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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Message from SU Provost on Diversity Course

Universities have a long-standing and important role as centers for inquiry, investigation and dialogue about the complex issues facing society. Part of the process of educating students involves prompting them, sometimes in uncomfortable ways, to think critically about a wide range of subjects. At Salisbury University, we discuss difficult questions, delve into controversial topics, and serve as an important hub of ideas and diversity of thought.

SU’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, for example, provides training for students, faculty and community members so they can hone skills for constructive dialogue about challenging topics. The campus also has active College Republican and College Democrat groups.  Our faculty engage students in content from across the ideological spectrum. We strive to ensure that students become informed consumers of information and rational decision-makers. This has meant hosting speakers with widely different perspectives and exploring complex issues such as racism.

One of our classes has garnered attention for a graphic used to examine structures of power related to race.  It was one of several methods used by the faculty member to stimulate discussion. This one-credit course on diversity for elementary education majors was created in response to requests by school districts to help future teachers become better prepared to support learning in their diverse classrooms.

SU faculty and staff work diligently to help students develop the knowledge, skills and abilities that will prepare them for their first jobs and rewarding careers in our global society. The values of diversity, inclusion, respect and civility are fundamental to Salisbury University.  We also are profoundly committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression. These ideals are not in tension with one another; on the contrary, they ground one another.

Karen L. Olmstead, Ph.D.

Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

 


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