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Last updated: 2/17/22
The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to centering equity and justice in all areas of our work. We believe that teaching and educational development should be anti-racist and anti-oppressive. It should actively work to dismantle systems and practices that marginalize Black, Indigenous, and other students and faculty of color, as well as members of other minoritized groups, in higher education spaces.
We acknowledge that we have not lived up to these commitments. Too often we have treated attention to equitable and inclusive pedagogies as a piece of our work rather than as its core, and we have not consistently promoted practices that explicitly support the work, learning, and well-being of BIPOC faculty and students.
We are actively engaged in efforts to reconfigure our programming and do a better job living up to our values. We spent 2021 reflecting deeply on the shortcomings of our equity and justice work and creating a Center-wide plan for revisions to our programming and for our ongoing professional development and accountability around equitable educational development. Specific steps included:
Hiring Dr. Whitney Peoples, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health (and formerly of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching), to help us advance our racial equity and justice work;
Developing an Inclusive Excellence (IE) plan focused on equity in our workplace culture, practices, and policies;
Forming an internal working group of CTE faculty and faculty fellows to guide the efforts to revise all of our programming and practices.
In 2022, we are focused on putting our commitments to equity and justice into practice across all of our work. We publish this page in the interest of transparency and accountability. We commit to keeping it up to date as our revision progresses. The parallel threads of this work are as follows.
During a fall 2021 retreat facilitated by Dr. Peoples, we began explicitly articulating our values and commitments to racial equity and justice in our work. We are engaged in revisions to those draft values, as well as revisions to our CTE vision and mission statements. We will publish these on our website in spring 2022.
We commit to revising all CTE programs to center equity and justice, including through drawing more heavily on the work of BIPOC scholars, advocating for and modeling critical and anti-oppressive pedagogies, and designing programming that surfaces and aims to counteract the structures that have failed to serve BIPOC and other minoritized students and faculty.
We have established a timeline and mechanism for support and accountability for these revisions. During spring 2022, we are particularly focused on revisions to:
Course Design Institute
Much of our work as educational developers relies on core practices, including facilitation and consultation. We are also active teaching faculty, and we practice in our own classrooms the pedagogies we advocate in our programming. In both of these arenas, we recognize that disrupting whiteness, surfacing power imbalances, centering the experiences of BIPOC faculty and students, and other anti-racist practices are skills that must be developed and practiced.
In addition to the role that this type of work inevitably plays in our program revisions, we are dedicating approximately half of our regular faculty meetings during spring 2022 to building capacity around anti-racist pedagogies and practices.
To complement the initiatives focused on revisions to our programs and other participant-facing work, in our UVA Inclusive Excellence (IE) plan we emphasized revisions to better attend to equity and justice within CTE internal culture and our workplace practices, guidelines, and policies.
We commit to updating this page regularly; we want it to be a living account of our efforts and an honest accounting not only of what we have accomplished, but also of the lengths we know we still have to go.
We invite feedback around our equity and justice efforts and have established an internal process for responding to and learning from this feedback. Through this form, you can choose to leave feedback anonymously or request a follow-up. Alternatively, you can also email our team directly at email@example.com.
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