Oct. 24-Nov. 6, 2003
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Duty in Iraq gives nurse new sense of mission
Time to debunk the adage that children should be seen, not heard
Diversity commission shapes work at two-day retreat
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Nursing School aims to deepen, diversify nursing pool

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Volunteering is Madison House passion
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Lawmakers back higher education but can’t agree on how to pay for it
Tracking the railroad
Nov. 20 resource fair welcomes new faculty and staff
Writer Francine Prose comes to U.Va.
Teen grad students excel in academics

Diversity commission shapes work at two-day retreat

By Anne Bromley

Members of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Equity used fall reading days to gather for a retreat Oct. 13 and 14. In addition to getting to know one another better, commission members began their work of assessing the climate for student life at the University, especially for minority groups and women, and reviewing practices here and at other universities that encourage and support a diverse community.

To that end, co-chairs Angela M. Davis and Michael J. Smith formed four working groups from the 25 members, with ex-officio members laying out the current situation in the retreat’s opening session.

The four groups are addressing the following areas: student life and climate, faculty and staff recruitment and retention, curriculum, and community and business models.

More Resoures

More information about the President’s Commission on Diversity and Equity is available on the U.Va. diversity Web site at http://www.virginia.edu/
uvadiversity
.

The student life and climate subcommittee is looking at recruitment, retention and support of a diverse student body, both undergraduates and graduate students. It will also consider how space around the University relates to these issues. The subcommittee will compare U.Va.’s practices to those of peer institutions in identifying the best ways to attract minority students and in creating a welcoming community.

The faculty/staff recruitment and retention subcommittee is exploring which strategies — at every level of the institution, from the provost’s office to departments and search committees — can be adopted to move beyond existing good intentions to ensure measurable progress in boosting the numbers of women and minority faculty and staff.

Does the curriculum need to be changed to meet the varied needs of a diverse student body and the University’s educational goals? The curriculum subcommittee plans to look at options for including diversity training in academic life. The idea of a required course, which has raised controversy among students, is only one of many possible options.

The fourth subcommittee is exploring how businesses and community organizations work to create and support diversity, and whether their methods can be adapted to the University’s environment. The subcommittee is also looking into how the University can more effectively draw upon, and contribute to, the broader Charlottesville/Albemarle community.

The groups will continue working independently until the commission’s next retreat, tentatively set for January 2004.


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