A group of liberal arts colleges is joining force with the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University in an effort to increase the diversity of the faculty at high-ranking liberal arts colleges and to increase the diversity of graduate students at the research universities. Under the agreement, the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Organization (LADO), a group representing 26 liberal arts institutions, will join forces with Columbia and Berkeley to form the Creating Connections Consortium (C3).
Under the C3 plan, a meeting will be held each year where doctoral students will mentor undergraduates from underrepresented groups on conducting graduate research and in turn the members of LADO will discuss employment opportunities at their colleges for the doctoral candidates. Postdoctoral fellowships will be established at the liberal arts colleges for students who complete their doctorates at Berkeley and Columbia. The research universities will conduct eight-week summer internship programs for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups at LADO member schools who are interested in research. Faculty exchanges will take place between participating educational institutions.
A third research university will join the C3 initiative in 2014. Leading the program among the LADO members are Middlebury College, Williams College, and Connecticut College. The C3 program is supported by a $4.7 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.