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ERIC Number: EJ1161020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Diversity Work in Contentious Times: The Role of The Chief Diversity Officer
Wong, Kathleen
Liberal Education, v103 n3-4 Sum-Fall 2017
Following the 2016 presidential election, the author, the chief diversity officer at San José State University (SJSU), began receiving calls from professors who were anxious about facilitating discussions in their classrooms. At SJSU, a significant number of students were upset by--and fearful about-- incidents of hate and harassment nationwide, which had risen steeply in the election's aftermath. Many immigrant students, particularly those who are undocumented or registered with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, were also afraid that they or their friends and family members would be deported. SJSU's instructors were not calling her office for personal or emotional support. Instead, they wanted CDO-vetted advice that they could give to students and their families. They also wanted to know how to support their students emotionally when class discussions veered into upsetting topics like racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia. In this article, the author discusses the strategies she has developed to build capacity for diversity, equity, and inclusion at SJSU including: (1) offering voluntary training focused on intergroup dialogue and other topics for students, faculty, staff, and administrators (e.g., diversity training for those who lead new student orientation); (2) solidifying the diversity office's campus-wide reputation for research-based, ethically grounded work; (3) working with deans, chairs, and the provost to make the diversity office an accessible and useful resource for problem solving and consultation; (4) modeling transparency by clearly communicating processes and protocols, especially in response to incidents; and (5) holding members of the campus community accountable to policies, executive orders, laws, and standards of behavior, regardless of organizational location.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (San Jose)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A