News from NCHC | March 2019

In This Issue...

NCHC19 Plenary Speaker

Dates and Deadlines

Call for Board Nominations

2019 ARC Survey

Call for Sample Syllabi

Call for JNCHC Submissions

2019 Faculty Institute - Deadline Extended!

2019 Professional Development

GEICO Member Benefit


2019 Plenary Speaker: Lynda Barry

When members from all corners of the NCHC convene in New Orleans this November for NCHC19, they can expect something a little different during the annual conference's plenary session. Under the theme of Disrupting Education: Creativity and Innovation in Honors, featured speaker Lynda Barry will be engaging the audience with an unconventional approach to learning and creativity. Barry is currently Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity, Director of the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Discover the links below for a peek into our fascinating plenary for 2019!

UW's 'accidental professor' seeks scientific insight through cartoons
Comic strip creator Lynda Barry says doodling invites creativity

"I Can't Draw" – Lynda Barry (YouTube)

Interview with Lynda Barry | INK conference in association with TED, 2012 (YouTube)

Psst... Are you attending your 2019 Regional Conference? Visit the NCHC promo table, and you could to win a copy of Lynda Barry's Syllabus, plus a T-Shirt from NCHC!

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

March 15Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship Applications Close
Spring Portz Grant Applications Close

March 31NCHC Consultant Grant Applications Close
Administrative Excellence Award Nominations Close

April 1NCHC19 Registration Opens
Portz Scholars Awards Open
Freddye T. Davy Scholarship Opens
John J. Hanigan Scholarship Opens
NCHC Student of the Year Awards Open

Call for Board Nominations

Want to make a difference in honors? Have you thought about running for the NCHC Board of Directors?

Board service provides NCHC members the opportunity to get involved in the governance of an organization that represents the full spectrum of honors colleges and programs, nationally and internationally. In order to ensure an inclusive perspective, NCHC seeks a board that reflects the full diversity of our organization, including race, ethnicity, gender orientation and personal background; type of and geographic location of institution represented; and role in honors. Board members, however, do not just represent their own institutions, Carnegie designation, or geographic location; rather, they are called to consider what is in the best interest of NCHC, and the honors community as a whole.

Nominations are now open for several board positions, including Vice President, Treasurer, three Board Members at large, and three Student Board Members (two 2-year terms and one 1-year term).

Details about how to run can be found here.

The NCHC board meets three times a year; individual board members (or their institutions) are largely responsible for expenses. You will likely be asked, as well, to serve on ad hoc subcommittees of the board (established to address a specific issue in a timely manner), to contribute to reports, or otherwise serve NCHC. In other words, the commitment goes far beyond those three meetings a year.

As chair of the nominating committee, Immediate Past President of NCHC, and a board member since 2013, I am happy to answer any questions or concerns about board service you might have. Please feel free to email me and I will be pleased to correspond with you, or to set up a time when we can speak with each other.



We are excited to announce the launch of the NCHC 2018–2019 Admissions, Retention, and Completion Survey (ARC). Directors, deans, and other institutional contacts should have received an e-mail invitation to participate on February 6th. The survey will remain open until June 30th.

If you are the NCHC contact of record for your institution and you did not receive your invitation to participate, please contact us in the NCHC national office at The ARC survey is one of three membership surveys that NCHC conducts on a recurring basis to collect national benchmarking data. More information about the NCHC survey program, as well as summary results from ARC and other previous surveys, can be found at

Call for Sample Syllabi

Did you know that the NCHC publishes sample honors syllabi on our website? NCHC members are invited to submit sample syllabi for possible inclusion in this collection. Submissions are carefully screened according to the criteria outlined below. The deadline for submission is May 1, 2019.

Download Syllabus Required Format

Download Sample Syllabus for Submission

Guidelines for Online Publication of Syllabi

Syllabus submissions are carefully reviewed before selection for publication on the website, and they must follow a standard format. The general criteria for inclusion are:

  • originality and interest of topic;
  • clarity of presentation;
  • adherence to required format; and
  • usefulness to a significant portion of HIP readers.
  • We assume that any course for which a syllabus has been submitted was exceptionally successful.

