The University of Colorado Boulder held their annual Diversity and Inclusion summit last week, this year focusing on the theme of “building a road map.” It included talks on scarcity thinking, immigration and the DACA program and diversity in the workplace, among other topics.
In conjunction with the summit, two reporters recently reviewed the school’s progress on its diversity plan, which focuses on increasing “inclusive excellence” around campus. In essence, the ground-up strategy of implementing a more welcoming atmosphere hasn’t led to equal amounts of change across different departments on campus. While campus officials defend the ground-up approach and the delayed timeline, critics are concerned that the school won’t go far enough or listen to students’ needs. They’re also concerned about the lack of communication seen from the university administration to the campus community.
This review comes in light of news that the plan is behind schedule, announced at this year’s State of the Campus address. Besides optional workshops, there have not been specific campus-wide measures implemented so far.
For a deep dive into the campus’ plan to address its diversity-related problems, read the staff-wide investigative piece published this summer. Many interviews with campus administrators, faculty, staff and students revealed a disconnect between the level of effectiveness that the school perceives it’s achieving versus the impact students are seeing. The closing of the Ethnic Living and Learning Community (ELLC) is one example. Another is the possibility of a mandatory first year course on diversity, race relations and microaggressions. The story also documents the increase of toxic interactions in and out of classrooms since the 2016 election cycle.
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