Strategic Plan for Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Modeling interdisciplinary education in action: we apply
liberal education that cultivates engaged global citizens and
supports lifelong learning.
The Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies serves as a
regional and national model for integrative and global learning,
innovative teaching, and sustainable, inclusive practices that
empower students and expand access to higher education. The faculty
and staff of Brooks College are deeply committed to not only
advancing equity, inclusion and diversity, but in leading Grand
Valley State University in these values.
A collegial and collaborative student-centered environment where we
support each other and work together, bridging fields and disciplines,
both within the college and across campus, in an open and transparent manner.
Equity, inclusion, and diversity across our curriculum, faculty and
staff, and the students and communities we serve.
Integrity in our student-first worldview, and integrity in our actions.
Shared, democratic principles of self-governance and decision making.
Global perspectives that support critical analysis of and engagement
with complex systems and legacies across our teaching, scholarship,
and community engaged work.
Action-oriented educational initiatives, high impact practices, and
Interdisciplinary research and teaching that challenges disciplinary
and field boundaries, expands how we understand and define knowledge,
and generate results-oriented work that can be applied to real-life
wicked problems and challenges.
Risk-taking and innovation that encourages alternative approaches to
scholarship, teaching, and learning.
Academic freedom to ask the questions that need to be asked, and
approach the answers, however that might unfold.
Social, environmental, and financial sustainability in all that we do.
Growing out of the presidential “huddles” organized through
AY2019-2020, Brooks College launched a strategic planning process
beginning with a series of college Town Hall meetings convened by Dean
Mark Schaub. Units held department/program-level conversations,
relaying their priorities to the Dean’s Office by April 2021.
Externally facing units consulted with stakeholders via their Advisory
Councils. All college faculty and staff were invited to contribute to
and refine the College’s mission, vision, values, guiding principles
through Winter 2022, in tandem with the finalization of the
university’s Reach Higher 2025 planning effort. The College published
its first updated, strategic plan in March 2022.
As the Division of Academic Affairs works to finalize its strategic
planning process, our college will continue to refine its aims
focusing on the three strategic priorities: empowered educational
experiences, lifelong learning, and educational equity.
Collaboration is at the center of our guiding principles as a
college. Our interdisciplinary research and teaching efforts are
fundamentally integrative. We invite in faculty, staff, and students
from across the university to author and develop innovative work that
embraces action-oriented, global perspectives, challenge
interdisciplinary and field boundaries, and generate results-oriented
work that can be applied to real-life wicked problems and challenges.
Specific examples of this work are highlighted across our strategic priorities.
In alignment with its mission and vision, in AY2022-2023, Brooks
College reorganized its academic unit structure, merging its academic
majors and minors into a single School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
This new structure supports our ability to transcend disciplinary
siloes, free faculty to teach where they are most needed and in ways
that best connect with students and support collaborative scholarship
with a particular eye toward working models that support ongoing,
sustainable opportunities for undergraduate student research and
kindred high-impact practices. It has also supported the hiring of
faculty “clusters” with expertise that is aligned with strategic
efforts within the college and at GVSU.