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Frederic W. Ness Book Award

Each year, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award recognizes a book that contributes to the understanding and improvement of liberal education. The award, $2,000, was established in 1979 to honor AAC&U's president emeritus, Frederic W. Ness. A mark of distinction for both authors and publishers, it is presented at AAC&U's annual meeting.

The winning book must meet these criteria:

  • The book must have been published between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, to be eligible for the award given in January 2019.
  • The principal theme of the book should contribute to the analysis and/or advancement of liberal education in any setting.
  • The book should focus on:
    • Liberal education as an evolving tradition; or
    • The role and value of liberal education in a particular context; or
    • An issue or topic in secondary or postsecondary education discussed substantially in relation to liberal education
  • A book by two or more authors is eligible, as are anthologies of essays, provided that (1) the primary focus of the work meets the overall criteria for the award and (2) all or most of the individual essays themselves contribute to a deepened or coherent understanding of liberal education. Online publications are eligible provided that (1) the primary focus of the work meets the overall criteria for the award and (2) appropriate verification is secured that the work will not be published in paper.
  • Histories of colleges and universities are not normally eligible but may qualify if they are more than an institutional history and contribute specifically to an understanding of the evolving definition and/or value of liberal education.
  • Handbooks, reference books, textbooks, and works whose chief purpose is to present the results of empirical research, institutional studies, or instructional experiments are not eligible.

We invite you to nominate any book that meets the stated criteria by sending a letter to the Frederic W. Ness Book Award Committee, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009. Or, please e-mail your nomination to the AAC&U President's Office at presidentsoffice@aacu.org. Nominations must be received no later than May 1, 2018. The committee reserves the right to make no award in a given year.

More Information on the Ness Book Award: