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Diversity Issues

‘Diversity Matters’ open forum

On Nov. 19, 2015, the MU College of Engineering held a “diversity matters” open forum. All engineering students were invited to attend to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion in the College with Dean Elizabeth Loboa. Below are broad topic questions that will help pose possible solutions to issues raised at the forum at an upcoming college-wide forum. If there are things you would like to add to this list, please fill out and submit the form at the bottom of this page.

Student Service’s Student Inclusivity Board presented a call to action document at the forum. You may view that document here.

At the Forum, questions were raised about terminology and specifically, what is implied by the term “privileged.” To get a better idea of what is being referred to as privilege, you can view (and/or test yourself) with a list of true/false Privilege and Disadvantage Inventory questions.

Additionally, Mizzou Diversity has posted and defined a list of inclusive terminology called The Language of Identity.

Basic Issues for discussion:

Diversity

  • What are solutions to providing better diversity training for faculty, staff, students?
  • How can we talk about diversity to educate and inform?
  • What role can student leaders play in advancing diversity?
  • How can we better recruit for diversity — faculty, staff and students?
  • In what ways can we discover and address underlying issues that have prevented us from being more diverse?
  • In what ways can each of us be part of the diversity solution?
  • In what ways can the College ensure that there is an ongoing dialogue about diversity and provide options to address issues as they arise?
  • How can the College offer more inclusive events for all students?
  • Do I have rights as a student in a classroom setting? What are my options?

Communication

  • What are some ways we can increase communication in the College?
  • How can the college provide more transparency as solutions are proposed to issues?
  • What are ways student leaders/student orgs can play a greater role in communication of issues?
  • How can faculty be more engaged with what is going on in the College and on campus and share information with students?

Graduate students

  • In what ways can the College provide more opportunities for graduate students to get together?
  • How can graduate students be better utilized as an undergraduate resource?

Transfer students

  • In what ways can the College be better about communicating resources to transfer students?

Administration

  • What can be done about the problem of inadequate facilities?

Faculty

  • Can faculty be held to higher standards? Are there penalties?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Open Forum

On Feb. 24, 2016, the MU College of Engineering held a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Open Forum for faculty and staff members. All faculty and staff members were invited to attend to share their perspectives on diversity, equity and inclusion in the College with Dean Elizabeth Loboa. Below are broad topic questions that will help pose possible solutions to issues raised at the forum at an upcoming college-wide forum. If there are things you would like to add to this list, please fill out and submit the form at the bottom of this page.

Issues raised at the forum:

  1. As a staff member of color, I do not feel valued by some faculty, staff members and others.
  2. There is a lack of systematic ways to evaluate the performance of faculty in the College.
  3. Faculty member is surprised that staff don’t refer to him by his first name. Some staff said they view this as a show of respect
  4. Faculty tend to give more credibility to staff persons if they have faculty support or administrative backing.
  5. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for staff/faculty to socially interact.
  6. Staff is to be supportive of faculty, but many times, decisions made going forward are not communicated to the staff. They don’t need to know all the decisions or have to be a part of making them, but they should be informed.
  7. Some staff feel as though they are a lower level of hierarchy.
  8. I’ve had a faculty member “get up over me” (to complain) and I don’t know if that would’ve happened if I were a male staff member.
  9. Perhaps it is staff’s job as role models or persons of authority to speak up and be the person that calls out when insensitive of comments are made.
  10. I have noticed university employees making derogatory comments toward international students. Seems like our leadership might take the initiative to encourage staff/faculty use the training resources offered by the university.
  11. The same people at today’s meeting are the same people you see at most other meetings. The people who need to be told this most are the people who are not here.
  12. We often embrace the victim, but not educate the source of something inappropriate.
  13. If a person feels offended by faculty or staff they should have some way of communicating that those concerns freely. People might need a place where they feel free from retribution or rebuttal. Open communication solves a lot of issues. Should this be the responsibility of administration?
  14. Students may need to be informed about who it is they need to talk to.
  15. Students may not bring problems with faculty up to their advisers (complaints about faculty academically) because they are afraid of repercussions.

Is there an issue not on this list?

If there is an issue you would like to share that isn’t listed above, please let us know about it. Including your name and email address are optional. We will not share your information, but it will help us verify that you are a member of the Mizzou and/or Mizzou Engineering community.