NCHC Large Research University Committee

Director Mark Law to co-chair the NCHC Large Research University Committee

With honors colleges growing in popularity among high ability students, the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) has selected University of Florida’s Honors Program Director Mark Law to co-chair its NCHC Large Research University Committee alongside Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Purdue Honors College.

“NCHC has an opportunity to support large universities and research to build effective honors education by convening R1 institutions,” said Hallie Savage, executive director of the NCHC. “Through the collaborative work of these institutions, we will engage a broad range of expertise in honors programs and colleges. This is a unique opportunity for members of large institutions in program development.”

Law is heading to Seattle for the 51st annual NCHC Conference later this month, along with Melissa Johnson, the associate director of the UF Honors Program, and six honors students. Law has been involved with honors programs since his time as an undergraduate student and is well poised to serve as committee co-chair. The UF Honors Program has over 3,200 students enrolled, representing majors from a wide variety of colleges.

“I look forward to working with colleagues from around the U.S. from large research institutions,” Law said. “We face many of the same challenges and I look forward to learning about other's best practices.  Honors programming is increasingly popular and we need to serve this population of gifted students.”

Currently there are dozens of public universities making investments in honors colleges, hoping to compete with historically prestigious private schools to attract the best and brightest. For example, Rutgers opened an $84.8 million, 170,000 square foot honors college facility in August of last year.

“Large public research institutions are typically much more affordable than private schools; however, they can be large and intimidating places,” Law said. “Honors programs at these schools can provide a community within the larger institution.  In honors, students can find other like-minded people that are serious about their academics and making the most of their experience.”

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is a professional association of undergraduate honors programs, colleges, directors, deans, faculty, staff and students. With more than 1,300 members in the U.S. and abroad, it provides support to institutions and individuals as they develop and expand honors education.