Cultural competency meeting demand on track

Student activist John Gillespie (right), Marina Cooper (center) and other administrators smile and banter toward the end of the discussion. Everyone assured each other the negotiation and discussion was based in institutional change, not in personal feelings toward one another.

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

Demand number two was, “Require the president to work with the provost to ensure that every college or department has one meeting per semester dedicated to cultural competency content approved by a student representative that works in the CDSO.”

The University is considering progress on this goal to be “on track,” according to the online resource. Some work that’s happened so far:

  • Colleges and department chairs have established that at least one meeting each semester will be devoted to cultural competency
  • Student representatives are being encourage to contact their dean’s office, “to volunteer in program development and evaluation.”
  • Eleven faculty members have been selected as fellows for the Diversity Faculty Fellows Program, which gives faculty the opportunity to work diversity into existing curricula and work on models for improving classroom dynamics and institutional practices.
  • Someone will be hired by December of this year to be associate director for cultural competency education within the Division of Student Affairs.

In an interview, Executive Vice President Tim Chandler said that the University has “followed through” with the document he signed last fall.

“We continue to follow through,” Chandler said. “We’ve got lots more to do. In many cases, it says we’ve completed this one—we’ve completed this one, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ongoing things.”

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