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Sam Houston State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1905 University Ave
Huntsville, Texas 77340
(936) 294-1112
Email address
School Information
Named for Sam Houston, Texas’ greatest hero, SHSU continually strives to honor its historical roots through academic excellence that includes exceptional teaching from faculty members who care as much about their students’ success as they do about furthering the knowledge of their fields. While embracing its legacy, SHSU also strives to meet the needs of contemporary students, both traditional and online. With over 20 bachelor’s and graduate degrees available entirely online, and more in development each semester, SHSU Online is quickly becoming one of the best online universities in Texas.
General Information
Sam Houston State University has taken steps to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into its university functions. It established the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion to oversee these efforts. The Office provides a glossary of definitions for DEI-related words; It performs optional DEI certification trainings; It has sponsored multiple events on behalf of the university in support of anti-racism and critical race theory. The Office and library offer extensive anti-racist resources including books and articles. One category on the library’s website emphasizes rebellion against police and police abolition. SHSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine has advocated for anti-racism and health equity in its medical practices. One class explicitly teaches critical race theory. See below for more developments:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • As part of its diversity statement, SHSU states that it "strives to remove institutional barriers to recruit and retain a diverse university community with intersectional perspectives."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion offers optional trainings including "Evolution of Diversity and Inclusion," "Unconscious and Everyday Bias," and "Inclusive Hiring and Recruitment Practices." Faculty and staff can earn a "DEI certification."
Program and Research Funding
  • In February of 2023, SHSU's Eighteen-Century Fiction department and the NASSR 2023 Conference Committee sponsored the "Romanticism and Anti-Racist Pedagogy Contest" which aimed to "encourage innovative approaches to teaching and to create conversations around anti-racist pedagogy in the field of Romanticism." Winners would receive a $500 prize.
  • SHSU offers "Pipeline Programs" which aim to increase and promote underrepresented students into the field of medicine.
  • The SHSU Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted an event called "How to be an Antiracist." This event "focused on the themes and topics of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's book, "How to Be an Antiracist." Two leading scholars from UT-Austin and UMass-Amherst discusses "the field of critical race theory" and "the elimination of structural racism in contemporary society."
  • The SHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted an event called "Health Conversations - Achieving Health Equity: The Case (and tools) for anti-racism."
  • "Doctoral students in the Education Leadership program recently recently released an 11-part podcast mini-series focused on building antiracist colleges and universities." This program was required by Paul Eaton, assistant professor of Higher Education Leadership. Eaton expressed hope that we will "enact the policy and practice changes that are desperately needed to make our institutions anti-racist."
  • SHSU created the "Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion" to oversee events, trainings, resources, newsletters, certifications, reporting, and discrimination policy.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion provides an "Inclusive Glossary" of DEI-based words. "Anti-Racist" is defined as "A person who identifies and challenges the values, structures and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism." "Assimilation" is defined as "The process by which one group takes on the cultural and other traits of a larger group; usually refers to the forced acculturation of a marginalized group by the dominant or White group." "Color Blind(ness)" is defined as "The racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. The term “colorblind” de‐emphasizes, or ignores, race and ethnicity, a large part of one’s identity." "Reverse Racism" is defined as "Perceived discrimination against a dominant group or political majority. Commonly used by opponents to affirmative action who believe that these policies are causing members of traditionally dominant groups to be discriminated against."
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion recommends DEI books. A few of these books include "Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness," "Everyday Anti Racism: Getting Real About Race in School," and "Color Blind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity."
  • The Newton Gresham Library provides links to articles, videos, and other external sources about race. One category is the "Anti-Racism Toolkit." The library also offers a reading list titled "Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness."
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion has sponsored events such as a "DEI Scavenger Hunt," "Foundations in Diversity and Inclusion," "Unconscious Bias," "Equity vs Equality," and "Developing and Implementing Inclusive Practices."
  • "PHIL 4377: Philosophy of Race" explicitly studies "critical race theory" and advocating "social justice."
Symbolic Actions
  • SHSU states: "True diversity is not only described as differences in individual backgrounds, personal identities, political affiliations, intellectual approaches and demographics. It is rooted also in the removal of barriers for marginalized groups and in the creation of spaces and opportunities that allow individuals to engage in the full of the University."
  • "Sam Houston State University is committed to promoting a campus culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. This is accomplished through proactive assessment of policies and operational strategies, as well as program implementation that strives to remove institutional barriers to recruit and retain a diverse university community with intersectional perspectives. Furthermore, the University acknowledges and values our responsibility to cultivate an equitable and inclusive environment where students, faculty, staff, and community recognize the benefits of collaboration and mutual respect through diverse identities and experiences."
  • President Dana G. Hoyt characterized "racism, hate and injustice" as an "even more insidious disease" than COVID-19, in a letter to students following the death of George Floyd. She adds, "By acknowledging these systemic issues, we can begin to heal this divide and build a better future for us all." Hoyt labeled racist "attitudes and biases as "still very prevalent in today's social fabric."
Last updated January 8th, 2024
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