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Strategic Plan for Kutsche Office of Local History

Mission

Giving voice to diverse communities through history

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

From 2017-2020, at least 75% of programming supports undergraduate students' participation in at least one high-impact practice (e.g. research assistantships, internships, fellowships). In 2015-2016, we had undergraduate students supporting 75% of our projects. To continually ensure that we meet this goal, we will: 1) take an inventory of the various ways projects can involve students in high impact practices (Director, Office Coordinator); 2) explore different avenues to increase student involvement in programming (Advisory Council); c) ensure the longevity of the Community Collaboration Grant program (Director, Advisory Council).

Baseline

20% of programming supported HIL practices in 2015-2016

Progress

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Through our Community Collaboration Grant, our inaugural recipient Dr. Kathryn Remlinger hired an undergraduate research assistant (URA) for Fall 2017-Winter 2018. The URA worked closely with Dr. Remlinger as part of the project, "How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland Michigan.” This work included presenting a poster at a the Linguistic Society of America/American Dialect Society conferences in January 2018. Additionally, in May 2017 the Kutsche Office along with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center applied for a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant to support documenting the voices of Saugatuck-Douglas residents and their memories of summering in the region in the mid-twentieth century. As part of this grant request, we allocated funding to support an undergraduate research assistant. We received notification this project was funded in December 2017. In Winter 2017, our undergraduate research assistant supported the curation of an exhibit, "Voices of GVSU: Activism Through the Decades" in the Mary Idema Pew Library in February. The exhibit highlighted articles from The Lanthorn related to student activism. This work is part of our Histories of Student Activism project. He also contributed to a student focused panel, highlighting the work of current students and their on-campus activist efforts. In summer 2017, our intern continued the analysis of The Lanthorn.

Objective 1.A.2

From 2017-2020, we apply for a Special Projects Graduate Assistant to facilitate their engagement in at least one high-impact practice every 2-3 years. The SPGA will be responsible to work on a dedicated project. The position will be linked both to Kutsche Office strategic plans priorities and reflect our commitment to offer professional development opportunities to students

Baseline

We worked with graduate assistants in the 2015-2016 (Grandville Avenue project) and 2016-2017 (Gi-gikinomaage-min project) academic years.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We applied for a SPGA to support our Stories of Summer project in Fall 2017. We received notification of our success application on January 18, 2018. We look forward to reporting on the work the SPGA does project during the 2018-2019 academic year as part of our 2018 strategic plan report next year.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

From 2017-2020, at least two students affiliated with the office (e.g. interns, Community Collaboration Grant research assistants) per academic year are first generation or non-traditional undergraduate students.

Baseline

We previously have worked with non-traditional and/or first generation undergraduate students in 2015-2016.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Our undergraduate research assistant in Winter 2017 was a first generation undergraduate student. Our intern in Fall 2017 was a first generation undergraduate student.

Objective 1.B.2

We will implement at least one program in the next three years (2017-2020) that focuses on using local history as a way to teach leadership skills, promote positive identity formation, and enhance self-esteem among diverse undergraduate students (e.g. first generation, veterans, non-traditional, underrepresented communities).

Baseline

We currently engage undergraduate students through our on campus events. And developed a new project in Fall 2016 that examines student experiences while at GVSU.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
In Fall 2017 the oral history sub-committee of Advisory Council members worked with the director, Kimberly McKee, to create a one-credit IDS 180 course focused on oral history methodology. This course was submitted to the Brooks College Curriculum Committee in Fall 2017 and approval was received in Winter 2018. The course will be taught in Fall 2018, pending enrollment. This particular course will focus on the value of oral histories and how it has been used to preserve the voices of underrepresented communities throughout history. We firmly believe in creating curricular opportunities to let students of diverse populations see themselves in history.

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

Objective 1.C.1

By 2021, we will be a go-to resource for faculty and FTLC re: best practices for intentional, impactful community based learning (CBL) opportunities that reflect ethical engagement with underrepresented and diverse communities. We will facilitate relationships between GVSU faculty, students, and community partners through the Community Collaboration Grants. We will model best practices for deep, sustained, mutually beneficial community-university engagement.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, our programming involved 11 community organizations.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We formed a Community Based Learning sub-committee of Advisory Council members in Fall 2017. This sub-committee will meet throughout 2018 and 2019. We announced our inaugural recipient (Dr. Kathryn Remlinger) of the Community Collaboration Grant in March 2017. Dr. Remlinger began working with an undergraduate research assistant, supported by the grant, in Fall 2017.