    The general categories for which we invite submissions at the freshman, sophomore, and junior/senior levels are:

  • interdisciplinary, team-taught courses;
  • rhetoric and composition courses;
  • courses in the arts and humanities;
  • courses in the social and behavioral sciences;
  • courses in science and/or mathematics; and
  • courses in professional fields (engineering, business, education, nursing, etc.).
  • The absolute maximum length of any syllabus accepted for publication is 4 pages, with margins (left, right, top, and bottom) of no less than once inch and with Times New Roman font size 12.

    All submissions and inquiries should be directed to Ada Long at

    JNCHC Call for Papers

    The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2019) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

    The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme "Risk-Taking in Honors." We invite essays of roughly 1000-2000 words that consider this theme in a practical and/or theoretical context.

    The lead essay for the Forum is by Andrew Cognard-Black. In his essay, "Risky Honors," he surmises that honors educators almost all encourage their students to take risks. Starting with Joseph Cohen in 1966, a recurrent honors mantra has been that honors students "want to be 'threatened,' i.e., compelled to question and to reexamine"; they need and want to question their values and the values of their community. This mandate is now subsumed in the "critical thinking" movement. Cognard-Black challenges us to formulate strategies for implementing this mandate when we know that students have to weigh it against the importance of grades: "higher education is clearly a high-stakes enterprise, and grades are the most visible currency in that enterprise." The motivation for students to play it safe is real and compelling, so honors educators need to come up with strategies to encourage their students to take risks while at the same time acknowledging the forces that discourage them from doing so. Cognard-Black suggests one method for resolving this tension and dares honors educators to come up with others.

    In addition to meeting Cognard-Black's challenge, Forum contributors might consider other questions such as the following:

    • What might be the benefits and liabilities of the "automatic A" policy that Cognard-Black describes, and how could it be modified?
    • If teachers reward students for risky behavior, is it really risky?
    • Do teachers model risk aversion when they adopt grading or assessment policies that are required by their institution but that they find counter to their values?
    • Tenure, promotion, and salary raises are the currency of academic employment in a way similar to the status of grades for students; are faculty members hypocritical when they preach risk-taking to students but play it safe in placing their personal advancement above, say, long-term research projects or commitments to teaching that do not yield such rewards?
    • Is critical thinking so fully the lingua franca of the academic world now that it is the safe route for students rather than the risky path of stubbornly holding onto their cultural, intellectual, religious, or political beliefs?

    Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—are available on the Publications page of the NCHC website.

    Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

    NCHC journals and monographs are included in the following electronic databases: ERIC, EBSCO, Gale Cengage, and UNL Digital Commons. Both journals are listed in Cabell International's Directory of Publishing Opportunities.

    NCHC Faculty Institutes: Extended Deadline!

    Good afternoon, Honors Colleagues,

    Are you looking for an excellent professional development program this summer? Are you or your colleagues interested in place-based approaches to teaching and learning? Intrigued by strategies to steep students in challenging civic issues? Good news - the Cooperstown Institute registration deadline has been extended!

    Join us for rich, interdisciplinary explorations this summer in Cooperstown, NY. This immersive experience has two key emphases: 1) positioning faculty and staff members as learners, with all of the opportunities, excitement, and uncertainty that come with that, and 2) facilitating a rich, collaborative exchange of ideas focused on the diverse individual projects that participants seek to develop on their home campuses.

    Full details for the program are available on the Place as Text page of NCHC's website. If you would like to learn more about this experience, please reach out to any member of the NCHC Place as Text Committee or any of the facilitators of the program.

    Thank you.

    Alix Fink and Sara Quay
    Place as Text Committee Co-chairs

    2019 Professional Development

    There are so many opportunities to grow your skills in 2019 with NCHC! Experiential education, honors advising, assessment and evaluation best practices, a nuts-and-bolts overview of honors leadership - where do you want to focus on the growth and development of your honors offerings?

    In addition to NCHC's Professional Development events, view a calendar of Affiliated Events from member institutions, including the popular Honors International Faculty Institute (HIFI) at TCU.

    Member Benefit: GEICO Discount

    With your NCHC membership, you could save even more with a special Member Discount on auto insurance. Get a quote today! (And when you've completed your free quote, GEICO makes a contribution back to help support NCHC!)