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RIGS(Race,Indigeneity,Gender,&Sexuality)Proposal

CLADiversityInitiativeWorkingDraft
December2014

Authoredby:
JignaDesai,ChairofGenderWomenandSexualityStudies
KeithMayes,ChairofAfricanAmericanandAfricanStudies
KevinMurphy,ChairofAmericanStudies
JeanOBrien,ChairofAmericanIndianStudies
LisaS.Park,DirectorofAsianAmericanStudies
EdnTorres,ChairofChicanoandLatinoStudies

Introduction
DiversityisstatedasahighpriorityforCLAinitsannualcompactwiththeuniversity
andintheCLA2015report.Diversityhasalsobeenidentifiedasanimportant
componentofthestrategicplan.However,diversityinitiativesinthecollegeand
universityhaveoftenbeenpiecemealintheirattempttoaddressissues.Weofferseveral
recommendationsonhowtobestdevelopandintegratediversityinitiativesatalllevelsin
thecollege.Avisionfordiversityshouldbelongtermandgobeyondthesinglehire.It
mustthinkbroadlyfromtheundergraduateandgraduatelevelstofaculty.

Diversityiscriticaltothecollegeanduniversityasitcoincideswithandaddressesmany
keygoalsoftheuniversityincludingbuildingacollegethataddressesimportantsocietal
challengeseducatesandempowersundergraduateandgraduatestudentleaderstocreate
intellectualandsocietaltransformationpreparesstudentstoliveinaglobalMidwest
throughacurriculumthatexposesthemtonondominantwaysofknowingproducesand
transfersknowledgeforthepublicgoodcreatescollaborativeandcooperative
partnershipsacrossunitswithinandoutsideofcollegeanduniversityand/orintegrates
research,teaching,andcommunityengagement.Weproposeamultitieredambitious
initiative,whichleveragetheknowledge,experience,andinfrastructurethatalreadyexist
oncampus,tocreateanintegratedandvisionaryapproachtodiversitywithinCLA.

Wewouldliketostressthatthisisa
draft
proposaltoinitiatestructuralchangeandisnot
intendedasafinalizedplan.And,whilethisproposaldevelopscollaborationamongthe
departmentsandprogramsrepresentedbytheauthors,wealsosharetheobjectiveof
maintainingtheintellectualandadministrativeautonomyofeachacademicunit.The
overallgoalistobolsterthetenuousdiversityeffortsofthecollegeanduniversity
throughthestabilizationandgrowthoftheseacademicunits,whichhavebeenworking
ontheseissuesastheircoreintellectualmissionforyears,andforsome,decades.

WerecognizethatthescopeofthisproposalisbeyondthecurrentresourcesofCLA,and
thuswecallonthePresidentandProvosttoalsobringresourcestorealizethese
initiativesaspartoftheUniversityscommitmenttorealizingtheDiversityFrameworks
planforbuildingcapacity(seeExecutiveSummaryat

https://diversity.umn.edu/sites/default/files/UofM%20E%26D%20Vision%20Framework
%20%26%20Implementation%20Update%202012.pdf)

Welookforwardtomovingaheadandworkingwiththemanyfaculty,studentandstaff
attheUniversityofMinnesotawhoarecommittedtoworkingontheselongawaited
changes.

InitialRecommendations

1. CenterfortheStudyofRace,Indigeneity,Gender,andSexuality(RIGS).
We
requestprogrammingfunds,staffsupport,andsharedspace/officestohighlight
andsupporttheimportantworkondiversity,inequality,andsocialjustice
currentlyhappeninginCLAandtheUniversityandtobuilduponthis
infrastructureinmeaningfulandgenerativeways.Ourgoalistoestablisha
recognizableintellectualcenterthatbuildsupontheinterdisciplinarystrengthsof
theindividualunitsAfroAmericanandAfricanStudies,AmericanStudies,
AmericanIndianStudies,AsianAmericanStudies,Chican@andLatino@
Studies,andGender,Women,andSexualityStudies.Weenvisionastructurein
whichautonomywithineachunitisintact,atthesametimethatcollaboration
acrossunitsisencouraged.Towardthisend,theuniquecontributionand
constituentsofeachunitrequireinstitutionalsupportinordertofacilitateopen
collaborationacrosstheseandotherunitsthatwillenhancevisibilityofCLA,
providecriticalinterdisciplinarycurriculum,promotelocalcommunity
engagement,developintersectionalcollaborativeprojects,andteachdifferent
epistemologiesthatfocusondiversityanditsaccompanyingissuesofequality
andjustice.

Inaddition,weproposeawebbasedRIGSDigestthatwilltranslateand
disseminaterelevantCLAresearchfordiversepublicconstituents.

