Global Engagement



Global Engagement at the University of Michigan

Global Engagement:
Findings and Recommendations


An increasingly interconnected world demands that our students and faculty members recognize and appreciate social and cultural diversity. Developing global awareness calls for campus discussion and, perhaps, enrichment and refinement of the teaching and research goals of the University of Michigan. Operating in today’s global environment requires ever-greater attention to developing the international knowledge and skills both of faculty members and of students in our undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

The two accreditation working groups (AWGs) on internationalization, focusing on academic dimensions and on organizational dimensions, were appointed as part of the University of Michigan’s Special-Emphasis Study on this topic. This section incorporates both the findings and recommendations of these two groups. The recommendations in this section should be viewed within the context of the goals of a campus study. As demonstrated by the partial list of activities above, the University already offers and supports a rich array of international experiences. In the spirit of the University’s commitment to improvement and to become a leader in this field, both the general points of inquiry posed by the AWGs and their recommendations contribute to a broader vision for the future.

This section, incorporating and expanding on the outcomes of the two internationalization AWGs, presents recommendations in four categories: curriculum, education abroad, people and partnerships, and organization. Each of these categories includes a brief overview and some context for that particular set of recommendations, a set of questions for reflection, and the recommendations, which have been further divided in some cases.

The questions for reflection arose out of the AWG discussions. They are situated before the recommendations because they provide the larger points of inquiry from which many of the recommendations emerge. In the interest of subsequent review, planning, and action steps, they will serve other individuals and groups by inviting them to consider important topics and issues through further inquiry and exploration.

Since the work of the internationalization AWGs was perceived as a visioning activity, their reports mark the first step in a strategic planning process that will lead to change. The content of this section represents a second step that adds conversations with various leadership groups and others inside the University. We end with a set of recommendations that focus on the opportunity and need to coordinate and strengthen centralized activities and services in support of internationalization, within the framework of a decentralized institution.