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Arizona State University announced the Southwest Borderlands Initiative (SWBI) in 2001 as a long term faculty appointment plan with two primary objectives: the strengthening of existing ASU scholarly and instructional resources on the Southwest with emphasis on the region along the United States-Mexico border, and enhancing institutional recruitment and retention efforts toward building a faculty fully reflective of the Southwest Borderlands' diversity.
Designed with broad-based campus input as a major ASU faculty hiring plan, the continuing initiative seeks to integrate current ASU strengths in borderlands research with bold innovation in faculty recruitment. The regional needs and shifting demographics of the borderlands of the U.S. Southwest are strategic areas of keen concern for many academic, policy, and other researchers. These needs and population changes have had extraordinary impact on multiple communities throughout the region, including business, education, health, housing, law enforcement, sports and entertainment, and many others.
Through the SWB concept ASU builds upon its scholarly, instructional, and related institutional assets to respond to these pressing needs, particularly in the areas of Borderlands Arts and Culture, Borderlands Social and Cultural Policy, and Latina/o Health.