Global Task Force findings

Last Wednesday, President Greene issued a response to the Global Task Force Report. Published in May 2016, the Report made numerous recommendations for the purpose of “strengthening, enhancing, and revolutionizing Colby’s global profile, reach, engagements, and partnerships.”

In his response, Greene referenced the importance of such a report given the current state of politics: “As many here and abroad seek ways to close themselves off from globalization, it is our obligation to continue to embrace global understanding and possibilities. The report makes a compelling case for broad-based change.”

Of the many changes recommended by the report, Greene highlighted several recommendations including equal access to Jan Plan courses, study abroad programs, research, and co-curricular courses. Greene recognizes that for students coming from certain socio-economic backgrounds, funding is essential to make their educational experiences a reality. Greene also supports the recommendation that the college create a new position, The Dean of Global Engagement, as a means of furthering global faculty connections and research. The Dean will be responsible for implementing ideas generated by the task force and finding new ways to employ the College’s resources to boost Colby’s global profile.

The Report was also critical of several areas in which Colby’s curriculum is lacking including “Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies; African Studies/Africana studies as a freestanding major; South and/or Southeastern Asian Studies; expanding Latin
American Studies by adding Portuguese and/or Border Studies”. The report also advocates for a new requirement to encourage “global literacy”. Under one proposal, Completion of the Global literacy requirement would entail an interdisciplinary course load for all four years as compared to the current requirement of one course. In response, President Greene referenced the Distribution Requirements Task Force which will publish its report by the end of the academic year. Greene also endorsed the idea of “global labs” in which would “combine academic and experiential dimensions of learning through connecting classroom work with research and/or civic engagement in another context” which he found to have “special promise.”

President Greene expressed his thanks to the task force for “outstanding work and for illuminating Colby’s path to becoming one of the world’s most distinguished global colleges.” Greene expressed his belief that Colby “has the potential to lead by guaranteeing all students meaningful global experiences, providing greater support for the teaching and scholarship of our faculty around the world, encouraging curricular innovation to better address global issues, creating new partnerships that extend our reach and capacity, and educating citizens who appreciate the world’s complexities and see themselves as integral to the global community.”

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