The Division of Student Life fosters student success by creating and promoting inclusive educationally purposeful services and activities within and beyond the classroom. The departmental program review process empowers departments within the Division of Student Life to critically evaluate their work and their effect on the UI student experience through a lens of continuous improvement. As a unit of the Division of Student Life, Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement (MISSE) engaged in a program review process in spring 2023. MISSE completed a comprehensive self-study and hosted two external reviewers and one internal reviewer for a multi-day virtual visit. The external reviewers were Rickey Hall, Gioconda Guerra Perez, and Adele S. Vanarsdale. This action plan is intended to be a living document based on the current campus environment. Action items and outcomes may change.

Table of contents


Recommendation: funding model

A funding model for the cultural centers/area that includes permanent financial resources from the central campus and a plan to add layers of administrative and middle management support to MISSE to systematically achieve operational and administrative maturity.

Year 2 Plan

  • Obtain part-time administrative support.
  • The MISSE professional staff team identify funding priorities on programs, operations, and personnel in alignment with UI and Division of Student Life strategic plan. 

Success measures and updates

  • Hired a qualified MISSE director. (completed spring 2023)
  • Complete market analysis as part of the Program Review. (completed spring 2023)
  • Obtain part-time administrative support. (in progress summer 2023)
  • Recruited cultural neighborhood ambassadors.
  • Updated funding model.

Recommendation: educate campus

The Division of Student Life in partnership with MISSE leadership (or vice versa) to develop a comprehensive plan aimed to inform and educate the campus about each area’s unique historical, political, social, and cultural consciousness development and framework.

Year 2 Plan

  • Develop an elevator pitch and a case study for MISSE and vetted by campus partners.
  • Explore framework and incorporating individual areas history in support of the collective mission and vision.
  • Continue to build a list of past, present, and future stakeholders for fundraising for the Cultural Neighborhood project. 
  • Identify key opportunities on campus for sharing MISSE’s mission, vision, elevator pitch (outside of MISSE events).
  • Leadership starts to talk to stakeholders about MISSE case study.
  • Work with Assessment, Improvement, & Research (AIR) to create a dashboard group to develop a comprehensive assessment plan for MISSE.

Success measures and updates

  • Developed a new mission and vision statement. (completed fall 2022)
  • Developed a stakeholder list for the Cultural Neighborhood project. (Fall 2022: initial list completed; will need to update regularly)
  • Trained staff in assessment. (in progress summer 2023)
  • Document and train staff on the history of each MISSE area and the MISSE team. (anticipated completing in August 2023)
  • Develop marketing materials for Cultural Neighborhood for fundraising purposes. (complete
  • Developed an elevator pitch for MISSE.
  • Developed a list of stakeholders.
  • Created a comprehensive assessment plan.
  • Codify in writing the University of Iowa’s commitment to honor the “legacy houses” in individual facilities and draft policies and procedures to guide future affinity space requests and use within the new multicultural center.
  • Developed marketing materials.
  • Started fundraising.
  • Developed and operationalized programming plan for intersectionality.

Recommendation 3: community building and outreach

MISSE focuses its community building and outreach approach on two divergent strategies: a collective and a center/area individual MISSE strategy.

Year 2 Plan

  • Identify current community building strategies.
  • Map opportunities for building communities across difference (MISSE general) and opportunities for community building within individual community to foster sense of belonging.
  • Marketing strategies to support community building efforts.
  • Identify community building goals for MISSE general and individual areas.
  • Review current list of campus and identify gaps for partnership.
  • Identify key stakeholders (both camps partners as collaborators and individuals as participants) for MISSE general and individual areas.
  • Maintain relationships with current stakeholders and constituents.
  • Maintain current community building efforts.

Success measures and updates

  • Developed strategies for community building.
  • Developed marketing strategies and materials for community building.

Recommendation: cultural neighborhood

As the University of Iowa makes decisions relating to the future of the cultural neighborhood:

  • Undertake a design process that involves students, alumni, faculty, and staff in the visioning and developing of the cultural neighborhood from the beginning.
  • Clarify messaging about the need for and importance of the cultural centers and ISSE.
  • Develop a multipronged (e.g., individual giving, corporate and foundation support, etc.) fundraising approach to ensure the cultural neighborhood comes to fruition. Ideally there would be a dedicated fundraiser for this project.

Year 2 Plan

  • Continue to build upon a list of past, present, and future stakeholders for fundraising for the Cultural Neighborhood project.
  • Identify a list of individuals/groups who are willing to champion the Cultural Neighborhood project.
  • Provide training for these individuals and groups regarding MISSE’s elevator pitch and case study.
  • Identify potential incentives for cultural neighborhood ambassadors to get into fundraising. 

Success measures and updates

  • Developed initial renderings for cultural neighborhood. (Fall 2020: completed)
  • Developed a list of stakeholders. (Fall 2022: initial list completed)
  • Introducing the concept of the cultural neighborhood to different constituent groups. (in process summer 2023)
  • Trained cultural neighborhood ambassadors for MISSE’s elevator pitch and case study.
  • Began fundraising efforts for cultural neighborhood project.
  • Donorship/donor commitments.