Objective 1.C.2

By 2021 we will have worked with at least one community partner and/or on one project to enhance digital offerings (e.g. online primary source documents) and model online curriculum.

Baseline

In 2016, we developed plan to digitize two projects with University Libraries and Special Collections (Oceana County and Gi-gikinomaage-min)

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We provide access to online materials for the Gi-gikinomaage-min Project on the project's website (http://www.gvsu.edu/nativeamericangr/). This is the beginning of our work to create enhanced digital offerings. In 2017, we also incorporated creating a digital website portal related to our project Stories of Summer with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. We look forward to reporting more about this particular initiative next year regarding progress made in 2018.

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

Objective 1.D.1

By 2021, there will be at least two faculty in CLAS and Brooks developing new CBL partnerships in their courses.

Baseline

We currently do not have developed CBL partnerships with faculty.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
In Fall 2016 we announced our Community Collaboration Grant program. This is one way in which we hope to support faculty as they develop CBL partnerships.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We awarded our first Community Collaboration Grant to Dr. Kathryn Remlinger (English). Her project, "How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland Michigan,” focuses on the intersection of language use, language attitudes, identity, and tourism in public spaces to understand their effects on what it means to be "local" and on shaping the identity of the city. More specifically, this ethnography explores how people create meaning through and with language in the multimodal linguistic landscape of Holland, Michigan, a small city and tourist destination on the shore of Lake Michigan. The project examines how language use in the public spaces that make up the city discursively reimagine Holland as a “Dutch” city. This reimagining affects particular ways of understanding larger sociocultural meanings about ethnicity, place, and their relationship to language use and language attitudes. Our grant supports an undergraduate research assistant. This student traveled with Dr. Remlinger to present work at a conference in January. The Community Collaboration Grant program will announce the recipient of the second grant at our annual local history roundtable in March 2018. Applications are due on February 1, 2018. For more information about the grant program, please visit: https://www.gvsu.edu/kutsche/community-collaboration-grant-29.htm. We also believe the work of our Community Based Learning sub-committee will support the office's efforts to directly engage faculty's work in the classroom. We also began conversations with a Brooks College faculty member in Fall 2017 regarding the integration of a community history project into on of their courses. We are in the early stages of working with this faculty member.

Objective 1.D.2

By 2021, we will have created curricular materials based at least two of our project or programs. These materials will support existing course offerings and broader community members interests' in the histories of West Michigan. These materials will be available online and involve creating best practices for working with local history institutions.

Baseline

We currently do not have curricular materials available.

Objective 1.D.3

Develop a 1-credit IDS 180 course for 2018-2019 for students interested in oral history methodologies. This curriculum will also be web-based to allow for dissemination with faculty, graduate students, and community members. The curriculum will be adaptable for workshops/trainings. By 2020, the web-based components and offerings for non-undergraduates will be complete.

Baseline

Currently the Office does not engage in academic course offerings as a non-academic unit.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
In Fall 2017, the oral history sub-committee submitted a proposal to teach a one-credit IDS 180 course on oral history methodology to the Brooks College Curriculum Committee. This course will be taught in Fall 2018. The course proposal was approved in January 2018.

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

By 2021, we will host at least one workshop per year for GVSU faculty and staff concerning strengthening and building their skillsets in the areas of oral history, ethics in community-based learning, and sustaining ethical, intentional partnerhsips/projects with diverse community partners. These workshops will focus on what it means to unearth and contribute to building knowledges regarding local history in the region.

Baseline

We currently do not have workshops aimed exclusively at GVSU faculty and staff.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We have formed two sub-committees with our Advisory Council members in Fall 2017. The first sub-committee is focused on oral histories. We first met in Fall 2017 to discuss developing a one-credit course focused on oral history best practices to support our engagement with students. Beginning in Winter 2018, we will begin to develop best practices to share on our website as well as considering how to support the professional development of colleagues at the institution and community members. This includes building off of work completed by an undergraduate intern in Fall 2017. The second sub-committee is focused on community based engagement/learning. The CBL sub-committee will be focused on ethics in CBL work and best practices for engaging diverse community partners. The committee first met in Winter 2018.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2021, we will create a workshop for GVSU faculty and staff to support their intercultural competencies concerning the diverse communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

We currently do not have workshops specifically for GVSU faculty and staff.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
In Fall 2017 we formed a community-based learning sub-committee of Advisory Council members. Part of this groups charge in the next two years is considering professional development opportunities with faculty and staff.

