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Strategic Plan for Area & Global Studies

Context For Planning

Area and Global Studies AGS, formally Area Studies AS, operates as one unit and is currently housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies. Originally, the programs were separate and autonomous, resulting in minimal growth and relative isolation. In 2003, the university-wide reorganization brought the various Area and Global Studies' programs together under one dean, thus making communication and cooperation between the various programs and other interdisciplinary units easier. More significantly, it facilitated the allocation of critical resources to the Area and Global Studies' budget and created a “new home” for the unit in Lake Ontario Hall with a single office for administrative support. Faculty Governance approved joint appointments of full-time faculty to work closely with non-resident faculty to staff interdisciplinary programs’ courses and to build the curriculum. Consequently, the Area and Global Studies programs were strengthened and programming increased.

The discussion about the best organizational rubric for Area and Global Studies dates back to 1996. By 2003, there were several attempts at further reorganization and numerous proposals were submitted to the dean of the Brooks College for review. In 2010, Provost Gayle Davis issued a directive to Area and Global Studies programs to reorganize and create a department that will attract more students to the minors, avoid course duplication and remain cost effective. The reorganization process resulted in three major actions. First, Faculty Governance granted Area and Global Studies “special unit” status as it transitions to a department. The unit required an administrative system with a director to oversee the transition, supervise faculty and staff, handle scheduling and chair the unit’s personnel review process. The second act was drafting the unit’s first strategic plan in 2011 with a mission, vision, goals and objectives for the next five years by a team of dedicated faculty representing all programs in Area and Global Studies. The final act occurred on April 22, 2011 when the members of the reorganization committee and faculty voted in support of the document and to move forward with the implementation of the strategic plan. It is important to note that Area and Global Studies was established as a unit in 2011, therefore this document represents the unit’s second strategic plan.

As a unit, Area and Global Studies is ever mindful of the guiding principles of Brooks College strategic plan, and strives to fulfill the unit’s mission to provide information and educate students to be well-informed global citizens who are knowledgeable, and creative in their thinking about cultures, problems, and perspectives of specific geographic regions, diverse groups of people and ethnicities. Area and Global Studies is guided by their vision to be recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in Interdisciplinary global and regional teaching, and learning, academic excellence, faculty and undergraduate research, and community engagement. Area and Global Studies will continue to model inclusion and foster a nurturing and creative environment that supports faculty, staff and students.

Mission

The mission of Area and Global Studies is to educate students to be well-informed global citizens who are knowledgeable and creative in their thinking about cultures, global issues and interrelated perspectives of diverse geographic regions, and groups of people and ethnicities.

Vision

Area and Global Studies will be a premier academic department committed to the advancement of global and regional learning, student-centered teaching, interdisciplinary research, and community engagement.

Value Statement

As a unit, Area and Global Studies values innovative interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research; high-impact/experiential learning; the advancement of global learning; nurturing a creative environment that supports faculty, staff, and students; a multiplicity of ideas, perspectives, and inquiries; interdisciplinary collaboration between programs within the unit, and across campus; cultural diversity and inclusion; and engagement with local, national, and global communities through learning, research, shared knowledge, partnerships, and collaboration. All Area and Global Studies values is to the benefit, professional growth and cultural development of the students we teach.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

At least 90% of Area and Global Studies majors or minors will participate in high-impact learning, i.e. study abroad experiential learning, and practicum by 2021.

Baseline

To be collected.

Objective 1.A.3

Area and Global Studies will increase the number of minors and majors by 20% each year in all programs by 2021.

Baseline

To be collected.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Area and Global Studies will pay particular attention to first generation students and increase their retention and timely graduation rate by 20% in their sixth year for both minors and majors.

Baseline

To be collected.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

Area and Global Studies will increase collaborative relationships with local, national, and international civic, academic, and cultural organizations by 50% over the next five years.

Baseline

Area and Global Studies has connections with at least 20 local, national, and international civic, academic, and cultural organizations.

Objective 1.C.2

Area and Global Studies will actively engage with our Alumni Association.

Baseline

(0) To be developed.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

Area and Global Studies faculty will participate in innovative teaching and learning opportunities offered by the university.

Baseline

(6) Area and Global Studies has an existing mentorship program that facilitates the strategy action.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

Area and Global Studies will seek diverse sources of funding both externally and internally for high-impact learning opportunities.

Baseline

(0) To be developed.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Area and Global Studies will coordinate curriculum development across all programs within the unit.

Baseline

Area and Global Studies established a curriculum committee in 2016 to fulfill its objectives.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Area and Global Studies will have an inclusive decision-making process involving all programs.

Baseline

Area and Global Studies hosted over 50 events which included guest speakers, two conferences, two colloquiums, one author reception, one film festival, and one AAA graduation ceremony each semester.

Objective 2.B.2

Area and Global Studies will increase the number of inclusion advocates/champions by 50% among its faculty and staff by 2021.

Baseline

Currently: 0

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

Area and Global Studies will continue to honor and celebrate the scholarly achievements of its faculty.

Baseline

To be developed.

Objective 2.D.2

Each year, at least 75% of the Area and Global Studies faculty (including non-tenure) and staff will participate in professional development opportunities.

Baseline

In progress.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Area and Global Studies will evaluate and improve the equity and inclusiveness of its policies, procedures, and practices.

Baseline

To be determined.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 3.C.1

90% of Area and Global Studies students (majors, minors, and certificate students) will report their civic engagement activities and community partnerships in the university-wide internship management system.

Baseline

To be collected.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.1

At least 90% of Area and Global Studies courses will be offered in innovative approaches, such as hybrid, online, and competency-oriented formats.

Baseline

4 trained faculty are currently offering hybrid and online courses.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

Area and Global Studies will seek external funding in support of its programming and innovation initiatives.

Baseline

To be developed.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.2

Area and Global Studies will support its faculty and staff seeking external professional development.

Baseline

6 faculty received some type of internal and/or external professional development funding.

Objective 4.A.3

Over the next five years, at least 25% of Area and Global Studies faculty will receive some external recognition, i.e. semester abroad, fellowships, leadership in professional organizations, etc.

Baseline

To be collected.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Area and Global Studies will increase the number of collaborative initiatives with local, regional, national, and international institutions by 50% over the next five years.

Baseline

(1) Area and Global Studies is currently developing a partnership in Namibia.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

Area and Global Studies will implement a rubric for the unit’s course scheduling with other departments and units.

Baseline

To be developed.

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