University of Missouri Statements on Diversity Enhancement

April 2013

At the University of Missouri, we take pride in our commitment to diversity and cultural awareness. We define “diversity” broadly as an expression of the differences between humans, such as race, culture, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation. It is our goal to ensure that every MU graduate will leave this university with an appreciation of and respect for the diversity in our society.

We also recognize the diversity of academia and believe that there is no single way to teach cultural awareness.  Each of the colleges and schools at the University of Missouri has developed their own diversity enhancement programs and policies specific to their fields.

In this section you will find the statements by each college and school on how they address diversity enhancement and cultural awareness. You will also find contact information to contact the colleges and schools about their statements.

Diversity Enhancement Committee
University of Missouri Faculty Council

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR)
College of Arts and Science
Trulaske College of Business
College of Education
College of Engineering
Graduate School
School of Health Professions
College of Human Environmental Sciences
Missouri School of Journalism
School of Law
School of Medicine
Sinclair School of Nursing
College of Veterinary Medicine


College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR)

2-64 Agriculture Building

Phone: 573-882-8301

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources represents a diverse range of disciplines imploring a diverse array of approaches in promoting cultural competence.  Some approaches are more direct (e.g. courses) and others indirect (e.g. environment); some approaches are required while others are optional. 

In terms of some direct approaches, academic programs in CAFNR either require or encourage students to take coursework relating to diversity and/or to study abroad (CAFNR has a strong commitment toward study abroad as evidenced by its own office and staff specifically for study abroad).

In terms of indirect approaches, CAFNR promotes a diverse workplace with its faculty, staff and graduate students, has a strong teaching reputation which invites inclusiveness, works closely with industry in providing internship opportunities allowing students to be immersed in diverse environments, and provides informal opportunities for diverse socialization through student organizations.

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College of Arts and Science

317 Lowry Hall
umcasdeansofc@missouri.edu
Phone: 573-882-4421

The College of Arts and Science offers instruction that leads to five different degrees:  Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of General Studies.   While the particular requirements for each degree vary, they share educational objectives that are at the heart of a liberal education.  Arts and Science students take coursework intended to:

The courses that meet these goals are inclusive of various peoples and traditions, respectful of differences and similarities, and open to rich diversity of the human achievement.  Academic policies followed by departments are expected to keep these goals in mind.

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Trulaske College of Business

Cornell Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
mizzoubiz@missouri.edu 

Phone: 573-882-9348

At the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri, we believe that excellence, diversity and inclusion are interdependent. In other words, diversity and inclusion are key strategies in our overall pursuit of excellence in our college.

It is our goal to achieve Top 20 status amongst public business schools in the US. Achieving Excellence in business education guides our policies and practices, and our Strategic Plan. This includes teaching, research, learning and other development (social or intellectual) opportunities.  We continue to look for new and innovative ways to achieve excellence in our college, and will engage all of our stakeholders in this effort.

Diversity is a source of innovation and creativity, and is therefore important to our state, it citizens and industries. Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values

and global perspectives that are born out of differences in culture and circumstances.  These differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and so much more. In the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and the student experience, we have established goals and actions to increase diversity in our faculty, staff, student body and external partners.

Inclusion is the active, intentional and ongoing engagement of people of diverse backgrounds and experiences.  This includes engagement in our curriculum, our research, our communities, and in all ways that people connect within our college. This includes the many ways that people interact to increase our respective levels of awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathetic understanding, and the respectful and civil treatment of others.  With a more inclusive environment, we can accelerate our efforts to prepare our students to operate more effectively in an increasingly more diverse, complex and global business environment.

Our current year efforts to address diversity, inclusion and cultural competence include:

A new Diversity and Inclusion course (a 3-credit hour course) taught by our newly hired Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

A new Global Mindset and Multicultural Learning Map that were both developed in partnership with Ernst and Young.  This program was rolled out in October 2012 by our Professional Development Program staff, and we continue to educate our students through this interactive learning experience.

An extensive Study Abroad Program that includes educational learning opportunities and travel to Italy, Spain, China, Czech Republic, India and Australia/New Zealand.

Our ongoing efforts to address diversity, inclusion and cultural competence include:

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College of Education

118 Hill Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone 573-882-8524

The College of Education seeks to enhance the cultural competence of all its stakeholders so that they understand and act on educational issues of national and global significance. To accomplish this goal, administrators, faculty, and professional staff facilitate experiences through research, coursework, and service opportunities.

The faculty and professional staff intentionally support cultural diversity through research endeavors and the work of units such as the Center for Cultural Competence and the Office of International and Intercultural Initiatives, hence preparing apt leaders for the global demands of the 21st century. The various academic programs expose students to theoretical and experiential aspects of diversity through required coursework and field experiences. For example, all undergraduates in the teacher preparation program participate in credit bearing service-learning activities where they engage with people from diverse communities.

Through Personal Transformational Pathways (PTP) initiatives, graduate and undergraduate students have access to purposefully crafted domestic and international opportunities to interact with students and educators from all over the globe. For example, graduate students recently travelled to Taiwan in a professional cross-cultural immersion program; while undergraduate students experienced teaching in Tanzanian classrooms. 

