DIVERSITY Education for faculty and staff
Our students requested there be some training geared towards educating faculty and staff members on language, theory, and experiences around diversity. We agree! Especially when is comes to a classroom space—it is important for students to feel welcomed and understood by their faculty and staff community. To jumpstart this training, a campus committee is working together in developing a comprehensive diversity education program.
New Diverse Student Space in the Union
The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs has been given expanded space for students to gather and study in the Union.
$$$ FOR DIVERSE STUDENT GROUPS
Not only do the students in various Diversity Student Groups work hard to maintain a cultural campus climate, but they also help to recruit, lead and set examples for incoming students. That’s a lot! To help support their efforts, the University has identified additional funding for Student Equity and Diversity groups in support of high school conferences and travel funding to enhance student development.
FACULTY HIRING INITIATIVE
It is our responsibility as a university to make sure the faculty representation on our campus is reflective of our students attending the U. In Spring 2014, an ad hoc faculty committee recommended several strategies for increasing faculty diversity. The purpose of this brief communication is to articulate the process for enacting some of these recommendations in a clear and open manner for the benefit of departments and colleges. As a result, 19 new faculty members and post-doctoral fellows from underrepresented backgrounds joined us in the fall of 2016.
Diverse Staff Hiring
Diverse staff hiring is equally as important as diverse faculty hiring to ensure the growth of our campus and to cultivate creative thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Currently, the Humans Resources Office at the U is happy to be a part of this initiative and will help guide the Universities efforts on a strategic plan.
Mentoring for Faculty and Staff
We want all of our new faculty and staff to feel welcome and supported when they join our campus community. For this reason, we are instituting mentoring programs to foster relationships and encourage discussions about our university culture, community resources, and relevant issues. In Fall 2016 a pilot faculty mentoring program was launched in the College of Humanities, who had just hired 11 new tenure-track faculty members. (You can read more about the pilot program in this article: http://continuum.utah.edu/features/intellectual-infusion) This is the first of hopefully many more mentoring programs on our campus!
Responding to Microaggressions
We have increased staff resources in the Office for Inclusive Excellence.
STUDENT DIVERSITY COUNCIL
The Student Diversity Council was created to keep the lines of communication open between students and administrators. Think of this as a think tank where problems or concerns are brought to the table, and everyone works together to find a solution. The Student Diversity Council is comprised of representatives from each of our diverse student groups on campus.
Want to know what movements in diversity are being made on campus? We’ve created a website to track all major initiatives to keep you informed and to keep us accountable. Come check it out! You might be surprised to learn just how much is happening.
DIVERSITY COALITION GROUP
Another think-tank? YES! The Diversity Coalition Group, which includes representatives from all major diversity organizations and offices on campus (students, staff, and faculty), meets on a regular basis to discuss the campus climate, community involvement and ways to bring positive change.
DIVERSITY SCHOLARS into Honors College
Diversity Scholars and the Honors College are partnering to increase participation of underrepresented students in the Honors program.
$1 million ENDOWMENT FOR AMERICAN INDIAN SCHOLARSHIP
The Meldrum Foundation, a local foundation, generously donated $1 million dollars to start a scholarship endowment for American Indian students. We are aware that the American Indian student population represents less than 1% at the U and that there’s a lot of work ahead of us—this scholarship along with many other American Indian initiatives is a step in the right direction.
School for Cultural and Social Transformation
Ready to change the world? In the fall of 2016, we launched the School for Cultural and Social Transformation, a newly created school at the University of Utah aims to provide an intellectual foundation for understanding and addressing some of the most pressing issues surrounding race and gender in American society. That goal is reflected in its name: School for Cultural and Social Transformation—the first school in the Intermountain West to make the intersection of race, gender, and social justice its focus. The school will house Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies and will be located in the new OSH once it is completed.