Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC)


Recognizing the importance of liberal arts and sciences education for success in a complex global society, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) is championing the cause of liberal arts education of superior quality in the public sector. COPLAC institutions provide students of high ability and from all backgrounds access to an outstanding liberal arts education.

Updates and Current Information

The 2015 COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Scholarly  and Creative Activity Conference was hosted by the Ramapo College of New Jersey Office of the Provost on October 23 and 24, 2015. Over 100 students, faculty and administrators from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania were in attendance.

The conference opened on Friday evening with a gallery exhibition of creative work by student artists and performances from COPLAC member campuses. On Saturday, the conference turned to panel presentations  in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences and a poster session. The event was deemed a huge success.

Peter P. Mercer, President, Ramapo College (l) and Bill Spellman, Director, COPLAC

COPLAC Mission:

The COPLAC mission is to identify and support high quality public liberal arts and sciences institutions. The institutions that make up the Council on Public Liberal Arts Colleges are distinguished by their commitment to provide a superior education to undergraduate students. These selective institutions have been recognized nationally as outstanding in many diverse ways, including small classes, innovations in teaching, personal interactions with faculty, opportunities for faculty-supervised research and supportive atmospheres.

In the new century, COPLAC is planning to grow selectively in the number of member institutions it admits and to increase its visibility and influence to accomplish its four goals:

  • To promote nationally the values of superior undergraduate liberal education in a public college setting in order to enhance understanding among the general public of the value of moderately sized public liberal arts colleges.
  • To communicate to state and federal policy makers the vital importance and benefits of providing students with comprehensive public higher education in the liberal arts and sciences.
  • To work actively with member institutions to improve the quality of liberal arts and sciences education on our own campuses and achieve the goals of the organization.
  • To support the efforts of the other institutions to achieve distinction in the liberal education of students.
COPLAC at Ramapo College

Ramapo’s mission as the “college of choice for a global education” is guided by four strategic principles, including international and multicultural education, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning. These principles are supported by a commitment to liberal education and strong partnerships with schools, communities, universities, and businesses world-wide, which provide off-campus education at distant sites via telecommunications, cooperative education, internships, and study abroad. The college was founded in 1969 and rests at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in northern New Jersey, only 25 miles from New York City. Ramapo enrolls currently 5,500 students.


Beth Barnett, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ramapo College of New Jersey
(201) 684-7529