The International Institute Enterprise Fund has awarded over $71,000 to three proposals generated by U-M faculty across various disciplines.

Launched in 2015, the Enterprise Fund supports faculty-led projects and initiatives that spur intellectual and academic innovation, address topics of global importance, and stimulate conversations and collaborations across disciplines and area studies boundaries. In total, the II has funded nine such projects and initiatives that not only showcase the depth and breadth of U-M’s faculty expertise, but also continue to have an intellectual and pedagogical impact on the entire university community.


2018-2019 Enterprise Fund projects and initiatives are described briefly below, along with the faculty principal investigators (PIs).

The Campus Human Rights Index aims to develop a reliable, quantitative measure of university human rights practices and commitments. The interdisciplinary project will produce measures of human rights commitments at universities across the world, and capture campus activities, institutions, policies, and statements promoting human rights and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Index will be updated annually with the aim to become the authoritative source for campus human rights climate data. The Index will generate comparative research at institutions of higher education and public attention to campus human rights that will incentivize university leaders to improve their practices.

Project PIs: Michelle Bellino, co-director of the Conflict and Peace Initiative and assistant professor, School of Education; Christian Davenport, co-director of the Conflict and Peace Initiative and professor, Political Science; and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, director of both the Donia Human Rights Center and the Center for Japanese Studies, and professor, Sociology.

The Michigan Islamic Studies Hub (MISH) seeks to strengthen Islamic studies at U-M by expanding ties between campus scholars and the local community through a website portal and annual conference. The website will serve as a directory, providing a list of Michigan scholars working in Islamic studies, local Muslim cultural centers and programs, and a calendar of cultural and educational events taking place at area institutions. The annual Global Islamic Expressions Conference will focus on the arts, histories, cultures, and spiritual practices of Islamic communities.

Project PIs: Karla Mallette, director of the Islamic Studies Program, and professor, Romance Languages and Literatures and Middle East Studies; and Gottfried Hagen, professor, Middle East Studies.

The Sustainability and Development Initiative will focus on sustainable development, utilizing publications, training, and an annual, cross-disciplinary conference: The Global Conference on Sustainability and Development (GCSD). The goal of the GCSD is to provide a vehicle for students, scholars, and practitioners to collaborate with U.S. and international partners, sharing and developing research on sustainable development goals. In addition, the journal World Development will publish at least one special issue each year from papers presented at the conferences.

Project PIs : Arun Agrawal, professor, School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS); Ella August, assistant professor, School of Public Health (SPH); Bilal Butt, associate professor, SEAS; Ivan Eastin, professor, SEAS; Joseph Eisenberg, professor, SPH; Leela Fernandes, professor, Women’s Studies and Political Science; Elisabeth Gerber, professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Meha Jain, assistant professor, SEAS; Ken Kollman, former director of the International Institute, and professor, Political Science; Maria Carmen Lemos, professor, SEAS; Nancy Love, professor, College of Engineering (CoE); Shelie Miller, associate professor, SEAS; Brian Min, associate professor, Political Science; Joshua Newell, associate professor, SEAS; Anne Pitcher, professor, Afroamerican and African Studies and Political Science; Lutgarde Raskin, professor, CoE; and Cristy Watkins, research manager, SEAS.

For the full list of previously funded Enterprise Fund projects, please visit our website.