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University of Connecticut

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
2131 Hillside Road, Unit 3088
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3088
Phone
(860) 486-4900
School Information
"The University of Connecticut is a national leader among public research universities, with more than 32,000 students seeking answers to critical questions in classrooms, labs, and the community. A culture of innovation drives this pursuit of knowledge throughout the University’s network of campuses. Connecticut’s commitment to higher education helps UConn attract students who thrive in the most competitive environments, as well as globally renowned faculty members. Our school pride is fueled by a history of success that has made us a standout in Division I athletics. UConn fosters a diverse and vibrant culture that meets the needs and seizes the opportunities of a dynamic global society." The university offers 117 undergraduate majors, 17 graduate degrees (88 research and professional areas of study), and six professional degree programs. The university enrolls over 32,300 students and employs over 2,000 faculty. (Source: https://uconn.edu/about-us/) (Source: https://uconn.edu/content/uploads/2020/01/INS-008-Fact-Sheet-011620-FY20.pdf)
General Information
UConn has not yet implemented a university-wide program of anti-racist education. However, it has recently hired professionals to train school administrators. Robin DiAngelo, author of "White Fragility" was paid $20,000 by UConn to train administrators in antiracism. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The Vergnano Institute for Inclusion (School of Engineering) at UConn is "dedicated to increasing the number of under represented students in engineering and other STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics] fields.." The Institutes programs are "designed to facilitate the outreach, recruitment, retention, and overall success of all members of the School of Engineering community."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • University contracted with Robin DiAngelo, author of "White Fragility," to train school administrators in antiracism, for a fee of $20,000. That contract was later canceled with no explanation.
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) offers a number of Diversity Awareness Training Sessions in Summer 2022. The “training seminar affords each of us the opportunity to reflect on our own actions” and is an important part of the university’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity.
  • UConn, through its "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice" webpage, offers several diversity trainings for faculty and staff including: "Diversity Awareness Training," "Implementing Equitable and Inclusive Practices," and "Search Committee Training."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The July Update on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives included, "The Neag School of Education’s Faculty Development Series this year will be structured around the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with six online sessions on topics ranging from Culturally Sustaining Practices for College Teaching to Re-Imagining Schools for Equity" and, "Another example is a new University course on Anti-Black Racism, that will be offered starting in Fall 2020, following on the success of the Spring 2020 course launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While not a required course, it garnered the largest enrollment in the history of the University, and we expect and fully encourage the entire community to repeat that embrace of this new course."
  • The Chief Diversity Officer, hired in 2020, has goals including, "Adding training that focuses on racial literacy and responsive approaches for managers and leaders."
  • As part of the requirements for the Bachelor's degree, all current undergraduate students are required to complete 6 credits of Diversity and Multiculturalism coursework.
  • The Senate Curricula and Course Committee “introduced a set of Common Curriculum Guidelines for consideration by the University Senate” which consisted of adjusting the existing requirement of Diversity and Multiculturalism coursework to become Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice coursework as the TOI-3 requirement.
Disciplinary Measures
  • UConn's Division of Student Affairs outlines its bias reporting protocols and states, "A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders."
Program and Research Funding
  • UConn's JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Research Initiative "aims to support innovative research, scholarship, and creative work in topic areas related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion." JEDI seeks to "fund projects that have the potential to make significant contributions to ongoing scholarly/scientific/artistic conversations in these vitally important domains."
  • UConn's (Hartford campus) "Research on Resilient Cities, Racism, and Equity" center seeks to "become a premier, university-wide research center that will function as a hub of activity, networking, and support for scholarship and outreach dealing with racism, equity, and other urban-related subjects at the University of Connecticut."
Resources
  • On April 13-14, 2022, a two-day conference on “Anti-Racism in Education and the Community” was held at UConn.
  • The UConn Library provides a number of resources, strategies, and sylabi on Anti-Racist Pedagogy including Resources to Use in the Classroom and Pedagogy and Whiteness. "Anti-racist pedagogy is not about simply incorporating racial content into courses, curriculum, and discipline. It is also about how one teaches, even in courses where race is not the subject matter."
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at UConn provides recommendations on “Becoming and Anti-Racist Instructor” with quotes and guidance from Ibram X Kendi.
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at UConn provides guidance on “Examining Instructor Bias” with additional resources on “Bias Awareness” and “Teaching While White.”
  • The Working Group on Structural Racism at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources is focused on “identifying and dismantling structural racism” and “fostering environments that advance racial equity, inclusion, and belonging” through four subcommittees, an Environmental and Social Justice Book Club, and a number of anti-racism resources.
  • On September 29, 2021, the UConn Foundation sponsored the #ThisIsAmerica: Critical Race Theory in Schools panel to discuss systemic racism, social justice, and critical race theory.
  • UConn's Library published a scholarly article titled titled "Twenty Years of Critical Race Theory: Looking back to Move Forward Commentary: Critical Race Theory: A Commemoration: Lead Article" by Kimberle Williams Crenshaw.
  • On December 1, 2021, The Office for Diversity and Inclusion hosted a virtual panel event titled “Attacks on Critical Race Theory: What’s it Really About and How Can Universities and Colleges be Proactive in Protecting Faculty?”
  • On October 20, 2021, the Neag School of Education at UConn published an NPR (National Public Radio) interview titled "With Outcry Over Critical Race Theory, We Hear From CT Educators, Students."
  • UConn's Office of Diversity and Inclusion produced a video titled "Racial Justice at UConn" and stated the following: "In this video, we name the pain and we name the community action we are taking to work toward racial justice at UConn. We do this because actions speak louder than words, but our words and commitments matter. Most of all, we do this because at UConn we are clear that Black Lives Matter."
  • UConn's Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers a variety of anti-racism resources including: "Black Lives Matter Meditations," "Anti-Racism Resources for White People," and "How White Parents Can Talk to Their Kids About Race."
  • UConn's University Diversity Council was established in 2016 and acts in an advisory capacity to University leadership on "issues including but not limited to student outreach and programmatic initiatives, expanding options related to diversity in the curriculum and across academic units, increased recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups amongst the students, faculty and staff, and utilizing metrics to monitor progress on diversity through analysis and assessment."
Last updated March 30th, 2024
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