All of these experiences are enhanced by the college’s positive climate that supports diverse perspectives and experiences among students, faculty and professional staff

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College of Engineering

W1025 Lafferre Hall

Engineering@Missouri.edu

Phone: 573-882-4375

The Diversity in Engineering Program operates programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to promote diversity both in and out of the classroom. We feel a strong commitment to increasing and retaining the number of students from underrepresented minority groups in engineering. These groups include women, African American, Native American, and Hispanic American students.  We work with students through educational outreach programs, admission assistance, and academic advising to create and maintain a supportive academic environment in which they can flourish.  Our goal is to provide the appropriate foundation and resources to allow graduates to become active and successful engineers in a global environment.

Our college is active in international engagement activities. We are proud of our international student population and believe that diversity in the classroom lends itself to a more robust educational experience for our domestic and international students.  Our offices provide transition and cultural programming for students introducing them each other’s culture. The College’s study abroad programs allow for our students to experience different cultures and gain international experience in countries ranging from South Africa to China and Germany to Kiev.

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Graduate School

210 Jesse Hall

Phone: 573-882-6311

Because the Graduate School has shared authority over graduate programs and students across campus, this statement will likely be different from those from other deans. Both the dean and the Graduate Faculty Senate share deeply the Faculty Council’s goals for a broadly defined “diversity.” We do not have course mandates, but instead we offer a number of voluntary, but highly encouraged programs that emphasize cultural competency for graduate students at MU. Here are some examples:

The Preparing Future Faculty Program, taught annually to 60 or more students, explicitly contains cultural competency as one of the values that our future faculty need to understand in order to become successful in academic careers. We are hoping in the future that PFF will reach 100 or more doctoral students every year.

MU is a member of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, an NSF-sponsored consortium of more than 20 research universities. One of the three “core ideas” of CIRTL (http://www.cirtl.net/Coreideas) is “learning through diversity.” To that end we have funded doctoral student Gina Ceylan to develop a course in “Universal Design for Learning,” emphasizing disability but speaking also to other central notions of diversity. This course will, we hope, become a regular graduate school offering. MU graduate students now also have access to a wide range of online courses taught by faculty from the CIRTL member institutions, including “Diversity in the College Classroom.”

The International Teaching Assistant Program not only helps integrate students from many different countries, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds to MU, but also sponsors a number of workshops bringing together US undergraduates and graduate students with our international student population.

The McNair Scholars Program (a federally funded undergraduate research mentorship program) and GLIMPSE into Graduate School (an MU Graduate School program) help diversify
our own graduate classrooms so that a wide range of voices can be heard in ANY graduate classroom.

The future of the academic workforce is going to be multi-cultural, global, and diverse in any number of ways. The Graduate School is committed to providing programming, and to helping individual graduate programs to develop local programming, to aid in the education of all of our students for the world that they will enter--and lead.

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School of Health Professions

100 Lewis Hall
Phone: 573-884-6705

Cultural competency is an integral part of the School of Health Professions (SHP) and is reflected in all aspects of our teaching, research and service missions. Our commitment to cultural competency extends beyond our halls and is inclusive of communities and populations both near and far. Our graduates are placed nationwide in both rural and urban settings – often bringing care to areas that are desperately underserved.

Concepts related to cultural differences and competencies are taught in courses across all curricula in the SHP.

Understanding a patients’ culture is a necessary component for students to become effective clinicians.

SHP faculty, staff and students devote countless research and volunteer hours in support of populations with a variety of abilities, challenges and backgrounds, from children on the autism spectrum to seniors.  Our passion is to serve and support any and all people in need of our services.

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College of Human Environmental Sciences

113 Gwynn Hall

E-mail: HESStudentServices@missouri.edu
Phone: 573-882-6227

The College of Human Environmental Sciences has as part of its mission statement our focus on global diversity.  In addition, our six academic units incorporate diversity into their respective missions and infuse cultural competency and diversity in a number of their courses.  One department (HDFS) sponsors a Diversity Lectureship every year and has family diversity as a niche area.  Others (e.g., Social Work and Architectural Studies) must teach multiculturalism as an integral part of their coursework as a condition of their national accreditations.  Personal Financial Planning (PFP) students are exposed to multiculturalism in a number of ways, including partnerships with a number of universities in China who are sending students to MU for Master’s degrees in financial planning. 

Another noteworthy program is the annual preparation of federal and state income tax returns at no charge for low-income individuals and families (approximately 4,100 returns prepared annually).   Clients served represent a broad spectrum of diverse socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.  Textile and Apparel Management students travel globally to gain direct experience with other cultures, most recently in working with manufacturers in El Salvador. 

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Missouri School of Journalism

120 Neff Hall

E-Mail: journalism@missouri.edu

Phone: 573-882-4821

The Missouri School of Journalism requires all students to take Cross-Cultural Journalism, a course that equips students with tools to better navigate their way as journalists and communicators in a diverse society.

The course requires students to reflect critically on major issues confronting a diverse changing society and to understand and appreciate journalism's specific role in presenting diverse points of view in a democracy.

