Project DAVID: Vocation and Reinvention in Liberal Arts Colleges


Project DAVID: Vocation and Reinvention in Liberal Arts Colleges

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University of Minnesota




Project DAVID is about showcasing strategic reinvention underway across higher education. Phase one, focusing primarily on a set liberal arts colleges and universities that are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), asks these questions: How are these colleges and universities reinventing themselves? How do faith and learning components impact reinvention? We use a set of themes--Distinction, Analytics, Value, Innovation, Digital opportunities (thus, DAVID)--and associated framing questions to identify how these institutions are positioning themselves for future success. Intended outcomes are many but certainly include a common conversation among these institutions about the keys to their future success and the degree to which those keys are shared. We plan to share results in several ways: this collection of chapters, workshops at conferences and association meetings, and online sites for continued conversation. This work builds on Eric Childers’ findings on the impact of leadership on organizational identity as described in College Identity Sagas (2012).[1] We give special attention to how leadership is attending to major challenges and opportunities. In addition to examining institutional statements, strategic plans, accreditation reports, and uses of technology, we are visiting with presidents, provosts, IT leadership, governing boards, faculty, staff, and students, and spending time on the campuses.



This book is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. Authors retain the copyright to their individual contributions, which are released under the same Creative Commons license except as noted.

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Previously Published Citation

A.H. Duin, E. Childers. (Eds.). (2014). Project DAVID: Vocation and Reinvention in Liberal Arts Colleges. University of Minnesota.

Suggested citation

Duin, Ann Hill; Childers, Eric. (2014). Project DAVID: Vocation and Reinvention in Liberal Arts Colleges. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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