Outdoor biology lab with Stuart Allison

Knox College Receives Mellon Foundation Grant

$400,000 for faculty development, research and creative work, and curriculum enhancements

October 26, 2009

Knox College has received a $400,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support faculty research, scholarship, and professional development. This is the fifth Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Knox since 2002, totaling nearly $1 million.

The grant will be used to support individual research and creative work, new faculty orientation and mentoring, enhancements to current courses, and development of new courses at Knox College. The activities will be coordinated by Lori Haslem, who will take the reins as associate dean on January 1, 2010. She will coordinate the development of a peer-review process for providing support to individual Knox faculty.

According to Knox College President Roger Taylor, "Knox faculty are outstanding teachers and scholars, and they engage their students in their creative and scholarly pursuits." Taylor adds, "Through their support, the Mellon Foundation recognizes the quality of Knox's faculty and academic program."

Knox faculty are nationally-recognized scholars as well as teachers. In the past two years, Knox faculty have published five books and more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited anthologies. They have exhibited or performed more than 75 creative works and delivered more than 170 presentations at scholarly meetings and conferences.

Perhaps the greater benefit of the grant is for Knox students. Over 90% of Knox students complete independent study, research or creative projects, and 1 in 10 seniors undertake year-long independent research projects. Many times, these projects stem from the active research programs of Knox faculty. By supporting Knox faculty research, students will likewise benefit from increased opportunities to collaborate in research and co-present or co-publish with their faculty mentors.

Knox has received four other Mellon Foundation grants in the past eight years to support faculty development in teaching and individual scholarship, strengthen Knox's curriculum, and support independent student research.

In 2002, Knox received a $50,000 award to support the implementation of a curriculum review and restructuring. In 2003, the Foundation awarded Knox a $200,000 grant to strengthen academic programs - a direct result of the curriculum review - and to support faculty research and development. In 2005, Knox was awarded $49,000 to conduct a formal analysis of the role of technology in the classroom for the next generation, and allowed Knox to pilot some of the newest technologies in the field. In 2007, the Foundation awarded Knox a three-year, $228,750 grant to launch the College's new Center for Research and Advanced Studies, another direct result of the curriculum review. The new center coordinates Knox's extensive undergraduate research program.

Each grant has helped Knox strengthen its academic offerings, strengthen its faculty, and enhance opportunities for students to participate in meaningful research and creative work.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.