What’s It Like to be a CLAC Member?

CLAC Membership Details

The Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC) is a national organization that includes seventy of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. CLAC explores the use of information technology in the context of liberal education and to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas and collaboration among its members.

CLAC fosters a collaborative, enriching, community of practice among its members. Our activities include:

  • An annual conference
  • Compilation of benchmark data through an annual member survey
  • Discussion of best practices and advice on our listserv community
  • Facilitation of staff exchange opportunities
  • National representation of the interests of liberal-arts institutions on information-technology issues.

CLAC is managed by seven-person Board of Directors elected by the members. Membership is currently seventy institutions.

Launched from meetings of several college presidents in 1985 and 1986 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, CLAC has been a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Oregon since 1993.

My School is in CLAC. Am I in CLAC?

Yes. Institutions are formally represented by two people: the Primary Representative (typically the campus CIO, CTO, or most senior IT leader) and the Alternate Representative. As a member institution, all interested faculty and staff members on your campus are considered CLAC members, as well.

Maintaining an Institutional Membership

There are three requirements for maintaining membership in CLAC

  • Completion of the annual survey (This is announced prominently to the Reps)
  • Attendance at the annual business meeting held during the annual conference
  • Payment of annual dues (Invoices are sent to the Primary Reps)

More details are outlined in the CLAC Bylaws.

Becoming a Member of CLAC

The CLAC Board reviews and considers schools for membership on an annual basis. To be considered, a school must at a minimum meet the membership criteria as outlined in the CLAC Bylaws, and be able to positively and uniquely contribute to the organization. The primary value of CLAC is its small size which allows the development of personal relationships across similar institutions. Membership is a privilege, requiring active participation by the primary and alternate member representatives. Nomination of a potential member school is not a guarantee of admission. The Board will consider a variety of factors when considering potential members.

Each new institution nominated (via this form) must be sponsored by the highest ranking IT leader from two current CLAC member institutions.

The CLAC Annual Conference

The CLAC annual conference is the most prominent CLAC activity. Each year, we meet for several days at one of our campuses for keynotes and presentations along with networking and discussion.

A wide range of participants are welcome to attend, including:

  • Campus IT leaders and CLAC reps
  • IT staff members in all areas
  • Librarians and faculty members
  • Others from CLAC campuses with an interest in the CLAC mission.

CLAC Google Apps Domain

The CLAC Google Apps Domain is used to support collaborative work and share members only information such as adhoc surveys, CLAC meeting agendas, working group project materials, and other member posted items. Contents are typically restricted to CLAC members and pointers to available materials are distributed via emails, at meetings, and by similar means.

CLAC LinkedIn Group

The CLAC LinkedIn Group is used to share announcements of open IT and related positions and foster communication between all members of CLAC institutions. Membership in the group limited to CLAC members only. All members are encouraged to join.


CLAC hosts several email LISTSERVs for its members to share best practices, seek advice, post ad hoc queries, and generally communicate with one another.