Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts

A campus locus for conversations about learning and teaching in the liberal arts.

In recent years, there have been dramatic changes in the ways we structure knowledge, in what we have come to understand about effective teaching and learning, and in the possibilities afforded by new technologies for improving teaching and learning. The Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) was founded in 2000 to provide support for faculty working to meet the challenges posed by these changes. On the premise that the liberal arts colleges are ideal laboratories for pedagogical innovation and reform, CILA seeks to provide time and space for conversations and collaboration among faculty about learning, teaching and scholarship.

Coming up in CILA

Spring 2015 Faculty Lunch Conversations

Join your colleagues for a lunch discussion around interesting topics in teaching and learning. Unless otherwise noted, all lunches are in Buntrock 142, 11:45-1:15, with the main presentation/discussion planned from noon-1:00. Topics and presenters are announced by email, along with a request for RSVPs. See past topics here.

Spring 2015 dates


February 17. Video: For you. By You. Made Easier (& Why Bother). Ben Gottfried, Multimedia Instructional Technologist (St. Olaf); Dann Hurlbert, Media & Design Specialist (Carleton)

Explore innovative uses of video for your teaching and research and learn how St. Olaf’s offerings can make it easier for you to produce your own content. This joint presentation with Carleton will share examples and discuss pedagogical benefits of various types of video from the two colleges and beyond. 

March 3

March 24. Claiming Our Callings: Readings and Discussion. John Barbour, Professor of Religion

Fourteen St. Olaf professors each published an essay in Claiming Our Callings: Toward a New Understanding of Vocation in the Liberal Arts, edited by DeAne Lagerquist and Kaethe Schwehn (Oxford University Press, 2014). These colleagues reflect on both their calling as professors and their practices for fostering students’ ability to identify their own vocations. At this luncheon, John Barbour, Kaethe Schwehn, Kathleen Shea, and Tom Williamson will each read a page or two from their essay and briefly describe some of the issues they explore. 

April 21


February 25   

March 11

Provost’s Sabbatical Series Luncheon: Thursday, March 19

Teaching & Technology Showcase (co-sponsored with IT): Thursday, April 30