Fellows and Scholars

Elizabeth Minnich

AAC&U Distinguished Fellow

Elizabeth Minnich is an educator, scholar and professor of philosophy, public speaker, award-winning author, administrator, consultant, thinker, and editor. Dr. Minnich is also a change agent who has dedicated her career to transformational development in education and democratic practices. She is a Distinguished Fellow in AAC&U’s Office of the President.

Dr. Minnich’s book, Transforming Knowledge (Temple, 1990), received the AAC&U’s Frederick W. Ness Award for “best book in liberal learning” of its year. Her list of published writings is long, including Thought Work: Thinking, Action, and the Fate of the World (2019), co-edited with Michael Q. Patton, and The Evil of Banality: On the Life and Death Importance of Thinking (2017). Her essays appear in 16 anthologies and 3 textbooks, and she was "scribe" for the AAC&U report, "Liberal Learning and the Arts of Connection for The New Academy," issued by The National Panel on "American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning.”

Dr. Minnich’s consulting work has taken her to over one hundred colleges, universities, and independent schools, and she has worked with the Ford Foundation, FIPSE, The Kettering Foundation, NEH, the Spencer Foundation, Carnegie, among other philanthropic organizations.

As a faculty member and academic administrator, she has taught and led at The New School (now Lang) College; Sarah Lawrence College; Hollins College; and Barnard College on the undergraduate level. She has also been a dean at the Union Institute & University’s Graduate College for Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Minnich earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from The Graduate Faculty for Political and Social Science of The New School University in New York, where she was teaching assistant for Hannah Arendt. She wrote her dissertation on John Dewey and has continued to work on issues of democracy and education, with particular focus on inclusive scholarship, curricula, teaching, and institutional practices.