Format: Faculty participants will experience an interactive program that includes a live scenario, a Q&A with the characters, and a facilitated discussion. This program will explore the complexity of university and departmental cultures, and set expectations for what it means to be a member of a University community.
Objective: Stimulate discussion about the following issues:
The dynamics of race/gender in the classroom and the problematic attitudes and behaviors that may make the academic environment challenging for faculty and students;
The effect of such attitudes and behaviors on individual self-esteem and academic performance;
What faculty can/should do in response to the problems of race/gender in the classroom;
The challenges that faculty may face with other faculty, departmental culture, and institutional climate;
The onus of responsibility for the quality of the academic environment with regard to race/gender issues.
The department climate and how faculty treat each other when they are faced with these issues: race, gender, power, hierarchy, conflict, etc…
Maia M’Fume: Student, a junior
Hal Bindoff: Professor & Maia’s advisor
Synopsis: In this scenario we meet Maia as she stops by the office of her advisor, Hal, to discuss her experiences in the classroom of Professor John Clark, one of Hal’s research partners. In the course of their conversation, Maia reveals her perception that she is experiencing behaviors in John Clark’s class that are demeaning and problematic. While Hal’s response is supportive in tone and he intends to help, his suggestion for Maia to “Hang in there and be tough” leaves her feeling unsupported and vulnerable. She is concerned by the seriousness of her dilemma and his hesitancy to take an active role in helping her deal with the situation.