A page within Latin American Studies

  1. Mission
    1. The mission of the Institute for Latin American and Latino Studies is to grow and support the existing campus community of scholars committed to research in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinx communities in the U.S. We engage and mentor students who are interested in pursuing research, advocacy, and/or careers in these areas of study. The Institute contributes to the university’s internationalization and community engagement efforts by developing opportunities for faculty and students in Latin America and the Caribbean; and building partnerships with Latinx and Hispanic organizations in the La Crosse community.

    2. The mission is achieved through consistent work with:
      1. FacultyThe presence of an institute of this nature on our campus attracts diverse faculty who teach, do research, and seek varied engagement initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Latinx communities in the U.S. ILLAS provides such faculty with a community of scholarly support throughout their tenure at UWL.
      2. Students, especially Hispanic and Latinx students: ILLAS is focused on building a culture of engagement and belonging among Hispanic, Latinx and second-generation Hispanic students. In coordination with the Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Latino/a Student Organization (LASO), the Eagle Mentoring Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and other campus offices, we strive for recruitment and retention of students.
      3. The La Crosse Community: Forming partnerships with the La Crosse community around research, advocacy, and cultural programming is a key objective of ILLAS. Our institute provides opportunities for faculty and students to research, educate, and serve the needs of a growing Latinx and Hispanic population in the La Crosse region. Community engagement provides employment/internship/volunteering opportunities for students, as well the possibility of securing financial resources with which to advance the mission of the Institute.
      4. The mission and vision of UWL. ILLAS prioritizes the Inclusive Excellence initiative at UWL, and it is one of the University’s primary promoters of internationalization and engagement on our campus. ILLAS associates conduct research, design, and lead study abroad initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, maintaining UWL classrooms up to date with current global academic and social topics.

  2. Director 
    1. Appointment: The Director of the Institute for Latin American and Latino Studies is appointed by and reports to the Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH). Because ILLAS is a university-wide institute, the Director is not required to be an administrator, faculty member, or staff member in CASSH. The institute, however, is permanently housed in the Department of Global Cultures and Languages. In the case of faculty members, the ILLAS Director position holds a .25 yearly teaching reassignment for the duties listed below.

    2. Responsibilities: The Director is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day institute-related initiatives.  This includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Creating and organizing a database of all UWL faculty and staff who teach, research, and do outreach in topics related to Latin American and Latinx Studies;
      2. Updating the Institute’s website with resources for faculty, staff, and students who are interested in Latin American and Latino Studies;
      3. Providing and informing faculty of opportunities for career development and funding;
      4. Working to provide opportunities, support for students to gain hands-on experience conducting research;
      5. Collaborating with other UWL offices and departments that conduct work related to Latin American and Latinx issues;
      6. Identifying and partnering with community organizations;
      7. Organizing the Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month events for the campus and surrounding community;
      8. Applying for grant monies to support Institute-related initiatives;
      9. Attending national Latin American Studies Association meetings and regional faculty conferences of the UW-Milwaukee Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies;
      10. Assisting the Office of International Education and Engagement with Latin American visitors and delegations, as well as advising and evaluating the development of new programs in Latin America and the Caribbean;
      11. Assisting the Office of Admissions in the recruitment of Latinx and Hispanic students;
      12. Advising in Latin American/Latinx library collections development at UW-L Murphy Library;
      13. Making suggestions for Latin American course curriculum development;
      14. Informing CASSH Dean of needs and opportunities;
      15. In collaboration with the Advisory board, preparing an annual report for submission to CASSH Dean;
      16. Developing and/or revising bylaws for the Institute;
      17. Managing the Institute budget;
      18. Overseeing strategic planning for the Institute.

    3. Term of Service: The Director’s term of office is three years and can be renewed at the discretion of the CASSH Dean.  There are no limits on the number of terms the Director may be appointed.  However, the Director cannot serve more than two consecutive terms at a time unless there is not another university employee willing and qualified to serve as Director, or at the discretion of the Dean.  In this case, the Director may serve a third consecutive term.  Upon completion of the Director’s term, the Director is encouraged to serve as an ex officio member of the Advisory Committee for one term.

    4. Evaluation: The CASSH Dean and ILLAS Director will work together to create an instrument to evaluate the Director’s performance annually in the spring. At the Dean’s discretion feedback may be sought from the Advisory Committee.

  3. Advisory Committee 
    1. Appointment: In collaboration with the CASSH Dean, members of the Advisory Committee will be appointed by and report to the Director of ILLAS.  New committee members will be solicited via e-mail by the ILLAS Director.  The Advisory Committee will be comprised of a minimum of four and a maximum of six faculty, staff, and/or administrators, one undergraduate student representative, and one graduate student representative. Two alternates may also be identified in the case that one or more Advisory Committee members are not able to serve out their term. The Director will strive to appoint persons to the Advisory Committee that represent important departments and offices on campus that are engaged in work related to Latin American and Latinx Studies or supporting Hispanic and Latinx students on campus.

    2. Responsibilities: The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to bring unique perspectives and skills to bear on all matters that pertain to the Institute.  While the Advisory Committee does not have formal authority to govern the Institute, its role in advising and making recommendations to the Director is a critical one.  As such, responsibilities include:
      1. Attend meetings called by the Director; 
      2. Respond to requests from the Director during formal meetings and/or via e-mail for feedback, and provide input on various Institute initiatives; 
      3. Attend Institute sponsored events regularly;
      4. Help prioritize and promote ILLAS goals both short-term and long-term;
      5. Participate in planning and organizing ILLAS initiatives as needed;
      6. Other duties as agreed upon by the Director and the member or members of the Advisory Committee.

    3. Term of Service: An Advisory Committee member’s term of service is two years and can be renewed at the discretion of the Director.  While there is no limit on the number of terms an Advisory Committee member can be appointed, no Advisory Committee member may serve more than two consecutive terms.

(Updated April 2019)