Mississippi University for Women has been approved as the 30th member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

“We are pleased to join this organization and to be recognized as Mississippi’s Public Liberal Arts College.  This association will offer great opportunities for our faculty, staff and students,” said Nora Miller, W president.

COPLAC consists of colleges and universities from 28 states and one Canadian province. All members are state institutions that serve local and regional student populations with academic focuses surrounding local matters. Enrollment of member institutions varies from more than 8,000 students to as few as 800.

COPLAC Executive Director Cole Woodcox said, “The W has unique strengths — a great digital humanities initiative, well-resourced library, large-scale science conference, strong inter- and multidisciplinary collaborations in prelaw, legal studies, non-profit management, culinary arts and business and women, gender and sexuality studies. The W will add to and compliment the diversity of universities in COPLAC.”

In June 2021, the COPLAC Executive Committee voted and officially approved The W as a provisional member. President Miller represented the university at the COPLAC board meeting in January 2022. COPLAC members visited The W’s campus in spring of 2022.

“We hope the membership provides an intellectual space for The W’s faculty and students to share and innovate with like-minded, student-centered, public institutions. We can see that The W is committed at all levels to the public liberal arts mission. We welcome you into the community of COPLAC universities and look forward to building a long and productive relationship with you,” added Woodcox.

Each institution likens itself to one another with accessible and teaching focused faculty, seminar-styled classes for undergraduates and the availability to engage students in a range of curricular and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, a campus environment that is described as “pleasant” and “unified” where students can walk from class to class is a unifier.

“COPLAC membership is an affirmation of our mission and solidly establishes The W among a small, elite collection of institutions providing high-quality, public liberal arts education to students across the United States and Canada,” said Dr. Tollison, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

According to Tollison, COPLAC will further bring the university’s liberal arts mission to the forefront. The annual summer institute will provide faculty development and student research opportunities.

COPLAC has developed regional undergraduate research conferences and a web-based platform for outstanding scholarship at the undergraduate level. COPLAC campuses have started to share online courses across the disciplines to increase curricular opportunities for students. Students who enroll at a COPLAC institution are now directly engaged in the wider mission of public liberal arts education, the best preparation for a meaningful life and professional career.

Aug. 22, 2022
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7683

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.