, including core and optional databases and services, professional development workshops and grants, and a shared library system.
  • Collaborative Online Teaching. Collaborators from Southwestern University, Washington and Lee University, Rollins College, and Hendrix College are using a variety of conferencing technologies to build inter-campus curricular offerings in advanced Chinese and culture as well as music and religions.
Plenary Sessions

Plenary sessions open and close the Symposium. The opening plenary will use results from the Future Trends survey to frame the day’s sessions. The closing plenary will provide time to reflect on the day’s discussions. Both plenary sessions will be shared with the 2013 NITLE Summit.      Bridging the two events creates an important opportunity to strengthen the vital connection between setting and executing strategy. In particular, the closing plenary session will allow Summit and Symposium participants to explore how strategic and tactical considerations dovetail and where differences between the two raise challenges and promising opportunities for champions of liberal education.


Symposium participants will leave with

  • concrete strategies for implementing successful collaborations that advance their institutions’ educational missions;
  • strong connections with supportive colleagues from other campuses—and potential partners for collaboration; and
  • a solid start in participating in NITLE’s ongoing conversations about inter-institutional collaboration and the role it will play in advancing liberal education.
Event Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this event’s hashtag: #nitlesym.


Please register online by Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The registration fee is $300.

Cancellation Policy

Participants who cancel before March 26 will receive a full refund of the registration fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after March 26; however, a substitute participant may attend in the original participant’s stead.


If you have questions about this event, please contact Arden Treviño at

“The sessions I attended were all immediately relevant to my work. I’ll be using lots of tips from the Symposium, and soon.” —2012 Symposium participant


“I appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk directly with colleagues with whom I have had only a virtual relationship as well as to find new opportunities for collaboration.” —2012 Symposium participant

              The report will analyze feedback from NITLE member campuses about the significance of trends identified in NITLE’s Future Trends report from April to September 2012. Future Trends is a monthly report on emerging trendlines in higher education that is distributed to senior leaders in the NITLE Network.

              The NITLE Summit is a small, invitational event that runs in parallel with the Symposium. At the Summit, a small group of senior leaders from NITLE Network campuses, non-profit organizations, business, government, and foundations will work together to identify emerging trends in higher education with potential for inter-institutional collaboration. This year’s Summit is organized around the theme of “Strategic Collaborations: Shaping the Future of Liberal Education.”