Strengthening the Liberal Arts Along the Pacific Rim: The Pacific Alliance of Liberal Arts Colleges (PALAC) by Bryan E. Penprase and Thomas Schneider, CSHE 2.23 (April 2023)


While international alliances among research universities are relatively well established, the challenges for the small liberal arts college to execute a meaningful global collaboration can be much more difficult, due both to the much smaller size of the institution, its more limited resources, and its smaller and more intimate culture centered on undergraduate teaching and learning. A new alliance of liberal arts colleges known as the Pacific Alliance of Liberal Arts Colleges (PALAC) was established in 2021 with the purpose to better articulate the global components of liberal arts education, and to collaborate on key projects that will build collective capacity for student-centered liberal arts education that engages with the world’s most pressing problems. PALAC contains nine of the best liberal arts institutions from across the Pacific Region, including institutions in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Canada, and the United States. This essay describes the origins, motivations, and context of the creation of PALAC, its member institutions, and some of the initial projects planned by the new organization, and goals for global impact for PALAC.

Bryan Edward Penprase, Thomas Schneider
Publication date: 
April 3, 2023
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)