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

Objective 2.C.1

Facilitate and solidify relationships with at least one new community partner annually to build stronger partnerships in the region and continue our existing relationships with current and former partners.

Baseline

We formed new partnerships as a result of three projects in 2015-2016.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
In Fall 2016, the director met with various community organizations including the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Center and Lakeshore Museum. The director also held a fall workshop for community members as a way to get to know her, since she began her position in August 2016.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We formalized a partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center through our new project Stories of Summer. We also worked closely in Summer and Fall 2017 with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) and the Big Read as part of Big Read programming and supporting teachers in the area in 2017. In Winter 2017 we worked with teachers in OAISD on youth leadership and supporting students understanding of how anti-Asian racism and Islamophobia affect residents living in West Michigan. Our annual Fall Luncheon supports our work connecting with new community partners as well as maintaining relationships with existing community partners and organizations in the area interested in local history. We also strengthened our relationship with the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archive, screening two showings of their recent documentary focused on the 1967 Grand Rapids rebellion.

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

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

Objective 3.C.1

Increase engagement with undergraduate students by 70% from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Baseline

In 2015-2016 our programming impacted 111 undergraduate students.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
In Fall 2016, we began outreach to undergraduate students by identifying and creating programs specifically reflecting their interests. We planned two events aimed at students in Fall for February 2017. The first of these events reach over fifty undergraduate students.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
In 2017 we hosted events specifically targeted to GVSU students throughout the year. These included one lecture and one panel as part of our Histories of Student Activism at GVSU project. The first event, Grand Rapids and Social Activism in Today's Political Climate: Connecting the Broader Movement to the Local Experiment featured Louis Moore, associate professor in history. Dr. Moore examined how the national movement and actions towards social justice impacts the local experience of those living in West Michigan. He highlighted the origins, evolution, and deeper meaning of the movement and how activism in today’s political climate interacts with higher education. This event was part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Black History Month celebration. Fifty-five students attended this talk. The second event, Contemporary Examples of Activism: Student Perspectives, featured a panel of undergraduate students discussing their experiences organizing on campus and how they view their social justice work. They reflected on what propelled their advocacy and work in various campus organizations. An estimated thirteen students attended the panel. These numbers do not include students who engaged with our exhibit focused on student activism in the Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2017. We also had fifteen undergraduate students attended our annual local history roundtable in March 2017. If we're looking at our overall engagement with undergraduate students in 2016-2017, we reached 191 undergraduate students. In Fall 2017, we hosted a variety of on campus events aimed at students. We reached 125 students as part of our screening of the documentary We the 7th in September 2017. We also reached an estimated 123 students at a talk by Dr. Kathryn Remlinger about her new book, Yooper Talk. Additionally, 27 students attended our film screening of Race, Riot, and Reconciliation. Produced by the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archive, the film documents the 1967 Grand Rapids rebellion. Please note that for all of our events the Kutsche Office also obtains LIB 100/201 approval as our programmatic efforts overlap with the goals of Co-Curricular programming.

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.1

At least one program or project receives external recognition every 1-2 years.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The Holland Sentinel featured an article (November 2016) regarding the second iteration of Nuestra Comunidad Hispana. The article highlighted the collection of additional oral histories from Hispanic residents. For more information: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/entertainmentlife/20161103/stories-of-hispanic-residents-to-be-collected-saturday

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
In February 2017, Kimberly McKee was interviewed by The Rapidian about the Kutsche Office of Local History's project, "Histories of Student Activism at GVSU." To see the article, please visit: http://www.therapidian.org/gvsus-kutsche-office-local-history-delves-history-student-activism. Kimberly McKee was interviewed by WZZM13 in March 2017 concerning the Nuestra Comunidad Hispana project that the Kutsche Office worked on in collaboration with the City of Holland, LAUP, Herrick District Library, Holland Museum, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, and GVSU's Meijer Campus in Holland. This project was funded by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council. To view the interview and read the news article, please visit: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/special-collection-on-display-at-hollands-herrick-district-library/416457993. The Kutsche Office of Local History's new project, Stories of Summer, in partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center received a Common Heritage from the National Endowment for the Humanities in December 2017. The grant runs from 2018-2019. To see the NEH press release, please visit: https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-12-13.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

