Ensure an Equitable and Inclusive Campus Community
Fairness, Diversity and Respect are three of our core values at URI. That is why the fifth goal of our academic plan is to ensure a campus climate that celebrates difference and creates a rich learning community built upon respect, inclusion, and understanding of issues related to class, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and culture.
As part of this effort URI's Division of Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force established the Multiculturalism and Diversity Enhancement Fund. The intention of the fund is to encourage faculty and staff to enhance cultural competence within the Division of Academic Affairs. Through a competitive process, the following projects were awarded $3,000 each to support curricular change, faculty development, and research on multicultural competence in the 2011-2012 academic year.
- Measuring the Cultural Adaptability of Students Who Participate in International Experiences with J. Hazen White Fellows. PI's: Jennifer Audette, Physical Therapy, and Rosaria Pisa, Sociology and Anthropology.
- Infusing Multicultural Content in a Psychology Course. PI's: Department of Psychology Task Force on Multiculturalism and Diversity
- An Urban after School Intervention Program: Promoting Healthy Lifestyle in Overweight Minority Children and Adolescents. PI: Furong Xu, Kinesiology
- Dimensions of Diversity. PI: Timothy W. Tierney, Information Technology Services
- Increasing Retention of At-Risk Nontraditional and Adult Students. PI: Tamara Bolotow, Feinstein Providence Campus
- LGBT Faculty Fellows Program. PI's: Annemarie Vaccaro and Delores Walters, Human Sciences and Services
The College of Nursing and the Multicultural Enhancement Fund supported an additional project, entitled The Integration of Multicultural Competency into the Nursing Curriculum at URI. Patricia Burbank, Diane Martins, Mary Mumford Haley, and Delores M. Walters provided suggested resources for integrating LGBTQ, and race/ethnicity/content throughout the undergraduate and graduate nursing curriculum according to cultural competency guidelines from professional nursing and other organizations.
In addition to the Multiculturalism and Diversity Enhancement Fund, the University of Rhode Island has also established the Multicultural Faculty Apprentice Fellowship. The goal of the Multicultural Faculty Apprentice Fellowship (MFAF) Program is to increase the diversity of the faculty at the University of Rhode Island and advance issues of diversity in research and teaching within academic programs at URI. This year, through a competitive process, the fellowship opportunity was awarded to the Harrington School of Communication and Media to recruit and hire a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in Latino or Caribbean-American community media. The search committee is soliciting applications for bringing in a fellow to start in January 2013.
To further strengthen our Faculty in the development of cultural competence the College Diversity Committees Workshop was held on May 23, 2012. Over 80 faculty, administrators, and staff from the diversity committees within the units in the Division of Academic Affairs attended a day-long workshop which consisted of panel discussions, facilitated roundtable discussions, and time for strategic goal-setting and planning for diversity committees.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that at its May 3, 2012 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved the recommended learning outcomes for the new general education program, including the development and exercise of cultural competencies. The definitions of cultural competencies that will be used in the new program were adopted from "A Framework for Multicultural Learning within the URI Community" endorsed by the Division of Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force.