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Important Update:

The fall semester will begin Aug. 17 with in-person, online and extended classroom options. UCO requires all students, employees and visitors to wear a mask when around others, both indoors and outdoors, and practice physical distancing of at least six feet when possible. To learn more about current operations, view the university's coronavirus webpage. View a list of UCO's virtual services.

June 26, 2020


University of Central Oklahoma Letters of Support

Countless UCO departments and offices continue to show their support and dedication to racial justice, diversity, inclusion and equity. This week we are proud to share three additional letters from the College of Liberal Arts, Max Chambers Library and Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning.

College of Liberal Arts

We in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma add our voices to the
growing chorus that calls for change at the local, regional, and national level. The
frequent killings of unarmed Black people, including the recent deaths of George Floyd,
Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, have brought much-needed attention to the Black Lives
Matter movement across the country and compels all of us stand with the Black community
and indeed all People of Color.

The College supports our students, faculty and staff who have participated in the actions –
demonstrations, marches, and meetings (in-person and virtual) – that support the call for
change on national, regional, and local levels in order to challenge—and, ultimately, to
eliminate—systemic racism, the unchecked abuse of institutional power, and the overt and
covert discrimination that continue to make such tragedies not only possible but devastatingly
frequent. The College of Liberal Arts believes Black Lives Matter.

We are also called to action. Please know that the College of Liberal Arts has made and will
continue to make changes that move issues of diversity and inclusion to the fore. These
changes include:

  • The establishment in 2019 of an annual Faculty and Staff Forum to introduce concepts
    of unconscious bias and “normalized” racism to a large audience
  • Support for Faculty and Staff reading groups to explore texts that associated with our
    disciplines to augment underrepresented student voices.
  • The appointment of an Assistant Dean in the College with specific responsibilities
    related to diversity and inclusion
  • The reconsideration of the College’s Mission and Vision statements to reflect an active
    stance with regard to an experience that acknowledges the rich diversity and lived
    experience of our students as we guide them along their academic paths
  • The intentional infusion of equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the College’s
    practices, including but not limited to curriculum, assessment, and faculty and staff
    searches.
  • The regular self-assessment and reporting of efforts and actions toward achieving a
    more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community through departmental and college
    self-assessment.
  • Individual efforts on the part of each of our academic units – the seven departments
    and the school that comprise the College.
  • Coordination with University efforts including the Committee on Diversity and the
    newly-formed Inclusive Community Response Team.

Systemic racism is insidious – and is a burden that Black people and People of Color have had to bear for far too long. We are aware that education and action in systemic racism needs to be a continuing process. Black Lives Matter and other social justice movement have taught us that when we know better, we do better and that we do better when we act together. We will be listening to our faculty and students as new issues and opportunities for improvement arise. We invite everyone – members of the faculty and staff, as well as current and former students – to join us as we move our college, and indeed the university, forward.

Dean Catherine Webster
with unanimous support of the CLA Chairs’ Council

 

Max Chamber Library

To the UCO Community,

Those of us who work at the Max Chambers Library are deeply saddened and experiencing indignation following the senseless, brutal death of Mr. George Floyd. We unanimously condemn the remorseless violence against members of our Black and Brown communities and join other campus departments in extending our support to eradicating systemic racism on our campus and in our community.

Inclusiveness is one of the Library’s eight core values. We highly value individuality and respect all contributions toward our common goals. We are committed to fighting ignorance and intolerance and embracing the power diversity brings to our space. The Max Chambers Library is dedicated to disrupting hate, bias, and racism whenever and wherever we encounter it, creating a space free of discrimination.

Activities sponsored by the Library provide a safe space for those with different opinions and viewpoints to share thoughts and ideas so intellectual discourse can happen in a manner conducive to learning. We recognize when all opinions and perspectives are recognized and included we are all better and stronger. We will continually strive to create a culture of inclusion.

The Max Chambers Library supports our campus community in seeking solutions as we work through our sadness and anger to develop actions that will bring about lasting change. We know the path is complicated but, we are clear, dismantling the very systems and policies that keep oppression alive is necessary and urgent. We can and will do better.

Staff of the Max Chambers Library
University of Central Oklahoma
Edmond, Oklahoma

 

Center for Excellence in Transformative Learning and Teaching

The Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL) includes the 21st Century Pedagogy Institute (21CPI), Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR), and Educators’ Leadership Academy (ELA). Collectively, we serve faculty and students at UCO and beyond.

In times that underscore the ongoing need to not just denounce racism but to be anti-racist, CETTL, 21CPI, STLR, and ELA commit to more than simply continuing what we do now, such as our ongoing work over the years like past development opportunities around race and sexual identities, and faculty-led book groups on titles like “White Fragility” and “Queer Teaching,” and our STLR work with Global & Cultural Competencies. (Please visit the Teaching and Administrative Support section of UCO’s Addressing Racial and Social Injustice page.) We further commit to accepting the challenge that we, UCO, and the nation must meet to bring justice and equity to our campus and our society for all Black people and People of Color as well as other marginalized and disenfranchised groups and individuals among our fellow colleagues and citizens.

Perhaps no other college or university is more strongly called to meet this challenge. Because UCO centers itself around Transformative Learning (TL), we must in these times follow its process, one that literally defines personal learning and growth as prompted by disorienting dilemmas that lead to critical self-reflection followed by perspective shifts that help learners change themselves and their conceptions to embrace new and better ways of being.

We’re a university. Learning is what we do. Past learning and growth to become less racist is part of who we are, but now we are challenged to learn more, to do more.

Protests across the nation are calling attention to what for many in the privileged class may be the disorienting dilemma that is our country’s current and long-standing failure to ensure equity in treatment for Black people and People of Color, LGBTQIA+, and other groups suffering unequal treatment. Among our fellow citizens and colleagues who suffer the inequitable treatment dilemma daily, there is always the dilemma of how to make a co-worker or a group or a nation listen, to understand, to change.

We commit to listen. We will work to understand, and we will change as a result of our critical reflection and with the help and guidance of colleagues. To that end, CETTL, 21CPI, STLR, ELA are initiating among ourselves TL-focused processes with the intent to improve ourselves to become better colleagues and models for others. We hope our journey will produce transformative realizations in service to adding to the broader solution so necessary right now.

This is in addition to the work we do daily to support diversity and inclusivity and in providing resources and learning opportunities to support the transformative realizations and the resulting behavior and mindset changes that others may seek.

Jeff King, Ed.D., Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL)
Jody Horn, Ph.D., Director, 21st Century Pedagogy Institute (21 CPI)
Cary Williams, Director, Educators’ Leadership Academy (ELA)
Camille Farrell, M.Ed., Assistant Director, Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR)
Mark Walvoord, M.S., Assistant Director, Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR)
Brenton Wimmer, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Transformative Learning (TL) Assessment
Jon Hicks, Administrative Assistant III, CETTL

Teaching and Administrative Support

Professional Development Resources about Social Injustice for Faculty and Staff