Cal Lutheran to Unveil Center for Global Engagement

California Lutheran University will be launching a new Center for Global Engagement in fall 2018.

Stephanie Shaker Sullivan, associate director of Study Abroad, said the goal is to “increase internalization on campus, which means making everything more infused with global learning, helping [Cal Lutheran] become more of a place where you can gain an international perspective.”

The center will reside within the Division of Academic Affairs and staff supporting Study Abroad and International Students will report to the provost. International Admissions will stay within the division of Enrollment and Marketing.

While the operations of these offices report to different divisions within the university, the physical locations of each office will be centrally located in one space. Once opened, the center will be stationed across the hall of the upper level of the Student Union.

Leanne Nielson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will be overseeing the Center for Global Engagement once construction is complete. An associate provost will be hired by the end of September. Nielson said the creation of the new center was a way of combining under one roof the offices dedicated to global affairs.

“It’s an effort to bring together a lot of areas that already exist on campus, but that are all over campus and to get the synergy of putting [them] under one umbrella,” Nielson said.

In addition to combining the offices of Study Abroad, International Student Services and International Admissions under one roof, the name of the Multicultural Programs office will be updated to the “Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion.” The Cal Lutheran website has been updated to include this name change as of Sept. 9. Its new offices will also be in the upper level of the Student Union, across the hall from Career Services.

The Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion will be included in the Center for Global Engagement and is also currently under construction. The Center for Engagement and Inclusion will be open by mid-semester, President Chris Kimball said.

Although the Center for Global Engagement is under renovation, all offices within the center are fully functioning and will be open during regular hours.

Kimball said the center is expected to be fully renovated by January 2019. He said plans for the center have been talked about for over a year.

“We’re in a global world, even if sometimes U.S. politics doesn’t indicate that. Particularly in California, the whole world is [represented] in Southern California; it’s a door to the rest of the Americas,” Kimball said.

Jonathan Gonzales, senior coordinator for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion, will be overseeing its operations. An associate coordinator will be hired to assist Gonzales later this fall.

While the Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion will carry over some aspects of the Multicultural Programs, there will be some changes, Nielson said.

“[The Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion] is going to take a broader perspective than they had been. I think they’re broadening what they’re doing and they’re going to have their own space, which is great. They’re going to be able to expand what they’re doing,” Nielson said.

New aspects of the Center for Global Engagement will include the ability to establish faculty exchange programs with foreign universities, Nielson said.

“What I envision the center being able to do is to explore more [foreign university partnerships] more quickly. I’m hoping if it all works out, we’ll have a chance to have many more opportunities,” Kimball said.

Manny Lira