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GUIDING “GLOBAL U”


Dear colleagues,

As we wade into a new school year, I find myself struck by the privilege of new beginnings–the air alive with excitement as we take what we know into fresh chapters and prepare ourselves to receive new lessons.

After joining the Office for Global Engagement in late June, I’ve been immersed in this listening and learning phase all summer. I want to thank those of you who have reached out to welcome me to the U. I also appreciate those who have been generous with their knowledge of what is working well and what is still needed.

OGE, Learning Abroad, and International Students & Scholars will be working together to integrate this knowledge into how we serve our campus community and global partners. This letter offers an opportunity to share three principles that will guide that work:

1) We believe international engagement is at the core of a university’s work.
“Global” is sometimes spoken as a specific thing separate and apart from other University activities. I believe it to be an integral part of a University of Utah education–an all-encompassing state of mind that allows us to navigate and contribute to our modern world.

2) We are student-centered.
Whenever we embark upon a new initiative, our impulse will be to ask “how is this going to impact students?” We will strive to create global experiences that enhance their understanding of the world and prepare them well for life after campus.

3) We take equity, diversity, and inclusion seriously.
These principles require the cultivation of awareness, dedication, intentionality, and proactiveness. We shall continue to increase access for underserved groups while being mindful to never leave any community behind. We are also uniquely positioned to architect international opportunities diverse in geography and discipline.

I will be working closely with my team over the fall semester to enhance our office’s structure and ability to support these principles.

I’d like to invite you to reach out to me directly to Brian’s email: b.gibson@utah.edu, if you have a question about how the concept of “Global U” fits into your unit; we are eager to provide assistance, connection, and thought-partnership.

I have been impressed by our community’s desire to engage internationally and look forward to working with you all.

Toward an even more Global U,

Brian Gibson