Mandatory Anti-Racism Course Is Being Discussed

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A mandatory anti-racism course is being discussed and other plans on addressing racism on campus

Jesus Cortez

News Editor

A mandatory anti-racism course at Benedictine was one of the ideas Benedictine Provost Dr. Kenneth Newbold purposed last week. This was discussed last Friday on a Zoom call about race and equity in the community involving all Lisle and Mesa campus faculty and staff.

“‘I strongly endorse the creation of a mandatory anti-racism course and understand there is a group of dedicated faculty working to create this course,” said Dr. Kenneth Newbold, Provost and Chief Academic Officer in a letter to the Lisle and Mesa faculty and staff. “I am asking the faculty involved to move this forward through the appropriate channels and committees as soon as the curriculum is ready.”

The provost has stated that the earliest this course might be offered is the 2023-2024 year but that there is not a firm timeline.

“The details are coming together on the design of such a course but it is too early in the process to speak to some of the specific questions,” said Dr. Newbold.

Dr. Newbold has also endorsed other plans to improve equity on campus.

“We will investigate options and develop a timeline to offer anti-racism training within the Division of Academic Affairs. This work will begin immediately and will be launched as soon as possible.”

“I fully support adding a statement [to the Faculty Handbook] that addresses inappropriate language, specifically racial slurs, and subsequent consequences for failing to abide by those terms to the Handbook.”

“I will be restructuring Academic Affairs in the next month to better support DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] efforts. Resources (administrative personnel and operating funds) will be reallocated to be aligned with the Associate Provost for DEI.”

“I will be outlining a process with the deans and members of the Provost’s Council to refine existing or create new plans related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that specifically address goals, processes, and policies to deconstruct racism in our division.”

Some of these plans involve funds for students, faculty, and staff to attend workshops related to racial justice issues.

“Academic Affairs is committed to pursuing steps to address structural racism and will move intentionally to swiftly take action in pursuit of the framework I provided to the division on Friday,” said Dr. Newbold.