Many faculty members are being encouraged to help create a diverse atmosphere on campus.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, according to its website, is working with faculty to ensure that the CU-Boulder campus remains an open and progressive place.
According to its website, the ODECE “works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to initiate and enhance opportunities to achieve understanding and excellence through diversity, thereby promoting faculty and student success, enhancing campus climate, and strengthening community engagement.”
ODECE’s goal is to address “the special needs of groups and individuals who historically have faced institutional barriers” and establish a campus “where the quality of education is enhanced and enriched by a diverse campus community, and where the entire campus benefits from participation in a multicultural community,” according to its website.
Robert Boswell, interim vice chancellor for ODECE and an MCD biology professor, said diversity on campus is important and that it fosters a well-rounded education.
“The idea in terms of diversity is to provide an education that exposes students to different attitudes and perceptions,” Boswell said.
According to the ODECE website, faculty of CU are eligible for the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Program, a faculty exchange program, in which they could spend two weeks at another Big 12 school and collaborate with other faculty members.
The Implementation of Multicultural Perspectives and Approaches in Research and Teaching and the Leadership Education for Advancement and Promotion are two faculty grant programs available from the ODECE.
Boswell said the ODECE has seen a positive response from the faculty over the years.
“Professors are very serious about applying and receiving the grant program money,” he said.
According to its website, the ODECE works with various student groups to achieve its goals.
The ODECE office works in conjunction with the Office of Discrimination and Harassment, Affirmative Action, EEOC, Victims Assistance, all the Chancellor’s Committees, special faculty grants and awards, alumni groups and CU-LEAD.
The ODECE also “provides direct oversight for the Center for Multicultural Affairs, Disability Services, and Pre College.”
Jessica Dehart, a 21-year-old senior English and geography major, said being a part of a diverse campus is important to her.
“I think it is important because if you have people around you with different backgrounds and perspectives, it gives you different direction and experiences,” Dehart said.
Ariana Ross, a 19-year-old freshman English major, also commented on professors promoting diversity.
“I think that it is a good idea but a hard thing to know if professors are actually doing it,” Ross said. “The grants would be a good way to help out professors who are trying to better campus life.”
As the ODECE moves into the future, it hopes to implement its programs even more effectively, Boswell said.
“We look at all of our programs as long-term rather than short sprints,” he said. “Our main concern moving forward is to get more money so that we can actually support increased diversity and retention.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex Lemley at Alexandria.firstname.lastname@example.org.