TheRIGS
Digestandwebpagewillprovidethepressandlocalcommunitieswithupdateson
researchfromourfacultyandgraduatestudents,aswellasrespondtolocal,
national,andglobaleventswithinformedcommentarybasedinscholarship
producedinandacrossourfields.

2. FacultyofColorClusterHire.
CLAmustinvestinthoseareasthatvalue
diversityandhavebestpracticesforhiring,retaining,andpromotingfacultyof
color.Diversehiringismorelikelytobesuccessfulwhenpursuedthrough
institutionalinterventionstrategiescreatedatthecollegeoruniversitylevel,such
astargetofopportunityhiring,outofcyclehiring,andclusterhiring.Itis
imperativetogrowfacultywithinAfricanAmericanandAfricanStudies
AmericanStudiesAmericanIndianStudiesAsianAmericanStudiesChicano
andLatinoStudiesandGender,Women,andSexualityStudiesinconjunction
withotherdisciplinestorecruitdiversefaculty.Researchfromthepasttwo
decadesstronglysuggeststhatcriticalmassmattersintermsofretention.Cluster

hiringisofparticularimportancebecauseitcanbringinacohort,reducingthe
chanceofisolationandoverload.Clusterhiringinitiativescreateintellectual
vibrancy,productivity,andcommunityinwaysthatfarexceedwhatcanbe
achievedbyindividualhiresthesumis,indeed,greaterthanitsparts.Hiring
morediversefacultyfromunderrepresentedgroupsmakesitmorelikelythat
undergraduateandgraduatestudentswillfindsupportfromqualifiedfaculty
members.

3. GraduateStudentsofColorRetentionandRecruitment
Additionalsupportfordiversegraduatestudentsthroughfellowship
opportunities.
Studiescontinuetoshowthatgraduatestudentsofcolorhave
difficultyfindingfacultymentorsoradviserswhosupporttheiracademic
interests,particularlywhenthoseinterestsinvolveissuesofpower,cultureand
socialidentity.TheDOVEisonemechanismthatfacilitatestherecruitmentof
graduatestudentsofcolor.Additionalgraduatefellowshipsbemadeavailablethat
allowgraduatestudentstobeaffiliatedorinresidenceintheRIGSConsortium.

GraduatecertificateinRace,Indigeneity,GenderandSexualityStudies.
This
certificatewouldbeavailabletograduateandprofessionalstudentswhoare
locatedthroughouttheUniversity.Trainingwouldprovidestudentsin
professionalandacademicgraduatetrackstobenefitfromthewealthofcultural,
historical,methodological,andtheoreticalworkdoneinRIGSdepartments,and
providethemwithacredentialthatwouldmakethemattractivetofuture
employerswithinandoutsideacademia.

4. UndergraduateStudentsofColorRetentionandRecruitment
Expandeffortstorecruitandretaindiversestudentpopulation
.Expandpipeline
programstobringminorityhighschoolstudentstotheUniversityandcreatelinks
betweenfaculty,graduatestudents,undergraduatestudents,andhighschool
students.Throughcommunityoutreachandanongoingmentoringprogram,we
hopetoincreaseretentionandpreparationofstudentsfortheirundergraduateand
graduateeducationsbyworkingmorecloselywiththePresidentialEmerging
Scholarsprogram.Wecanlearnfrominitiativesatotherstateuniversities,suchas
theUniversityofMarylandB.C.Meyerhoffprogram.Demographicsindicatethat
thestateischanging.Peopleofcolorconstitute37%and40%ofthepopulations
ofMinneapolisandSt.Paulrespectively.Thesenumbersareincreasing.

ImplementaFirstYearExperiencecourseentitledThe99%,developedand
offeredthroughacollaborationofRIGSunits.

Thecoursewillintroducestudents
toscholarshipandpubliclyengagedknowledgeproductionondifferenceand
inequalityintheregionandstate,aswellasinnationalandinternationalcontexts.

Developanadvisingmodelthatencouragesminorsanddoublemajorsthat
promotediversityobjectives.
Thismodelwillprovideresourcesforadvisersfrom
largemajors(i.e.Psychology,Sociology,Economics,English,Communications,

Journalism)andothercolleges(i.e.Carlson,Nursing,CEHD)toencourage
studentstopursueundergraduateminorsanddoublemajorsthatwillpreparethem
foradiverseandglobalizedworld.Thisshouldcoincidewithaneffortbythe
Collegetodiversifytheadvisingstaff.

5. FullyFundOutreachCoordinatorpositions.
OutreachCoordinatorswillserve
asliaisonsconnectingthecommunitytoCLAsteaching,service,andresearch
resources.Theywillalsoassistwiththerecruitmentandretentionofdiverseand
excellentundergraduatestudentstoCLAbyestablishingrelationshipswith
schools,workplaces,afterschoolprograms,serviceagenciesandlocalcommunity
collegestoincreaseawarenessoftheUniversity'sMulticulturalExcellence
Program.