How can faculty members promote intercultural dialogue on campus? That is what those of us who are advocates for intercultural communication (ICC) and internationalization seek to encourage on a daily basis. Many faculty members on campus may already see interdisciplinary dialogue as an avenue through which to gain a more holistic understanding of their subject matter. In other words, many of our colleagues already believe in the value of looking at research and teaching through more than one disciplinary lens as a way to provide a more complex, comprehensive point of view. The question thus becomes: How can we use the already held value of interdisciplinarity as a springboard to promote the value of ICC and internationalization?
Let’s look at this conundrum through a series of questions:
As faculty members, we seek to develop our students’ global competencies.
(1) What is the foundation for developing our students’ global competencies?
Answer: The internationalization of our curricula.
(2) What is at the heart of internationalizing our curricula?
Answer: Our faculty.
(3) With what do faculty primarily concern themselves?
Answer: Their department’s goals and values and their individual teaching and research agendas.
(4) How can we shift our university’s academic departments towards a more intercultural and international focus?
Answer: Customizing ICC and internationalization to unique disciplinary priorities.
So, how can we move the ball forward? Since faculty members live within their academic disciplines, that is where the conversations and the impetus for increasing faculty engagement in ICC and internationalization need to begin.
Read the full discussion in order to learn the next steps.