- Charles Sweet, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, email@example.com
- Kee Warner, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusiveness, firstname.lastname@example.org
History of Collaboration
University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) historically has had a strong institutional commitment to diversity/multicultural education. A campus Diversity Strategic Plan (PDF) was developed in 2007 with widespread input from faculty, staff, students, and community members. The institution’s focus on internationalization, however, was not on equal footing and therefore made efforts to collaborate between the two fields difficult.
Catalyst for Advancing Collaborative Efforts
The catalyst for advancing collaborative efforts at UCCS was the need to serve students more effectively. More specifically, the institution recognized that its students, many of whom are first-generation and Pell Grant-eligible, needed an educational environment that could equip them with multicultural and global understanding.
UCCS’s objectives for this project were to:
- Ensure that diversity and global and intercultural competence are included into the university’s strategic plan. The UCCS 2012–20 Strategic Plan (PDF) includes globalism and multicultural education in several prominent ways.
- Create an Office of International Affairs (OIA) with appropriate staff and space on campus. The OIA reports to the provost and supports the recruitment, enrollment, and retention of inbound international students and scholars; study abroad, exchange, and other global engagement programs; curriculum; and international partnerships. The advisory board includes members from the At Home in the World (AHITW) team.
- Develop an Academic Center to promote collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and instruction on multicultural issues within domestic and global contexts.
The biggest impact at UCCS has been the campus-wide conversations that are happening around the AHITW concept. Specifically, this can be seen among the faculty who have shown an increased intellectual and scholarly energy in their research and instruction that embody the ideas of AHITW.
Sustaining Efforts and Next Steps
A faculty task force was formed as a result of the AHITW project to define the mission and goals of the academic center for global, multicultural studies. This proposal was presented to the campus leadership team, and funded for a two-year start-up period. The academic center will collaborate closely with the Office for International Affairs and the Office for Diversity and Inclusiveness. The emphasis in the campus’s strategic plan on diversity, global, and intercultural competence continues to influence campus programs and activities.