Improving the UI’s campus climate

By: Office of the President | 2016.08.22 | 08:00 am

This summer, a committee of students, faculty, staff and administrators worked to advance several projects intended to improve the campus climate for all members of the University of Iowa community. The time allowed us to delve more deeply into the topics of diversity and inclusion, encouraging meaningful discussions about the challenges we face and the steps we can take together. We begin the fall semester recharged, ready to listen and lead.

The focus of our work has centered on improving campus safety; increasing training for faculty, staff, and teaching assistants; enhancing student services; and cultivating a culture of inclusion. The UI is actively developing a new process for responding to and addressing incidences of bias. This fall we will announce a centralized resource to address student concerns about racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice, while protecting the tenets of free speech and academic freedom.

To better serve the community, UI Police is implementing Fair & Impartial Police (FIP) training, which addresses unconscious or implicit bias. UI Police has also established a new protocol for handling student reports of off-campus incidents, providing additional responsiveness to students while remaining aligned with the best-practice standards of trauma-informed response.

In addition, we look forward to sharing more information now and in the coming months about the following initiatives:

  • Expanding NITE RIDE to people of all gender identities
  • Adding campus tours for international students during orientation
  • Expanding Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity (BUILD) classes
  • A “Down Vote Hate” campaign against discrimination on Yik Yak
  • Making long-term investments in the UI’s Cultural Resource Centers
  • New faculty orientation and training on implicit bias
  • Working with local business owners to improve city–community climate
  • Identifying Department of Public Safety officers to serve as liaisons to student organizations

 

These initiatives will be stronger with your feedback, so please share your suggestions or concerns at diversity@uiowa.edu. We encourage our campus community to embrace diversity, demonstrate leadership, and be respectful of all who use our shared space. Please support one another, and reach out when you need help: Contact University Counseling Services (319-335-7294), the Center for Diversity and Enrichment (319-335-3555), or the Office of the Dean of Students (319-335-1162). We wish you a safe and successful semester.

 

Sincerely,

Bruce Harreld, President
P. Barry Butler, Executive Vice President and Provost
Georgina Dodge, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President
Tom Rocklin, Vice President for Student Life
Scott Beckner, Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety
Lyn Redington, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President
Thomas Vaughn, Faculty Senate President
Erin Brothers, Staff Council President
Rachel Zuckerman, UISG President
Lauren Freeman, UISG Vice President
Joshua Schoenfeld, GPSG President
Jasmine Mangrum, GPSG Vice President

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