As educators, we are faced with a fundamental and ongoing professional challenge regarding the issue of racial justice, a challenge that is rooted in the professed core values of public higher education. Many of you have already committed to addressing this crisis in productive ways in your own classes and by participating as diversity fellows or as members of our faculty and staff learning communities.

These efforts to build a more diverse UNCW, though, can be reinforced and rendered more enduring if we also take advantage of the present moment to think about curriculum beyond our individual courses.

Our institutional commitment to diversity takes practical form in our university-level learning outcomes in the Living in a Diverse Nation and the Living in a Global Society components of University Studies. The LDN component is where we are charged with exhibiting for our students the “cultural diversity and interactions in the U.S., including diverse cultural values and viewpoints.” The LDN rationale states that “[s]tudying human diversity involves a systematic examination of the influences of one or more of the following: race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, socioeconomic status, disability, religious beliefs, or sexual characteristics.” (https://uncw.edu/usac/livinginourdiversenation.html) While there’s no denying the importance of exposing students to any and all of these areas of diversity, our present moment advocates for a more focused attention to the problem of unequal racial justice in the U.S.

Undergraduate Studies would like to facilitate faculty reflection on our diversity SLOs and the curriculum that delivers them by sponsoring a virtual forum on Friday, March 12th, at 2:00, in order to:

  • Reflect on and review our University Studies LDN student learning outcomes
  • Reflect on what University Studies assessment has to say about how we are doing in this area
  • Encourage discussion about department/program-level diversity outcomes and how these outcomes accord with department/program curricula

From the forum, we hope to develop practical ways to encourage and resource departments to reflect on their curricular offerings as they relate both to their own programs and to University Studies.

Among those scheduled to speak are:

  • Lea Bullard, Assessment Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies, on assessment results related to UNCW’s diversity learning goal
  • Prof. Heather Koopman (BIO) and Prof. Sally MacKain (PSY) on departmental diversity efforts
  • Prof. Addie Sayers (ENG), Dr. Jamie Pond (University College), and Felix Books (SOC), the coordinators of the Racial Justice Learning Community

Please contact Don Bushman at bushmand@uncw.edu for a Zoom link for the forum.