Making Your Campus Climate More Intrusive

Glenn Ricketts

  • Article
  • June 21, 2013

At least, that’s what I think will be the likely effect of following the advice proffered here in today’s IHE.  In this case, it’s for a new subgroup – LGBTIQQAP – joining the ever-lengthening and subdividing list of categories to which you have to give “welcoming” and “inclusive” treatment when they join your department. If you thought “welcoming” meant showing new colleagues where the copier, the supply cabinet, the faculty lounge, their classrooms, and the parking lot are, do read the article – it’s a tad more complicated than that.

Similar to existing policies promoting “inclusiveness,” you really have to keep at it and tell the new hires how much you appreciate them for what they are, where they can find each other and network, how you wish there were more of them in the department, make serious efforts to learn a new vocabulary and professional idiom that "includes" and doesn’t offend them, attend “diversity” training sessions (Mandatory? Well, not exactly but...) that will probably help those like yourself to master all of this, etc., etc. I suppose their professional interests and academic abilities or interest in baseball fit in at some point, but “inclusiveness” is what really matters. 

Not only that, but the friendly folks in your school’s “Diversity” office will be checking up to make sure that your new colleagues feel appreciated and know where they can turn if they have any complaints or hurt feelings. It typically doesn’t take much to initiate an “investigation” with subsequent recommendations that further mandatory “inclusiveness” instruction is necessary. How I wish this were a joke

And if your department still doesn’t pass muster, just wait until you try to convene a search committee and assemble a candidate pool for the next job opening. I don’t think I need to elaborate further.

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