As students take later hands-on courses in professionally oriented newsrooms and advertising agencies, they are consistently challenged to think critically about the various stakeholders and the different audiences they serve using the concepts and techniques learned in Cross Cultural Journalism.

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School of Law

203 Hulston Hall

573-882-6487

The Law School’s approach to diversity and cultural awareness is twofold. First, we are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse community (students, staff and faculty) because we believe that a diverse community enriches the professional and personal experiences of our students, faculty and staff. The law school is better when it is comprised of folks who have varied backgrounds and experiences. These differences are manifested in classrooms discussions and in interactions outside of the classroom. In addition to creating a diverse community, we also offer course work that highlight diverse perspectives and thereby enhances students’ understanding of cross-cultural perspectives. The Law School also offers clinic and externship opportunities to students that require that they interact with clients who often times come from cultural backgrounds that are very dissimilar to their own.

Second, we strive to sustain an ongoing dialogue within our community through the efforts of the student/faculty Diversity Committee, our Director of Diversity Initiatives and Outreach and our student organizations. The Law School is home to the Black Law Students Association, Lambda Legal (which addressed LGBTQ related issues), the Hispanic Law Student Association, the Asian American Law Student Association, the Christian Legal Society, the Women Lawyers Association, and the Veterans Law Association (among other organizations). The Diversity Committee, Director of Diversity, and student groups organize a variety of events throughout the academic year that allow the Law School community to come together to think about diversity in broad and creative ways.

Through such activities, our community becomes more culturally aware and more culturally competent.

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School of Medicine

One Hospital Drive, MA204, DC018.00

E-mail: mumedicine@missouri.edu

Phone: ( 573) 882-1566

The University of Missouri School of Medicine (MU SOM) prepares medical graduates to provide effective patient centered care.   An important component of patient centered care is culturally effective care.  MU SOM educational goals include the expectation that graduates will “individualize care by taking into account how a person’s culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic situation impact their health, health care beliefs and access to services.” 

Additionally graduates will “display insight into their own sociocultural background and how it affects the physician-patient interaction.” Students receive coursework, training and evaluation related to health disparities; cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic barriers to accessing health care; social determinants of health, and cross cultural communication including specific training on the use of interpreter services in the provision of care.  Recent curricular efforts specifically target communication strategies related to health literacy within the context of providing culturally effective patient care. 

Recognizing the importance of role modeling, there has been an emphasis on faculty development. The SOM has facilitated the training of 65 individuals from MU Health, including institutional leaders and SOM faculty, through participation in an intensive three-day immersion workshop called the “Inclusion Institute for Health Care.” 

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Sinclair School of Nursing

S235 School of Nursing

E-mail: nursing@missouri.edu

Phone: 573-882-0277

Diversity is an important dimension of the Sinclair School of Nursing as evidenced by its inclusion in our vision, mission,  philosophy statements as well as highlighted in our capital campaign priorities.  Nursing is an applied science with recipients of care representing diverse populations in our ever-changing society.  

Our philosophy specifies that “Diversity is reflective of a community of people of differing genders, racial-ethnic backgrounds, languages, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, abilities and disabilities, national and geographical origins, socio-economic class, veterans' status, and political views”. The concept of diversity is pervasive throughout our entire undergraduate curriculum.

We begin in our pre-clinical courses discussing concepts of diversity, cultural competence and goals of providing care in an individualized manner. Student experiences in each clinical course involve caring for diverse patients.  Courses in assessment at the undergraduate and graduate level include variation in symptom presentation in diverse individuals.  We engage in interprofessional education with students in the School of Medicine with specific modules on Cultural Sensitivity and Health Literacy.   

As a caring profession, diversity is inherent in our education and practice.  We are committed to preparing nurses who are competent to care for diverse individuals.  Select graduate courses are dedicated to diversity such as N8310 Health Disparities of Rural and Underserved Populations.  Equipment in the Essig Clinical Simulation Learning Center – mannequins, task trainers, clinical scenarios and standardized patients are representative of persons with varied skin color and ethnicities. 

The School of Nursing has a Diversity Task Force comprised of faculty and staff who are charged to develop and implement a plan to enhance diversity in the SSON among faculty, staff and students.  They also implement faculty and staff development sessions regarding multiple aspects of cultural sensitivity/humility/competency.    We have written grants to support diverse students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Our Diversity Recruitment/Retention advisor is dedicated to underrepresented students.

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College of Veterinary Medicine

1600 East Rollins

(573) 882-3768

Veterinarians must understand that the health and welfare of their patients depends on the understanding of their home environments and caretakers.  In turn, they must develop the ability to communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds and education levels (i.e. be culturally aware and competent). 

To this end, the CVM provides training (both didactic and through clinical rotations) in effective communication with clients.  Moreover, students may take advantage of a strong VOICE (Veterinary Students as One in Culture & Ethnicity) chapter which is a student run organization that addresses a need for socio-cultural awareness.

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For additional information on diversity efforts at the University of Missouri, see http://diversity.missouri.edu/