Understanding our strategic plan: Goal 1, objective 2

Kimberly A. Lawless
October 12, 2021

In furthering our efforts to create a working and learning environment that is welcoming, friendly and intellectually challenging, objective 2 is to increase the sense of inclusion, belonging and participation for all members of the College of Education with a particular focus on individuals from historically underrepresented populations. We identified five implementation tasks to help us meet this objective:

  • Establish a Faculty Fellows Program in the college that will provide leadership opportunities for faculty members in the areas of teaching, engagement, diversity and other areas as needed.
  • Develop opportunities for faculty, staff and students to connect to important professional practices such as teaching and learning, mental and physical wellness, ethics, bias, advocacy, service, democratic participation, public pedagogy, stewardship of the environment and global citizenship.
  •  Provide professional learning activities to promote self-awareness, inclusive teaching, listening, managing difficult conversations and expressive communication skills to support meaningful discussion.
  • Invest in and enhance opportunities to engage with colleagues across the college, University and community, especially regarding teaching, learning and curricular issues.
  • Develop an organizational structure that promotes collaboration across college organizations focused on diversity, equity, justice, inclusion and anti-racist teaching and curricula.

There is something each one of us can do in our own corners of the college to further this objective. I ask you to be intentional in how you interact with everyone you encounter. Be welcoming and inclusive. Be proactive in seeking out professional development opportunities. When forming a committee, whether it be for a research project, to hire a new colleague, to plan a college event or for some other purpose, don’t automatically go to the same people you always choose. Instead, seek to include people who haven’t been on a committee with you before  –  thereby increasing their sense of inclusivity, belongingness and participation. Together, we can make the College of Education a place where everyone feels welcome.

Coming up

The next Initiatives column will include a look at the strategic plan goal 2, objective 1. You can read the full plan on our website.


Kim Lawless

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 13, 2021