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Center for Global Education
Center for Global Education

Global Initiatives

Global Initiatives

An important part of the Center for Global Education's mission is to promote the comprehensive internationalization of the university.  We collaborate with colleges, academic departments, interdisciplinary programs, and varying clusters of faculty and staff to build international expertise and engagement, forge linkages with partner universities abroad, and expand opportunities for students, faculty and staff to broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of global issues.  We also work regularly with governmental and non-governmental organizations and community groups in central Indiana to promote international and cross-cultural understanding and engagement.

Global Initiatives Grants for Faculty

In support of Butler University's Strategic Plan initiatives for comprehensive internationalization, the Provost's Office and CGE oversee an annual internal grants program to support faculty development and curricular development activities in international and area studies.  Faculty may apply for funding in four categories:  foreign language enhancement;  area studies enhancement; on-campus course internationalization; and scouting grants for new faculty-led study programs abroad.  More information can be found on the Provost's faculty development website.

Semester in Spain Program with Universidad de Alcalá de Henares

Every fall semester since 2003, Butler has offered a faculty-led semester-long program in Spain in partnership with the Instituto Franklin of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.  Intended for students with a high intermediate or advanced level of proficiency in Spanish, the program features a rich curriculum in language, culture, history and social sciences.  The formal curriculum is supplemented by local site visits as well as excursions to other regions of Spain.  All students live with Spanish families, thus further enriching their cultural immersion.

Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts (GALA)

Each academic year, usually during the spring semester, Butler offers a semester-long faculty-led study program to a particular world region—destinations have included Europe, Latin America, and East Asia. A group of up to 20 students travel with a faculty member who is deeply knowledgeable about the region. The faculty leader usually teaches two courses spread throughout the semester. Then two or three other Butler faculty members—also experts in the study of the region—join the group at certain times during the semester and offer intensive courses that take advantage of the location of the group at the time.  Most courses in the program are designed to satisfy core curriculum requirements that students would normally undertake during their sophomore year.

Business and International Education

Since 2001, CGE has partnered with Butler's Andre B. Lacy School of Business in the development of three successful grant proposals to the US Department of Education's Business and International Education (BIE) program. The most recent grant's activities concluded in June, 2013.  BIE funding—totaling $500,000 for the three grants—has supported significant internationalization efforts in the college:

  • Development of undergraduate courses on business issues in Europe;  in Latin America; and in Asia
  • Creation of numerous short-term faculty-led study trips to other countries for undergraduates and for MBA students
  • Faculty study trips to Asia and Latin America
  • Support for undergraduate students undertaking internships in other countries
  • Establishment of academic cooperation and exchange partnerships with front-rank business schools in other countries
  • Research abroad by Lacy School of Business faculty and visits to Butler by faculty colleagues from our partner institutions abroad
  • Partnerships with regional economic development organizations to promote greater global involvement by central Indiana businesses

Strengthening International Studies and Foreign Languages

CGE coordinated the development of a successful proposal to the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) Program of the U.S. Department of Education in 2006.  The grant (about $152,000) enabled us to engage in a three-year program of activity to develop three new courses (East Asian Interactions; South Asian Civilizations; and Frontiers in Latin America) for the core curriculum requirement in Global and Historical Studies. We also supported the development of more advanced area studies courses about Asia and Latin America and established new academic cooperation and exchange agreements with several front rank universities in those two regions.  UISFL funding supported study trips to Korea and Japan;  to India;  and to Argentina and Brazil for the faculty members involved in developed the new courses.

Teacher Education and Global Awareness

Development of global awareness is an important goal of the College of Education's teacher preparation programs.  CGE works closely with the College to develop appropriate study abroad experiences and opportunities for student teaching abroad for COE students.  We have very productive relationships with the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania, Australia, and with the Hong Kong Institute of Education.  Advanced COE students have the opportunity to engage in a semester of formal student teaching through these two partner institutions.

In recent years, COE faculty members have also developed short-term faculty-led study programs abroad designed especially for education students.

Visiting Junior Faculty

In the period from 2003 to 2009, Butler's Andre B. Lacy School of Business hosted five early-career faculty members from universities in central and eastern Europe through the Junior Faculty Development Program administered by American Councils on International Education on behalf of the US Department of State.  The visiting faculty engaged in a wide range of professional development activities and contributed to the internationalization of the Lacy School of Business through guest lectures, collaborative teaching, and work with individual faculty members and students.

Enhancing Asian Studies

We are grateful for the support of the Freeman Foundation, from whom we received a four-year Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative grant of $679,635 in 2002.  Freeman funding enabled Butler to undertake several important initiatives:

  • Establishing a new faculty position in modern East Asian history 
  • Strengthening our Chinese language program and developing a summer intensive Chinese program based at Nankai University in Tianjin, PRC
  • Providing scholarships for undergraduates to study abroad in Asian countries
  • Promoting student-faculty collaborative field research projects in Asia through the “Science, Technology and Society in Asia” grant program
  • Supporting community outreach activities in the areas of international business;  education; and Asian performing arts

Butler’s Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MLLC) is grateful for the support of the Confucius Institute of Indianapolis (based at IUPUI). The Confucius Institute has arranged for the donation of several hundred volumes related to Chinese history, culture, and language to the department and to Irwin Library.  Additionally, the Confucius Institute has generously arranged for Butler to host a visiting instructor of Chinese in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

Understanding Contemporary Islam

In 2005 and again in 2008, CGE submitted successful proposals to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to host visiting professors from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, respectively, as part of the Understanding Contemporary Islam program. These visitors contributed to Butler’s Global and Historical Studies and International Studies programs; gave guest lectures at other colleges, universities, and secondary schools in the region;  and participated in community discussion groups on international relations topics.

During 2002-03, Butler undertook a significant revision of its curriculum unit about Islam within the Change and Tradition (now known as Global and Historical Studies) Program. CGE provided leadership for the development of a Focus Grant proposal from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Associate Professor of History Michelle Mannering served as project director. The grant supported a faculty reading seminar, visits to campus by outside experts, and curriculum design and dissemination workshops.

Butler Seminar on Religion and World Civilization

Butler University’s Center for Faith and Vocation presents the annual Seminar on Religion and World Civilization. During four sessions offered throughout the academic year, the seminar focuses on diverse subjects in religion and spirituality. Seminar themes in recent years include Religion and Global Health (2012-2013); Global Christianity in the 21st Century (2011-2012); and Religion, Peacemaking, and Conflict (2010-2011). A panel of experts kicks off each event and encourages questions and comments from the audience, which include students, faculty, staff and off-campus visitors.