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Less than half of Calvin faculty reported attending required diversity events

calvin.edu
calvin.edu

Less than fifty percent of faculty members report that they have attended at least one diversity event in the past year, according to the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) report.

The From Every Nation (FEN) document, which guides Calvin’s diversity efforts, requires faculty, as of 2012, to attend at least one diversity-themed event every year. Previously, the requirement had been only once every other year.

Yet, the requirement has not seemed to have much effect.

“It is very clear that no division for 2012-2013 — the first year that all faculty and all administrators with faculty status were to complete a FEN-related activity per an amended FEN document — had achieved 100 percent compliance,” said the MAC report.

The report found that the natural sciences and mathematics division had the least participation, at 34 percent. The arts, language and education division had the highest, at 48 percent.

There are no consequences if faculty disregard the requirement.

“I don’t know if having any consequences would make a difference,” Loyd-Paige said. “You might have higher compliance, but I don’t know if it would do the good that we would hope that it would do. When people are engaged in this type of work and it’s compulsory, it often has the opposite effect.”

The low compliance level may have come from faculty and staff not realizing they had to do something every year.

“Until this year, faculty were supposed to do something every other year,” Loyd-Paige said. “So if I was going to be very generous I would say some of them were planning to do something the next year … This will be the first year that the requirement that everybody needs to do something at least once a year is in place. This year will be more telling.”

Loyd-Paige also said prior to last spring that it was difficult to record when someone had gone to a diversity event.

“Now there’s a place that staff and faculty can self-report what they are doing,” Loyd-Paige said. “They are getting used to the idea that they have to report not only what they are doing for their FEN activity, but all their other faculty activities as well.”

Loyd-Paige said that events would be held and publicized every month. Online training would also be available.

“One of the things my office has done has been to make sure we offer something every month that would satisfy the requirement,” Loyd-Paige said. “That’s publicized on the website and we send out communications to faculty so that they are aware those things are happening.”

Some events outside of Calvin would also satisfy the requirement.

“People can do other things that our campus doesn’t sponsor,” Loyd-Paige said. “For example, Grand Rapids Community College has a diversity series lecture. So if they wanted to participate in something like that, that would count towards their FEN development activity.”

About the Author

Ben Rietema

Ben Rietema is a Chimes on-call writer for the 2013-14 school year. Being from Boulder, CO, I have in my possession Birkenstocks, long hair, and use the adjective “tight” quite a bit. I enjoy what some might call an over fondness for carrots that gives me eyesight that can pierce through walls, and apparently, I like reading because I’m an English major.

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