At least 75% of all programs/projects directly engage communities of color and Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, four programs/projects directly engaged the histories of communities of color or Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
By December 2016, the Kutsche Office had four projects that directly engaged communities of color and indigenous communities. These projects include: Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are All Teachers); Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History; Nuestra Comunidad Hispana; and Newcomer Legacy: Vietnamese American Impact. We serve as a partner on the Newcomer Legacy: Vietnamese American Impact as well as Nuestra Comunidad Hispana. These two projects are supported by the Michigan Humanities Council. Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant. Our project Histories of Student Activism engages the activism of students of color and underrepresented communities.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
All of the projects the Kutsche Office supported in 2017 directly engaged underrepresented communities. The Kutsche Office worked as a project partner on two projects supported by the Michigan Humanities Council. These projects, Nuestra Comunidad Hispana and Newcomer Legacy: Vietnamese American Impact, ended in 2017. We continue to support the following projects: Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are All Teachers); Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History; and Histories of Student Activism at GVSU. Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage Grant. Histories of Student Activism at GVSU engages the activism of students of color and underrepresented communities. In May 2017 we began a partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. Stories of Summer is an oral history collection project and is funded by National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage Grant. This project seeks to document the voices of LGBTQ individuals as well as other residents who spent their summers in the twin lakeshore communities in the mid-twentieth century. Our 2017 local history roundtable underscored the diversity in West Michigan. Bich Minh Nguyen served as the event's keynote. We also shared findings from our Growing Community project. Additionally, programming in February 2017 as part of our Histories of Student Activism at GVSU project highlighted students' current activism, featured a vibrant talk by Dr. Louis Moore, and included an exhibit of students' activism from the university's founding to 1979. Other events included two screenings of Race, Riot, and Reconciliation, a documentary produced by the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archive. We also hosted screenings of the WGVU produced documentary We the 7th, which examines the West Michigan indigenous community and their activism as it relates to participation in Standing Rock. This documentary was supported by work of the special projects graduate assistant from 2016-2017 whose work focused exclusively on the Gi-gikinomaage-min Project. To read more about our events, programs, and projects, please visit: https://www.gvsu.edu/kutsche/kutsche-chronicle-20.htm.

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

Objective 4.C.1

By 2021, we will be recognized by the community as a leader in the interdisciplinary practice and teaching of local history and culture.

Baseline

In 2016 we have engaged 111 undergraduate students at events sponsored by the Kutsche Office. This does not include events where we were not the lead sponsor. In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition. In 2016, we had 60 community members attend the local history roundtable. In 2015-2016, 30 organizations engaged with Kutsche Office program.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
In Fall 2016 we held a luncheon and workshop on oral histories. This workshop was attended by new and returning attendees representing a variety of organizations in West Michigan. Due to their feedback we will be hosting an event each Fall. The event survey also indicated that these organizations are interested in more workshops/events throughout the year. Additionally, in Fall 2016 the director worked with a teacher at Holland High School and forged a relationship with a teacher from Black River Public School.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
In 2017 we launched our Engaging the Community Series. Two workshops are held annually as part of this series. The workshop topics vary based on community need. These workshops are aimed at organizations who are Friends of the Kutsche Office. Due to the success of these programs, this series is continuing. We also saw an increase in organizations participating in our annual Fall Luncheon. In it's second year, we had five organizations who previously had not attended a Kutsche Office event or organizations whose participation had lapsed in previous years return. We also are seeing retention numbers increase for those community members who are returning to our events. We reached 70 K-12 students in the 2016-2017 academic year. This is in addition to the 191 students reached in the 2016-2017 academic year. To better report on these numbers, in the future we will calculate both the impact in the academic year, but also in the calendar year to ease future reporting.

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

Objective 4.E.1

By 2018 we will develop a comprehensive marketing and communication print and online strategy that reflects our multiple constituencies (e.g. GVSU, local community, K-12).

Baseline

A case statement was finalized in 2015-2016.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
We created a new program flyer and table top banner in Fall 2016.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We worked to create different messaging for our various constituencies this year. We also started to use a formal email messaging template that GVSU offers units to use. This has been particularly effective at reaching multiple audiences.

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