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Division of Student Affairs

Cultural Competency Work Group

Update

05/25/2018

At our May 25, 2018 meeting we discuss how to get increased participation and valuing of diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings, workshops, and continuing education efforts.  The committee offers the following recommendation as it relates to increase participation of faculty, staff, and administration

It is imperative that the president, provost, chairs, administrators, chairs, and supervisors encourage and express value for diversity and equity trainings.  Whether that through budgetary priorities or statements ; whether that is through the annual review process, a requirement that new hires participate in various trainings, in value given as part of tenure and promotion, or simply through scheduling trainings as part of orientations, retreats, or regular meetings, we strongly recommend greater effort from leadership to message the importance of continuing education and workshops as it relates to campus climate, diversity, equity and inclusion.  We encourage leadership to reach out to our committee to foster this process. If WSU is going to create a truly inclusive and empowering environment, leadership must be at the forefront of fostering cultural change through both highlights its importance rhetorically (In speeches; on social media; in public settings), in policy, and in resources.   

We encourage departments and colleges, in consultation with our committee, to integrate trainings regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of graduate student pedagogy training.  As the committee is developing process for both approving and coordinating trainings, it will be imperative to work within university structure as to make sure graduate students are getting necessary training in preparation for a career in the classroom post-graduation

We encourage colleges and other bodies on campus (eg - residence life; athletics; Greek Life; French Administration) to be more purposeful with working with individual, departments, and organizations committed to work within equity and diversity.  We encourage investment in resources to foster collaboration with this committee, with diversity education, with the AVP of Equity and Diversity, with Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies faculty, and with others engaged in this work.  We encourage an investment in the work and efforts to coordinate work to break down silos on campus

We encourage chairs to better use evaluations, peer observations, and other forms of student feedback to gauge areas of potential improvement as it relates to creating inclusive classrooms.  Chairs should be using student feedback and encouraging faculty to address potential growth areas. For example, if a chair sees continued feedback about the use of exclusionary language in the classroom or missed opportunities to address micro aggressions from students, it is imperative that the chair facilitate workshops for that faculty member or the unit as a whole.  Again, our committee and its members are a valuable resources

While we believe that all faculty should regularly participate in inclusive/diversity workshops, especially given the literature on the effects of micro aggressions in STEM fields and throughout the university, we think at minimum all faculty and graduate students teaching “DIVERSITY” courses should participate every 2 years in a series of diversity and equity workshops.  In order to be exposed to best practices, to be equipped with the necessary to foster difficult dialogues, ongoing workshops are essential for faculty teaching these important classes.  Again, while we recommend all faculty participate given how issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice impact every classroom, we see particular importance in those classes which part of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts.   

In an effort to foster maximum participation, we encourage all trainings to be offered throughout the year, at different times, and utilizing different platforms

As noted elsewhere, we recommend that all university trainings be approved by a central body, administrated through HRS Skill Soft, and be advertised through a central website.  Best practices and an effort to get maximum participation requires formalization and institutionalization.