NYR FRN Diversity Conference: notes from opening talk

There were several sets of questions printed on a sheet and among the twenty tables of attendees, each was tasked with answering just one set of questions. While this does not follow those questions closely, it is a compendium of the ideas and answers people shared via a central mic after a breakout session of 45 minutes. You may therefore have to sift through a lot of ideas mixed in with pragmatic solutions.


–learning goals are separate from process

–private journaling for publication discussions

–guest speakers to take pressure off faculty trying to negotiate difficult conversations.

–tough on ideas but soft on people

–generational differences in how they learn and how we teach, know thyself as a professor

–how to correct incorrect information in a classroom

–how to say this is important but we’re not talking about it at this time

–how to support these conversations without coming from a particular perspective (commentary: danger of masking the truth)

–recognizing diversity in evals not always possible, though IDEA evaluations offer possibility of adding and subtracting questions and measured qualities

–what can we and what can we not take on as faculty

— U of VT toolkits for faculty about this difficult work are available…

–race needs to be addressed not just in one class but in all classes

–effective strategies versus one size fits all

–using case studies for tough conversations

–engage faculty on a personalized level

— freshman classes on communities, cultural pluralism

–inquiry based approach at home and talk about their results together

–faculty relationships with administration should not result in labor going back to faculty

–psychology testing and measurements used to deal with bias

–use material culture, the study of objects and reading the values they embody instead of clinging mostly to prefabricated ideas of nationhood

–take advantage of our freedom to say what diversity means

–revealing self in classrooms

–syllabus says explicitly this is what I’ve done to make the syllabus diverseĀ 

–talking about how to read body language/reading body language of students

–someone filmed her teaching including student reactions and body language and the slight changes she made in her teaching have allowed students to feel more empowered

–give thought to symmetry (?) Yolanda Page

–how do we make students feel the classroom is theirs?

–teach active listening

-educational power of discomfort

-using WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM to spread diversity across curriculum

–fostering student activism through text choices and clubs, etc.

–is inclusive pedagogy the same as good pedagogy?

–hiring ABD’s, and snatching them for a job that fosters their doctoral work

–invitational educational theory, Asmina Gregory places process people policies in relationship to each other…

–online support and training and best practices for entire faculty

–veterans brought on campus

–collaborative learning

–how do we use technology in classroom

–e monitoring

–constantly articulating the difference between equal and equitable

–strategies, high impact practices AACU transperancy practices NV

–decoding the disciplines project

–uncovering hidden rules of college

–demographics are changing we’re not aware of, keep current