This month, the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)—housed at Southwestern University since 2009—will migrate its operations to the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Originally developed in 2001 with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NITLE has played a pivotal role during a period of transition in higher education. NITLE members’ early and informed investment in digital innovation led the way to creative partnerships, successful teaching and learning strategies, and ever-increasing availability of and access to online resources. NITLE’s virtual and face-to-face workshops and forums created a space for the incubation and dissemination of new ideas, a sphere where liberal arts colleges play a leading role.

As we celebrate these successes, we acknowledge that today’s centers of digital innovation are increasingly disseminated across higher education. Currently emerging skill sets often target specialized audiences in areas spanning archives and libraries, shared academics, and digital resource production. Curricular efforts spanning multiple schools are rapidly increasing. Librarians and information services staff from disparate campuses work together to share archives, special collections and library resources. Our individual campuses now have more skilled and trained staff to provide dedicated technical support than at the dawn of the digital era. Today’s environment is more about promoting connectivity, communication and collaboration than about the development of specific skill sets, tools or materials.

In this changing climate, an international organization such as CLIR is ideally positioned to lead NITLE, preserving its intellectual property and Web resources while exploring its mission and potential. The missions of CLIR and NITLE have many areas of overlap, with both organizations working to build and maintain collaborations that achieve greater efficiency and productivity than an individual institution can achieve.

Southwestern remains committed to the creation and sharing of digital resources for the higher education community. We are grateful for the opportunity afforded to us by NITLE to play a role in this transformative process.


Edward Burger, President and Professor