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Leads

Rachael Deel (Director, Academic Preparation and Placement; Transformative Learning)

Rae Loftis (Acting Director, Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education)

Purpose

The DEI Implementation Plan is supporting the ongoing work in this area. 

Progress

All sections of UK 101/201 implemented updated content for Unconscious Bias (UB) in accordance with the charge outlined by President Capilouto in mid-June 2020. This content introduced the following terms/concepts:

  • Unconscious/conscious bias
  • Microaggressions
  • Accountability
  • Land acknowledgements
  • Ally, accomplice, co-conspirator

These updates sought to minimize the use of stereotyped images, situate the content more directly with student concerns (for relevancy), broaden understanding of DEI to include reconciliation with Native Peoples and expand understanding of bias beyond the unconscious to consider deliberate acts of discrimination.

The UK 101 objectives and content have been revised to reflect the following objectives: 

  • Introduce students to a common language surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Provide a welcoming environment to ask questions, seek understanding and engage in challenging conversations.
  • Connect students to key campus resources, events and activities that support student success.
  • Ask students to reflect on their own standpoint and the impact their experiences have on their role as a UK community member.

They have also built a new Instructional Mentor role into the UK 101/201 budget. Eight Instructional Mentors will be selected to engage in additional trainings with a targeted emphasis on DEI curriculum. 

Committee Members

  • Rachael Deel (Transformative Learning)
  • Rae Loftis (Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education)
  • Molly Reynolds (Transformative Learning)

Update - September 21, 2021

The following are spring 2021 semester accomplishments: 

  • Hired UK 101/201 Instructors and Peer Instructors for Fall 2021
  • Taking into account responses to the additional application questions that asked about DEI skillset, eight individuals were identified as UK 101/201 instructional leaders to support all UK 101/201instructors in teaching DEI-related content. These instructors have been onboarded, assigned to their UK 101 instructor cohort and peer instructor teams. As a reminder, the responsibilities for the Instructional Leaders are as follows:
    • Regular communication with and support to a team of 15 UK 101/201 instructors
    • Relay information regarding training on course content, classroom management, student success strategies, and first year seminar best practices
    • Provide ongoing feedback on their cohorts’ classes to UK 101/201 leadership
  • UK 101 Orientation was held on May 3, 2021. Instructors were provided with an overview to UK 101 (guiding principles and learning outcomes), along with an overview of the incoming Fall 2021 first year student class.

In late July, the Office for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education added a third session to the originally proposed two-session UB module. The third session focuses on how to navigate uncomfortable conversations for the purpose of maintaining strong community. This reflects the restructuring of UB in UK 101/201 to better connect with the Wildcat Creed.  UK 101/201 instructors were trained on new unconscious bias context and updates from IEDE and inclusive teaching from CELT. IEDE led teaching demos for two days for those who were interested in the flow of the new lessons.  

Moving Forward

Project 6 co-leads are working on distinguishing DEI from Unconscious Bias.  Rhetorically and narratively, there is conflation between DEI and UB. Project 6 leaders will spend time discussing differences and how it impacts the learning of UK 101/201. 

Project 6 leads will meet once a month until the assessment of UK 101/201 modules are returned from instructors and students after the completion of the lessons. More frequent meetings will be schedule in the spring of 2022 based upon the evaluation of the modules completed in Fall 2021.

Update - March 4, 2022

In AY2020-21, all sections of UK 101/201 implemented updated Unconscious Bias (UB) content. This content introduced the following terms/concepts, among others: 

  • Unconscious/conscious bias 
  • Microaggressions 
  • Land acknowledgements 
  • Ally, accomplice, co-conspirator 

These updated instructional materials sought to minimize the use of stereotyped images, situate the content more directly with student concerns (for relevancy), broaden the understanding of DEI to include reconciliation with native peoples and expand understanding of bias beyond the unconscious to consider deliberate acts of discrimination.  

Project 6 created an intentional and ongoing partnership between the leadership of UK 101 and the office of Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education, which leads the Unconscious Bias (Ross, 2014) Initiative at the institution.

In AY2020-21, two (10%) of the 20 UK 101/201 class sessions were dedicated to content on unconscious bias. Instructors were required to attend robust training as preparation for teaching these lessons. Instructors were also provided with the opportunity to connect directly with the staff members in the office of Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education to better prepare to teach these lessons.

The Fall 2020 semester also included a dedicated section of UK 101 for students participating in the Audre Lorde Living Learning Communication. The Audre Lorde Social Justice Community, led by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, offers students the opportunity to develop their understanding of and advocacy for intersecting identities, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity through a social justice lens. 

Next Steps

UK 101 is a key avenue for supporting institutional diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

UK 101 leadership will continue to work with the Office for Institutional Diversity (OID) and Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education (IEDE) to provide curriculum support and instructor training for Unconscious Bias material (mentioned previously). Further, we plan to coordinate efforts with other key first-year experience offices such as Residential Life, Big Blue Nation Orientation (UK’s student organization and academic orientation program) and K-Week (welcome activities and events offered each semester by the office of Student Transitions and Family Programs) to develop a consistent introduction of key terms and concepts related to equity and inclusion.  

UK 101/201 developed new leadership positions in Spring 2021 to better mentor instructors. The Coordinator of UK 101/201 collaborated with staff from IEDE in the review of applicants for these positions. The selection of these new leaders was guided by recommendations from IEDE. Once hired, these eight selected leaders received additional training opportunities with IEDE to better support instructors teaching the Unconscious Bias lessons.