UNF Diversity and Inclusion Actions
President’s Commission on Diversity & Inclusion (CODI):
Established many years ago, this
committee restructured two years ago and has become more action-oriented
and project focused. The Commission’s membership includes over 50
students, faculty, and staff form all areas of the campus. It works collaboratively to advance the
University’s efforts to be more diverse and inclusive, identifying and
challenging obstacles, and identifying and building assets and strengths. The Commission works to
increase the appreciation for, and the awareness of the benefits,
importance and relevance of diversity and inclusion.
Difference Appreciation Initiative:
The University of
North Florida began a campus wide plan to focus efforts toward increasing the
appreciation for and the awareness of the benefits, importance and
relevance of diversity and inclusion. The initiative kicked off with
a university-community learning exchange called Building a Culturally
Competent University attended by campus leaders and the community. The
Commission on Diversity and Inclusion meets with the vice presidents and
deans to identify strategies being deployed. These efforts are tracked and
shared. While ongoing and never ending, this initiative has been a dynamic
way of identifying efforts towards appreciating differences and improving
the campus climate.
Cultural Competency Pursuit:
The University of North
Florida (Student Affairs) developed a Cultural Competency Pursuit
curriculum comprised of an introduction to the concepts of equity,
diversity and inclusion; six core competency courses of varying lengths;
and a capstone. The core competencies are: Race and Ethnicity; Religious,
Spiritual and Secular Worldview Identity; LGBTQ Identities; Gender
Inclusion; Military Veteran Identity; and Dis/Ability Inclusion.
Initially, only offered to faculty and staff, the scope of the core class
has expanded to include students. Due to the growth and popularity of the
workshops, the program leaders conducted a “Train the Trainer” seminar to
increase the number of available instructors.
The University of North Florida holds a Courageous Conversations event
each semester that examines a specific current issue in our nation that
directly impacts our community. Past conversations have included Racism
and Reality, When Love Hurts (domestic violence), Intersection of the
“isms”, Bystander Intervention and Busting our Bias (implicit bias). The
two and a half hour format consists of three parts: 1) information
delivery in the form of a lecture, film or panel, 2) small group dialogue on
defined topics and 3) participants reassemble and share their group
discoveries. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to
attend this free event.
Coordinators from individual colleges at UNF vigorously recruit
underrepresented students. Efforts by UNF’s College of Computing,
Engineering and Construction (CCEC) Outreach and Recruitment Office help
to bridge the STEM gap of underrepresented schools, first-generation
students, women and girls. Relationships exist with area high schools,
middle schools, and elementary schools, principals, teachers, after-school
organizations and industry partners to create opportunities in STEM programming.
The First-Year Advising:
The First-Year Advising Office has a dedicated advisor
who collaborates with Institutional Advancement to support students
receiving Pathways to Success scholarships. This advisor provides academic
counseling as well as mentoring and connections to campus resources.
In many instances, Pathways scholarships are specified to underrepresented
populations and first generation college students.