Schools, colleges explain how they address diversity enhancement, cultural awareness

Faculty Council will create a culture competency assessment.

MU's schools and colleges released statements detailing their diversity enhancement programs and policies specific to their fields at the request of Faculty Council.

In May 2011, Faculty Council voted down a proposal for a diversity-intensive course requirement. The proposal would have required students to take a diversity-intensive course that also fulfills a graduation requirement.

The course proposal failed because it wasn't tailored to each school, Diversity Enhancement Chairman Clyde Bentley said.

"When we talked to people, we realized that it was a one-size-fits-all solution," Bentley said. "For instance, the nursing program has a really good diversity program. Well, that wouldn't have qualified under the course requirement."

Since the proposal failed, the diversity enhancement looked for other ways to address diversity issues and asked each school to provide these statements describing how they address diversity enhancement and cultural awareness. The requests for the statements went out to all the schools and colleges shortly before spring break, Bentley said.

"We went through and looked at what would work and thought we'd be better to go to the college and schools itself and let them explain what they're doing," Bentley said.

The statements, which are published on Faculty Council's website, will allow parents, students and faculty to see what each school is doing, Bentley said.

"This is a way of saying to the public that we are committed to diversity enhancement," Bentley said.

Schools can also look at the statements to learn from each other and see areas for possible improvement, Bentley said.

"They can look at each other's diversity statements and see what they are doing," Bentley said. "They maybe will want to borrow ideas from each other."

Additionally, the committee is working on a survey that future incoming freshmen and graduating seniors will take to asses how MU handles diversity, Bentley said.

"We will be doing a culture competency assessment survey that will be given to incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors," Bentley said. "That will allow the university to see how they're doing with what they've chosen to do."

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