Critical Race Training in Education

Southern Utah University

Undergraduate

Mailing Address
351 W University Blvd
Cedar City, Utah 84720
Phone
(435) 586-7700
Email address
info@suu.edu
School Information
Southern Utah University is a caring campus community where students come to explore their interests and prepare for meaningful careers and life experiences. With more than 140 undergraduate programs* and 21 graduate and certificate programs across six academic colleges, SUU proudly offers world-class, project-based learning opportunities where students gain professional experience before entering the job market. Located in the world’s best backyard, SUU is the University of the Parks thanks to its close proximity to several outdoor recreational areas and its educational partnerships with the National Park Service. SUU’s safe, residential campus allows students (more than 10,000) to create lifelong friendships along with once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures in conjunction with innovative academic endeavors. *23 associate degrees, 102 bachelor's degrees and 15 undergraduate certificates.
General Information
Southern Utah University (SUU) has not yet implemented mandatory CRT training for students. However, the university has embraced Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as a framework for its future direction. As a member of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), SUU is subject to the USHE Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion standards: "The Utah Board of Higher Education is committed to working alongside all 16 public colleges and universities to intervene in widening opportunity gaps for underserved and underrepresented students. As we move forward in this important work, we will continue reviewing and revising all institutional policies and procedures that create structural barriers to student, faculty, and staff success. The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Workgroup is a standing workgroup to the Board of Higher Education. Its purpose is to foster collaboration and coordination among Board and System leadership and to cultivate and integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion awareness, transparency, and progress throughout the Utah System of Higher Education." (source: https://ushe.edu/initiatives/edi/) SUU has published the USHE Equity Lens Framework document on its website: "Utah System of Higher Education Equity Lens Framework. An equity lens framework is a tool comprised of shared beliefs, common definitions, and critical questions through which an organization commits to continually evaluating any existing or new strategy, policy, or initiative. The beliefs and definitions ensure the organization begins from a common understanding and sets the groundwork for clear accountability, allowing all efforts to be focused on closing opportunity gaps for marginalized populations. Underlying this framework is how data is collected and synthesized to impact policy and systemic change. USHE Equity Lens Framework. To guide the Utah Board of Higher Education in their implementation of strategies and initiatives, policymaking, and more, the Board must ask itself the following questions that make up the Equity Lens. These questions will guide state education leaders through the decision-making process to ultimately take action in essential areas." (source: https://www.suu.edu/strategicplan/pdf/ushe-equity-lens-framework.pdf) This indicates more action may be expected in the future. See below for developments.

Critical Race Training Activity

  • Symbolic Actions

    The Center for Diversity and Inclusion defines equity: The proportional distribution of desirable outcomes across groups. See the full glossary at this link.

  • Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism

    The Center for Diversity and Inclusion provides an anti-racist resource guide that includes instructions on how to protest and which organizations (BLM, etc) students can join. The full resource guide includes much more.

  • Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism

    The resource guide defines systemic racism vs. individual racism: " Racism describes a system of power and oppression/advantage and disadvantage based on race. Structural racism is a system, or series of systems, in which institutional practices, laws, policies, social- cultural standards, and socio-political decisions establish and reinforce norms that perpetuate racial group inequities. Within the context of the United State of America, and other nations, structural racism takes the form of white supremacy; the preferential treatment, privilege, power, access, networks, and access to opportunities available to white people, which often designate communities of color to chronic adverse outcomes. Individual racism refers to a person’s racist assumptions, beliefs, or behaviors. Individual racism stems from conscious and unconscious bias and is reinforced by structural racism. Please visit the list of books, videos, movies, and TV shows within this guide to learn more about how racism functions and affects all of our day-to-day lives."

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    Students must complete the English, mathematics, and Integrated Learning coursework before they have earned 60 credit hours at SUU. While not required, students are urged to also complete the American Institutions requirement within their first 60 credits. American Institutions educational outcomes include: "(4) Diversity–engage a diversity of viewpoints in a constructive manner that contributes to a dialogue about the history, principles, form of government, and economic system of the United States."

  • Resources

    USHE Equity Lens Framework document.

  • Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training

    The Office of Equity & Inclusion offers several training opportunities.

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    The DEI Strategic Plan, adopted in 2019, includes this goal: "nsure commitment to diversity at every level of the University through the development and implementation of a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan by each academic and administrative department and division. DEI Plans will include detailed initiatives and hiring plans. Plans will be submitted to the Office of Equity and Inclusion."

  • Disciplinary Measures

    The Behavioral Intervention Team is charged with: "Receiving and investigating reports of Threatening, Concerning or Bias Related Behavior; Analyzing those reports to determine whether an individual is a danger to themselves or the SUU Community; Intervening and reducing the danger that individuals pose to themselves or the SUU Community; Documenting the reports it receives and its outcomes/results; and Meeting Regularly.

  • Re-Imagining Policing

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: In May 2020, Dr. Schvalla Rivera, Chief Diversity Officer for the University, took employment at another institution. In considering the replacement process for this position, particularly against the backdrop of national and local protests related to the death of George Floyd and others, the President’s Cabinet unanimously agreed to solicit input from a wide range of constituent groups prior to re-opening the position. This input gathering process has included: Meeting and participating with local protestors; Meeting with campus and community law enforcement; Meeting with student groups, including the leadership of the Black Student Union; Meeting with the leadership of the Faculty Senate and Staff Association, as well as other members of the President’s Council; and Establishment of a campus-wide task force for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The new task force was chaired by Head Football Coach DeMario Warren, the first African-American head football coach at the Division I level in the state of Utah. Membership on the task force represented a broad campus constituency and was determined by a process of discussion and nomination. The task force began the process of collecting data from the campus about the environment for underrepresented communities and the desired role and expectations for the Chief Diversity Officer. The committee made its recommendations to the University Strategic Planning Committee on November 30, 2020. (p36)

  • Admissions Policies

    SUU publishes a 31 page guide on inclusive recruiting.

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    The General Education Committee is considering adding a requirement for Cultural Competency training for degrees and in individual courses.

  • Resources

    Office of Equity & Inclusion: SUU is committed to fostering an inclusive community of lifelong learners. We encourage our community members to make observations and inquires through an intersectional lens. We celebrate diverse approaches and points of view. We believe diversity makes us stronger, more innovative, and better prepared to compete in a global society. We provide education and programming opportunities that promote understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion. We respect the rights of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, veteran status, immigration status, gender identity or gender expression.

Last updated May 28th, 2021