Cultural Perspectives

Summary of Primary Recommendations

  • Expand opportunities (including scholarships and fellowships) for students and faculty to develop global perspectives and cultural competencies on campus and off campus
  • Adopt and clearly communicate a campus-wide statement that defines and actively supports diversity in its many forms
  • Create specific objectives for improvement over time to ensure that the campus is welcoming to all, including members of underrepresented groups
  • Create mechanisms to increase recruitment and retention of international students and faculty as well as those from traditionally underrepresented groups
  • Create guiding principles and student learning outcomes and develop ample opportunities to increase the number of students participating in domestic and international study away
  • Explore ways to further globalize the curriculum

Tier 1

Gustavus Culture

Adopt and strongly communicate a campuswide statement and infuse written communication with clear, strong, and consistent references to the Colleges commitment to diversity that defines and actively supports diversity in all of its many forms. (2)

Administer a comprehensive climate survey for students, faculty, and staff to ensure that the campus is welcoming to all, including members of underrepresented groups. (6)

Ensure that there is strong diversity representation on the Board of Trustees. (7)


Pursue every avenue to support and recruit immigrant students from the surrounding region, including those from Minnesota's many ethnic Lutheran congregations. (2)

Create mechanisms to increase recruitment and retention of faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups. (1)


Expand opportunities and increase scholarships and fellowships for students and faculty to increase global perspectives and cultural competencies on campus and off campus. (1)

Secure consistent funding so that “Building Bridges” remains a premier student-initiated, student-led diversity conference dedicated to addressing today's pressing social and global issues. (4)

Provide for dietary requirements of various groups on campus during holy days and times of fasting. (3)

Tier 2


Assess and develop individual cultural competency throughout the campus and among the Board of Trustees. (1)

Study Away

Create guiding principles, establish student learning outcomes, develop ample opportunities, and regularly review domestic and international study-away experiences with the Center for International and Cultural Education serving as a campus leader in ensuring cultural competency. (1)

Increase the percentage of Gustavus students participating in semester-long or yearlong off-campus programs and assess the feasibility of providing an off-campus study experience involving a cultural diversity component for every student for at least one Interim Experience. (1)

Develop a continuum of connection and support for study-away participants, including an intentional pre-experience and re-entry initiative. (1)


Establish a faculty development program to provide opportunities for faculty to explore issues of globalism and multiculturalism, including initiating a fellowship or research stipend to support culturally-related conferences and providing the means for every faculty member to have a global or multicultural experience. (1)

Provide opportunities for faculty exchanges and comparative visits relating to global and multicultural initiatives with other institutions. (1)

Provide incentives to encourage faculty to work for a January or a semester in a culturally diverse setting, perhaps accompanied by students. (1)

Explore efforts to globalize the curriculum, including the development of courses focused on non-Western cultures and countries, establishing at least one course on cross-cultural competency in every major and an intercultural general education requirement. (1)


Develop intercultural dialogues on campus that train, mentor, and empower students to assume leadership in cultural and global competence issues. (6)

Support campuswide efforts to institutionalize the Global Insight program to maximize international learning on campus throughout the academic year. (1)

Retain and support a multilingual and English language learners (ELL) program. (1)

Increase the recruitment and retention of international students to 10 percent of the student body. (2)

Expand the Office of Multicultural Programs and Diversity to include additional space and an assistant director position. (6)


Create an exchange and fellowship program for Lutheran and non-Lutheran Christian theologians from other countries with the Gustavus Department of Religion faculty. (1)

Create an international exchange program for students and faculty with Lutheran missions, congregations, and schools in other countries. (7)

Tier 3

Study Away

Establish the minimum requirement that all students study away. (1)

Increase the number of faculty to allow for course release time to develop courses and pilot projects for study-away experiences and to teach foreign languages to prepare students for international study. (1)

Establish a permanent off-campus venue for study-away experiences outside of Minnesota, enabling students to immerse themselves into another culture. (1)


Develop a process for seniors to create portfolios that demonstrate how they integrated global and cultural competency into their major studies and/or how they have achieved such skills and insights prior to graduation. (6)

Strongly encourage every sophomore to take an on-campus seminar on cultural diversity. (6)

Create an annual common reading list, have campus discussions, and hold an annual signature event focused on issues of globalism and multiculturalism. (6)


Create institutional rewards and recognition for faculty who excel in teaching, scholarship, or service directly related to globalism and multiculturalism. (1)

Consider making cultural competence a part of the tenure review. (1)

Create the position of Vice President of Global and Multicultural Initiatives to provide authority and accountability for diversity. (7)