Diversity Commission Minutes
April 10, 2007
CSU 219 A

 

Committee Members:
Present: Betty Young, Co-Chair; Henry Morris, Co-Chair; Linda Duckett,
Co-Chair; Michelle Washington Carter, Tom Gjersvig, Calvin
Moultrie, Ricardo    Muggli, John Seymour.

Absent: Loretta DeLone, Michael Fagin, ex officio; Jessica Flatequal,
Kelly Meier, Hanh Huy Phan, Julie Snow, Kenneth White.

Others Present: Diversity Curriculum Committee representatives
-        Kellian Clink 
-        Ron Nickerson

Proceedings:
Meeting called to order.

Minutes for 3.20 and 4.10 to be distributed and approved at the next meeting.

 

I        General Education Diversity Report Discussion by Faculty
Association’s General Education Diversity Curriculum Committee Chairs, Ron Nickerson and Kellian Clink.

Several things are different:

 

Courses have to have some outcome tied to them. Outcomes are written such that a course that is for example, basically Democratic or Republican politics, wouldn’t meet the requirement.

Both categories, purple and gold, would have the content beyond “cultural tourism.” 

A primary goal was to have curricular requirements that balance breadth and depth.  Another goal is the transference of knowledge from one situation to another.  Many of the classes in the cultural diversity category will probably re-morph in this new curriculum, especially core curricular courses.  The experiential component will give faculty an opportunity to think more about course requirements.  Most of the literature reviewed said that too often the people that teach this do it in a non-reflective way, and ignore their own positions of privilege.  The pedagogy that goes with this must be reflective. Help students understand this and to acknowledge ignorance.  The composition of the committee is made up of people who live diversity every day, they have first-hand life experience with diversity.

The committee that writes something might be different from the committee who will interpret and implement something. 

Some of these issues are bigger than any one group, the lack of faculty diversity in a lot of different ethnic groups means that people could be teaching who are not qualified, but that is not the issue of the General Education/ Curriculum Committee.  There is academic knowledge that you get that makes you worthy of teaching a class.  If you have none, it causes a different reality of what is being taught.  Whoever teaches these courses, certain courses need to be in the curriculum.

Teaching and the person—the person can give the content, but if the person doesn’t believe it, it can show to the students.  The ideas around trying to be more specific and the additional areas of benefit provide a way to address in a small way that there is a policy reflective of shared assumptions and may clear a log jam for the future.

Opportunity for the Diversity Commission
The FA Executive Association last week encouraged the General Education/ Curriculum Committee host in the fall, a series of two to three faculty forums where faculty would come and talk about the next phase of turning this into a policy.  There was a suggestion that the Diversity Commission co-host these events—would we want to do that?  That would give us an opportunity for faculty to weigh in on this.  It has taken forever and will probably take longer, but contributions and participation by people will strengthen it.  It will continue to morph but will be thought out, intentional,  deliberate, and assessed. Through faculty development, members of the faculty will have a specific program to go through to teach these courses.

FA President Steve Bohnenblust will send a mailing to all faculty. Importance of teaching through modeling and respect is critical.  This is deliberative and participatory. The Faculty Association will also talk with MSSA to give students an opportunity to weigh in on this.  There have been some difficult and heated discussions, but this is a strong starting point. 

Academic Affairs will also be asked to serve as co-host for this event.

The diversity commission liked the framework and what was presented by the General Education/Curriculum Committee based on what they had to work with on this project.

Decision made:
Diversity Commission reached consensus that we will co-sponsor this forum with the General Education/ Curriculum Committee.

Offer a curriculum that challenges each student to excel, reflect a commitment to equity, and demonstrate an appreciation of diversity.

II      Searches
Dean search for SET failed, and do we know if there were any diverse candidates in this pool?  No permission yet to release that information.  The pool was approved, as it went to the point of bringing people to campus for interviews.  There was a considerable amount of diversity on the committee, and it was a very large search committee, and one of the most consistent. There is some concern about what happens next, that probably there will be an interim opportunity.  Some offices have concern about what a shift in leadership will mean, and what it will be like in the next year or two.  It is almost the norm in interim appointments to have less than two year appointments; COE had a three-year interim.  What keeps on happening is there are several interims, and there is always a shake-up and certain people slide in, and we are concerned that there was adequate time, but we couldn’t come up with a suitable candidate.

This decision could be used to advance or to hinder diversity, so somebody needs to be sure that this is not a negative result for diversity.  The plan is to have a one-year interim in that post while they re-open the search since this isn’t the optimum time for searches; the diversity would be reflective of that college.

Current searches are going on for VP of Strategic  Planning and VP for Chief Information Officer of Technology, two cabinet level positions. 

Tabled to next meeting:

III       Report from Enrollment Management Summit

IV       Report from Sub-Groups, goals and expectations

 

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