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Diversity and Climate

Implementation Team Report


Difference is not a problem that afflicts some people but a system of relations that involves all people. We all have multiple identities
that locate us in some combination of mainstreams and margins. The Black & Gold Commission has urged us to "expand the circle" of what is meant by "diversity and multiculturalism" to include race/ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political views, religious perspectives, income level, nationality, and stage of life.

Coverage should help students understand themselves as well as people who are different from them, especially if they have never problematized identities like maleness and whiteness. Pedagogy should make learning accessible to all students, in spite of differences, and in fact use difference to promote learning.

Coverage of women and diversity in courses has varied and will vary from one discipline to another. The objective = individual and collective awareness of inclusion/exclusion in our disciplines and courses, efforts to broaden our knowledge and enlighten our students, rethinking what we do instead of just doing business as usual, not mandatory but appropriate coverage.

Coverage can take many forms, including specialized courses on women and other groups, surveys of multiple kinds of diversity, inclusion of women and diversity in more general courses, speakers in and out of classrooms.

Whether or not their courses include coverage of women and diversity, all programs should do their best to make all students feel welcome and safe in the classroom and engaged and challenged in their courses. WISE has already been working on these issues, and the Black & Gold Commission report should encourage departments and programs to undertake scrutiny of their pedagogical practices. Teachers need to think about their own positions and attitudes within the system of relations including a diverse student body.

  • Women's Studies will supplement its list of specialized courses re: women with a list of other courses including substantial coverage of women, so as to advise students taking courses in areas without many specialized courses.
  • We have asked the APCC and the GFC to include a question about coverage and pedagogy in the guidelines for program reviews = regular scrutiny of faculty by faculty.
Discussed with CIPD
  • Add a list of contact people to its website, so individuals, departments, and units can locate people with expertise and experience in curricular diversification.
  • Increase attention to women and diversity in the general TA orientation, the Freshman Seminar retreat, and the Preparing Future
    Faculty courses, and diversify the cast of characters involved in all three.
  • Organize Fall and Spring pedagogical workshops that can serve the needs
    of many departments, especially smaller departments, which are supposed
    to provide "ongoing training" and may require TAs to attend. Possible topic: How do the diversity of our students and diversity among our TAs affect classroom dynamics and learning experiences?
Contact person = Jeffrey Merrick,, 229-4924