CLS Diversity Committee
The Diversity Committee of the College of Liberal Studies is a standing committee that advises the Dean on matters of diversity affecting the College and facilitates the development of curriculum, teaching, research, and service on diversity issues.
The CLS Diversity Committee envisions a University that fosters humanitarian problem-solving around diversity issues by expanding and deepening all relevant bases of knowledge, expression, and inquiry within the university community. The Committee sees a university role in combating the nation’s history of oppressions that affect entire groups, mitigating the historic assumptions of institutions of higher education that can compromise an individual’s participation in college, and enriching the campus and the community. The Committee recognizes that the concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect for difference. Diversity is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity within each individual.
Definition of Diversity
Diversity refers to the variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives which arise from differences in characteristics such as race/ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, mental or physical abilities, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
The CLS Diversity Committee recognizes three reasons for promoting diversity. The first is that the United States’ history of cultural and institutional oppression has excluded, stigmatized, or exploited entire groups in ways that can affect an individual’s entire life. This oppression has often been a result of people’s race and/or ethnicity, colonial or post-colonial status, gender, sex and/or gender identity, economic status, sexual orientation, age, religion, and ability and/or physical appearance. The second reason for promoting diversity is that certain historical assumptions of institutions of higher education can render an individual’s full participation in a university setting difficult. Groups that may be affected by these assumptions include those whose learning styles, language and/or dialect, personal response patterns, educational background, geographical roots, work experience and work modes, marital status, parental status, dietary differences, and military experience differ from the norm. The third reason for promoting diversity is that a diverse population (of students, staff, instructors, and administrators) can enrich the campus and the community through non-exploitative exchanges. Members of all of the above-mentioned groups, as well as any persons with geographical roots or citizenship outside the United States contribute to this general campus enrichment.