News and Perspectives


New Bias Response Team to form on the Twin Cities campus

Friday, January 8, 2016

The U of M has many offices that support and advocate for individuals affected by bias and discrimination, but that help is often either targeted to specific populations or not focused on responding to bias incidents. 

That is changing, now that President Kaler has approved a proposal to set up a Bias Response Team on the Twin Cities campus that will, among other things, quickly assemble after bias incidents are reported, then consider responses based on a pre-established bias response protocol and make recommendations to senior leaders.  The team could also partner with other campus offices to implement larger-scale responses to bias incidents that harm the campus climate.


New online training on sexual harrassment

Thursday, January 7, 2016

by Kimberly Hewitt, director, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The University of Minnesota is committed to fostering a positive campus climate that is responsive to and takes preventative measures to address sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) Office is pleased to announce several new educational opportunities on these important topics.  

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requires universities and colleges to make training available to all employees regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment. We encourage you to ask all members of your staff to complete a new online training entitled Speak Up: Understanding and Preventing Sexual Violence. This new program is available by searching ULearn and is designed to provide you with important information about sexual harassment and sexual assault. The workshop includes important definitions, information about University policy, relevant scenarios, and strategies for an appropriate response to these complex problems.

News and Information

IDEA Multicultural Research Awards - Call for Proposals

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Call for proposals: The Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) seeks to build community and a network among equity and diversity scholars and researchers on campus. In order to connect faculty with others who share their interests, IDEA invites proposals from tenured and tenure-track faculty for research that addresses issues related to its mission: 
"to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship that addresses urgent social issues." Submission deadline is Friday, Jan 22, 2016, 5 pm. More information and application materials are available on the IDEA website.


A Failing Grade? Addressing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps in Public Education

Friday, January 29, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016, 1:30pm to 3:00pm, Elmer Andersen Library, Givens Conference Room (120). The achievement gap is the statistically significant difference between white students and students of color in terms of test scores, grade point averages, graduation rates, college attendance, and other metrics.  Embarrassingly, the US Department of Education describes Minnesota’s achievement gap as one of the widest in the country. Join this discussion to examine contributing causes such as food insecurity, inadequate family support, dearth of economic resources, as well as remnants of systemic racism in public school classrooms. Engage in a conversation about current and proposed solutions based on academic/community partnerships,  support for better teacher training and diversification, family support programs and other attempts to close what may better be described as an opportunity and resource gap rather than simply an achievement gap.


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"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.