As Texas Christian University continues to focus on strengthening the TCU experience and campus culture, the university was recognized again with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. It’s the second consecutive year TCU has earned this designation from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, which highlights our ongoing commitment to move TCU forward in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“This award recognizes TCU’s efforts to further enhance our connection culture,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “We have made significant strides in recent years to build a comprehensive DEI strategy that aligns with our core values to create a campus culture where everyone is respected and an environment where everyone feels connected.”
This award is a measure of an institution’s commitment and achievement related to broadening campus diversity and inclusion; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
Among TCU’s actions this year was approving a resolution to adopt DEI into its core curriculum. While the core curriculum already introduced geographical and ideological aspects of distinct cultures, the new addition goes further to include diversity within the university, community or chosen discipline to build competencies as a current student and future worker.
“Navigating the complexities of our differences is not always an easy task, but TCU is committed to fostering a campus culture that fully supports cultural exchange and diversity,” Boschini said. “The adoption of DEI into the core curriculum reinforces the TCU mission: to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”
The adoption of that curriculum was only part of the task undertaken by Claire Sanders, Ph.D., TCU’s first Academic Affairs DEI advocate, appointed last summer to serve a year leading strategy with Academic Affairs. Sanders also is working to prioritize, implement and monitor DEI initiatives and outcomes in alignment with the strategic plan, Vision in Action: Lead On.
In addition, TCU has continued practices that earned it the HEED award in 2018 and is actively working to expand those efforts. These endeavors include the following:
- Hosted the Check Your Blind Spots mobile tour. The experience included 267 faculty, staff and students participating in this national effort to curb unconscious bias. Virtual reality and gaming activities worked to point out participants’ “blind spots,” or unconscious biases, in order to bring them front-of-mind. More than 200 signed a pledge of commitment to be active in combating these blind spots in their daily lives.
- Launched the DEI Award to recognize faculty and staff who, through their sustained actions, transform TCU by making a more diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment. The DEI Award is presented at Convocation.
- Dedicated recruitment at the Southern Regional Educational Board, Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, where representatives from Human Resources, the Chancellor’s Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine actively recruited Ph.D., post-doctoral and medical school candidates. This conference is one of the largest gatherings of minority doctoral scholars in the country and provides support for Ph.D. candidates’ successful introduction as faculty in post-secondary institutions.
- Held Campus Conversations on Diversity Equity and Inclusion.
- Participated in CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, Day of Understanding. The Office of Inclusion held “Exploring Blind Spots to Build Understanding,” a workshop that encourages dialogue on the impact of blind spots and implicit bias.
TCU is one of only 93 institutions in the country to receive the HEED designation.
“We’re very proud of this recognition as it signifies the positive difference we are making for our university, our students and our faculty,” Boschini said. “I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this effort.”