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Table Prompts: Inclusive Excellence

Comments that resonated with attendees are marked with asterisks (*). The number of asterisks indicates the number of attendees that marked the idea as resonant. 

What distinguishes an inclusive institution of higher education from one that is not?

  • Faculty 1:1 with student demographics (*)
  • Curriculum content (*)
  • University presence in diverse communities off campus (*******)
  • Faculty training and resources to lead conversations about diversity and inclusiveness. (*********)
  • Diverse faculty (**)
  • Cultivate diversity with undergraduates
  • Mentor potential graduate students (*)
  • Integrate diversity across curriculum (**)
    • Reading lists
    • Skype in diverse scholars
    • Exposure to different faces and voices
    • Address troubling stereotypes
    • Social interaction in and out of class
  • Holistic recruitment practice (**)
  • “You can’t be what you don’t see.” – Jamin Warren (*)
  • Opportunities for faculty development
    • Ground issues/best practices of inclusive excellence

What comes to mind when you imagine inclusive excellence here at the University of Utah? 
What are the key features?

  • Office of Equity and Diversity
  • Required diversity course
  • Student-led initiatives
  • Inclusive: compassionate, authentic, intentional
  • Not so inclusive: fearful, perfunctory, hit-and-miss
  • Institutional vs. actualized inclusiveness: (*)
    • Communication
    • Diversity Panel/Council
    • Chronic vs. acute
    • Increase awareness and accountability
  • Challenges to make changes:
    • Syllabi (*)
    • U of U home page (Visual campaigns; broadening perspectives)
    • Social media to manage acute situations
    • Support (from CTLE?)
    • Challenge RPT process and classism in faculty and staff (tenure-track, adjunct, etc.) (***********)
  • Identify experts (students and faculty) who can come to classes/lend insight to application across subjects
  • Every department has an affiliate in School of Culture and Social Transformation (*************)
  • Continued increase in diversity of faculty and students (****)
  • Willingness to examine/own different types and levels of privilege
  • Decrease or eliminate “eye rolling,” obligations to make affirmative case for inclusive excellence (becomes the water we swim in)
  • How can we at least get our classrooms to reflect the demographics of Salt Lake City/Utah? (*)
  • Make sure we don’t assume that all white students are the same; recognize diverse backgrounds and experiences – even if these differences aren’t my experience (*)
  • How can we make the students uncomfortable?
  • How can we get students outside of the classroom/state so they can be exposed to more diverse and inclusive places?

What ideas from the keynote resonated most with you? How might we apply those ideas here at the University of Utah?

  • It is hard to bring up questions of inclusion and diversity when there is no diversity amongst our students (or in the local profession)
  • We don’t talk about the elephant in the room: the import of the LDS majority
  • Where does the assumption that there is no diversity come from amongst faculty?
  • How do we not place the burden on the few students of color/gender/religious/etc. minority to be asked to serve as a “token” for their entire community? (*****)
  • How can we help everyone feel like they can raise questions/issues, even when they are not well-read or experts in topics of critical race, gender, and economic diversity?
  • What are we not teaching?
    • Allows faculty/canon bias to be called out
    • However, can’t place onus only on minority persons
    • Project implicit
  • Discipline outreach
    • Recognize/highlight diverse research, perspectives, and people in field to improve recruitment and retention of diverse people (****)
  • Bias in fields/societal gender norms
    • Helping professions (*)
    • STEM
    • Mindful of photos, curriculum, case studies, outreach/marketing, use of diverse names in examples to raise awareness (*)
  • Avoid tokenism/combat “onlyness”
  • Add a fifth goal to the “Big 4” (**)
    • Top down (support by admin)
  • Ensure that faculty teaching courses with diversity designation are supported and well-equipped to do so. (*****)
  • Should we be accepting transfer credit for diversity courses (if we really commit to inclusive excellence)? (*)
  • Keep diversity requirement – and expect it within individual courses and disciplines, too (*)
  • Continuing education for faculty to recognize changing conceptualizations of diversity and difference (*)

What is the next big question that hasn’t been asked with regard to inclusive excellence?

  • Visible vs. invisible diversity (**)
  • Faculty mandatory diversity requirement (like students) (*)
  • Break down silos – interdisciplinary co-teaching classes. Are these valued by the administration? What is the support and/or incentives? Faculty grants? (********)
  • Document outcomes and impact (diversity inclusive prize) (*)
  • Valuable, but takes time that’s not valued by RPT. (***)
  • Put your money where your mouth is (*)
  • How do we sustain/institutionalize inclusive excellence without additional resources? (***)
  • How do we assess that our efforts have mattered/made meaningful impact? (*)
Last Updated: 10/19/16