Fulbright College Debuts New Mission, Values and Land Acknowledgement Statement
While the year 2020 has been full of unprecedented change and much uncertainty, leaders in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences said they are excited to share some news about a very positive change – a new mission, values and land acknowledgement statement for the college.
“This year, after receiving input from the college’s departmental diversity and inclusion plans, consulting with our leadership team, seeking feedback from college community members, and some final fine-tuning, we are proud to announce that we have a new mission, set of values and land acknowledgement statement for our Fulbright College,” said Todd Shields, dean of the college.
The college’s new mission is:
The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences enriches lives by promoting discovery, diversity, and inclusion, facilitating transformational experiences, and fostering peace through education.
The college’s new set of values are:
- A Culture of Inclusion and Respect
- Academic Freedom
- All Individuals and Diverse Perspectives
- Discovery, Research, Creativity and Innovation
- Diversity, Civility and Cultural Competence
- Education, Access and Equity
- Educational and Lived Experiences
- International Collaboration
- Teaching and Service
The college’s new land acknowledgement statement is:
The Indigenous history of the land the University of Arkansas campus sits on goes back to time immemorial, and across that expanse of time, many successive groups have lived here and created sacred legacies in this area. Fulbright College acknowledges Indigenous peoples were forced to leave their ancestral lands, including the Osage, Caddo and Quapaw Nations with ties to Northwest Arkansas. We further recognize that a portion of the Trail of Tears runs through our campus, and that the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw and Seminole Nations passed through what is now Arkansas during this forced removal. We acknowledge all Indigenous teachers, researchers and all other residents in our community and region today. We proudly offer Indigenous Studies in our college and seek continuity and connection to the past as we look to the future with increased collaboration with Indigenous governments and entities.
Additionally, Fulbright College’s new mission, values and land acknowledgement statement are on the college web site.
“While we have been striving to live this mission and these values as a college for some time, we realized that how we were expressing this wasn’t reflected as clearly as it could and should be,” said associate dean Anna Zajicek, who is helping to spearhead the college’s diversity and inclusion efforts. “We also realized that while we teach Indigenous history and support our Indigenous community, we as a college did not have a land acknowledgement statement and that needed to change.”
Zajicek also credits the college’s diversity and inclusion director, Romona West, with leading the college through the process of capturing and articulating the college’s mission, values and land acknowledgement statement.
Shields agreed, and said “I want to thank Romona for all of her hard work on this, and I hope this new mission, set of values and land acknowledgment statement captures the essence of our college and of all of you – the people who make this such a special place where we can learn, teach, work and grow together.”