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Cuba Initiatives

Following the historic thaw of relations between the United States and Cuba announced in December 2014 by presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, Indiana University launched a Cuba Initiative, for which IU President Michael McRobbie designated the former dean of the School of Education and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Gerardo Gonzalez as IU's principal advisor on Cuba.

In fall 2015, IU was selected to participate in the International Academic Partnership Program, organized by the International Institute of Education (IIE). IU then formed a university-wide steering committee, chaired by Professor Gonzalez, to develop a strategic plan for building relations with Cuban institutions of higher education. The plan detailed a variety of actions, including institutional partnerships, short-term study abroad programs, and other types of academic and cultural exchanges. The program culminated in a weeklong trip to Cuba in October 2015 by participants, including Professor Gonzalez and Shawn Conner, Associate Director of International Partnerships in the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, who met with various university and government representatives.


Faculty members representing diverse academic areas have been actively engaged in Cuba through their research, teaching, and outreach. As interest in Cuba increases, the following list will be updated:

  • Rajendra Abhyankar, Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and Public Affairs, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Anke Birkenmaier, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
  • Deborah Cohn, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Keith Dayton, Senior Lecturer, Kelley School of Business
  • Gerardo Gonzalez, Professor, School of Education
  • Joshua Malitsky, Associate Professor, The Media School
  • Michael Martin, Professor, The Media School
  • Dan Preston, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Iris Rosa, Professor, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
  • Michael Spiro, Associate Professor, Jacobs School of Music


For more Latin American & Caribbean-related events, please see the main CLACS events page.

Study Abroad Programs

CUBAmistad/Cuba Community

CUBAmistad is a sister-city project linking Bloomington, Indiana, USA and Santa Clara, Cuba. Its goal is to encourage dialogue and understanding between citizens of Cuba and the USA.

IU and Cuba in the News

For more information about ongoing Cuba initiatives, please contact CLACS at clacs[at]