In keeping with the commitment to teach a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at one of the world’s great research universities, the UNC Center for Faculty Excellence is proud to advance a culture of inclusive excellence in our classrooms and on our campus.
Let’s face it: most of us were taught in classrooms where styles of teachings reflected the notion of a single norm of thought and experience, which we were encouraged to believe was universal…Most of us learned to teach by emulating this model. As a consequence, many teachers are disturbed by the political implications of a multicultural education because they fear losing control in a classroom where there is no one way to approach a subject–only multiple ways and multiple references.” (hooks, 1994, pp. 35-36)
Campus conversations on inclusive excellence
In collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Diversity Initiatives and the UNC Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the CFE has hosted events where faculty members and graduate students can come together to discuss our shared aspirations and challenges, including:
- “Teaching in Challenging Times” discussion series: How do instructors decide if/when to discuss their politics, values, or topics such as race, gender, sexuality, and disparities with students? How do they successfully manage subsequent dialogue? These workshops are designed to help faculty members and/or graduate students to reflect upon how they negotiate the intersections of their personal and professional identities in their classrooms.
- December 14, 2016 facilitators: Erin Malloy (CFE Director); Kia Caldwell (Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives, College of Arts and Sciences); María DeGuzmán (English and Comparative Literature); Sherick Hughes (School of Education); Mark Driscoll (Asian Studies)
- March 7, 2017 facilitators: Molly Sutphen (CFE Associate Director); Phil Edwards (CFE Consultant); Heather Woods (CFE Graduate Student Fellow)
- May 2, 2017 facilitators: Molly Sutphen (CFE Associate Director); Phil Edwards (CFE Consultant); Tori Ekstrand (School of Media and Journalism); Ariana Vigil (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)
- Diversity THINKposium: The annual Diversity THINKposium is focused each year on a particular issue or topic related to diversity and inclusiveness in higher education. Invited speakers provide data and context for participants’ conversations throughout the event–we promote a free exchange of ideas which fuel our creative problem solving. The THINKposium is meant to be a non-conventional approach to addressing diversity, inspiring action, and facilitating the solution-making process.
Efforts to make Carolina a more inclusive environment
Carolina faculty Kelly Hogan (Director of Instructional Innovation, College of Arts and Sciences; Senior STEM Lecturer) and Viji Sathy (Special Projects Assistant to the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education; Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology and Neurosciences) also offer advice for Carolina teachers regarding how to enrich the learning environment to better serve all students. Their interview was featured on UNC’s Well Said podcast on “Interactive and Inclusive Classrooms”.
Resources for further exploration and reflection
Carolina teachers who are interested in learning more about how they can help support students in their classrooms may explore resources created from the Difficult Dialogues Initiative, a joint project of the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University.
Colleagues who are interested in advancing broader departmental and institutional change may also refer to:
- Smith, Daryl G. (2015). Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education: Making It Work (2nd Ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Ouellett, Matthew L. (Ed.). (2005). Teaching Inclusively: Resources for Course, Department, & Institutional Change in Higher Education. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.