The Village Commons Initiative

Institutional Affiliations

Susan Traverso, President

Steven Wuhs, Interim Dean

Kathleen Feeley, Associate Dean

College of Arts and Sciences

David Haney, President

Daniel McGann, Interim Dean

Noelle Cutter, Associate Dean

School of Arts and Sciences



Kelly Brown, Director

Grants, Proposals, and Special Projects

Initiatives and Innovation, and Information Technology



Scott Steele, Provost

Shadia Alvarez, Senior Vice President

Equity and Strategic Development

Professional Affiliations

Gregory Prince, President Emeritus
Hampshire College

Trygve Throntveit, Co-Founder and 


Institute for Public Life and Work

Christopher Malone, Associate Provost

Farmingdale State College, SUNY


Marie-Louise Ström, Co-Founder and 

Director of Education and Training

Institute for Public Life and Work

Brian Amkraut, Vice-President

WF Credentialing and Community Impact

Mercy College

Harry Boyte, Co-Founder and
Senior Scholar of Public Work Philosophy
Institute for Public Life and Work

What is The Village Commons Initiative?

A network of liberal arts colleges working to integrate mutually reinforcing reform ideas on their campuses that lead to new enrollment streams and serve a broader range of students.


I. A series of monthly virtual discussions with executive and academic leaders at member institutions about how to implement the six mutually beneficial aspects of the Village Commons Initiative to their particular campuses:

    1. strengthen partnerships with regional high schools and increase regional enrollment via campus-based coordinator facilitating activities in each high school;
    2. engage leading area businesses and organizations to align the liberal arts with essential career skills;
    3. enhance student self-motivation, academic responsiveness, sense of community, and creativity through a coordinated sequence of freshman/sophomore seminars that produce high levels of critical inquiry;
    4. attract new teaching talent to these seminars, while honoring faculty contracts and prerogatives;
    5. sequentially replace exams and grades with performance criteria;
    6. create a baccalaureate option that is affordable and attractive locally and beyond

II. Opportunity to engage with NAB as consultants to help with implementation with any or all of the aspects.

III. Work closely with your institution’s development office to attract both national and area funding for these efforts.

Ready to start making changes for a resilient future? You can contact us here for a free 1 hour consultation to discuss how you can join this Initiative that will serve you and your community.

Curious to learn more? Check out our video series and subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with our work.