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Diversity & Inclusion

The Department of English stands with Black Lives Matter and considers the diversity of its students, faculty and staff critical to its educational mission as we  strive to ensure that every member of the community is actively engaged in creating an inclusive and respectful culture in the classroom, in work spaces and all at department events. 

The principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility drive the Department of English’s instructional mission, shape our learning environments and workplace culture, and inform our research endeavors. Our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, inaugurated in 2018, comprises representatives from our administration, tenure-track and professional-track faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate student body. It serves as a key conduit for communication among these departmental constituencies, and between constituents and administrators, as we all work together to develop strategies and implement practices for creating a culturally responsive community. Aided by best practices developed by local and national peers, we work to foster connections between members of our department and other members of the campus community and beyond who seek to build an equitable, just and inclusive campus and world.

IDEA Committee Mission

The IDEA Committee is the launch site for promoting a commitment to IDEA within all departmental committees, offices and programs, such that everyone in the department is actively engaged in thinking through priorities and decisions in terms of anti-racism, diversity, equity and accessibility.

IDEA Initiatives

  • Further development of Diversity and Inclusion website content and resources
  • Revise the English Department Plan of Organization with focus on IDEA as integral to the process of shared governance, committee membership and enfranchisement.
  • Practice holistic admissions for all graduate programs.
  • Periodically revise the IDEA Best Practices Guide outlining how each program supports and promotes IDEA. These guides concretize practices around duties, policies and timelines that impact curriculum, hiring, purchasing, resource allocation, event planning and outreach to ensure that they are intentional and carried over as administrative positions change. These guides are evolving documents and part of an active practice, with a regular schedule of reflection, amendment, and revision.
  • Require a departmental Diversity and Inclusion Statement and a Names, Pronouns, and Self-Identification Statement on all course syllabi. All syllabi also refer students to the IDEA Committee as a place to make suggestions and the Diversity Liaison as the person to whom report concerns.
  • Require a Diversity and Inclusion Statement as part of the job application materials for all tenure-track faculty, professional-track faculty and staff positions.
  • Include questions on undergraduate and graduate course evaluations about classroom climate and inclusive pedagogy, so that students can offer feedback and faculty can reflect on their IDEA-related classroom practices.
  • Foster social and intellectual events to promote a supportive community among BIPOC faculty, graduate students, and staff.
  • Put in place an Anti-racist Action Plan, which will include the launching of discipline specific learning groups, teaching modules, and public-facing coalition-building initiatives.