Reminder: A Message from the Institute Committee: Request for Proposals

January 16, 2023

Dear all,

All members of the Vassar community are invited to submit proposals to convene an Institute for the Liberal Arts program during the 2024/25 academic year. We expect to be able to support 5 or 6 programs this year, with a budget of up to $25,000 per program. We also encourage applicants to utilize other campus funds (departmental funds, student organization funds, appropriate endowed funds) to supplement the funding that would come from the Institute Committee.

In preparation for the official launch of the Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts in October of 2024, the Institute Committee is seeking proposals for Signature Programs that would take place in the Institute after the launch, during the 2024/25 academic year. Signature Programs in the Institute can focus on any topic/issue, but should be interdisciplinary in nature, engage a wide range of stakeholders, and be bold in their vision and impact. Our hope is that Signature Programs at the Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts will showcase the diverse array of perspectives, knowledge, and experience that Vassar faculty, administrators, staff, and students have to share with the Vassar community and beyond.

Applications should include the following:

  1. A brief abstract (approximately 250 words) that identifies the primary concepts/ideas/problems/questions that animate the proposed program, and how/why it would be an appropriate Signature Program that helps “kick-off” the first year of Institute programming.
  2. A more detailed description of the specifics of the proposed program, including:
    1. The goals of the program, including any post-program follow-up activities.
    2. The intended audience(s), including whether/why the program will (or will not) be open to a public beyond the Vassar community.
    3. The program mode: virtual, hybrid, and/or in-person.
    4. Possible speakers, and their potential availability.
  3. Proposed dates: both a preferred and an alternate date. (Programs may occur anytime between November 1, 2024, and June 1, 2025.)
  4. What support you will need from the College, including a preliminary budget.

Feel free to review the Summer Institute website for examples of previous prototype Institute programs. Do not feel you need to replicate this model—there are many ways Institute programming can embody the values of the College and the Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts.

Please submit proposals (and any questions about the proposal process) via email to Wes Dixon ( The Institute Committee will prioritize proposals received by February 15th, 2024.

If you have ideas about ways you would like to engage with the Institute for the Liberal Arts beyond Signature Programs, please know that the Committee is interested in hearing those ideas. We can envision hosting conferences, workshops, book launches, meetings, lectures, exhibitions, and a variety of other events. In a sense, our community is co-creating the Institute alongside the Committee. Please contact Wes Dixon ( or Bob Brigham ( for more information.

Please feel free to contact any member of the Institute Committee to discuss proposals and resources to assist program planning.

Thank you,

The Institute for Liberal Arts Committee

Abigail Baird
Stef Bayoumi
Robert Brigham
Wesley Dixon
Katie Gemmill
Susan Hiner
Elizabeth Hoffman
Dennis Macheska
Christopher Raymond
Mila Seifert