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Vanderbilt University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
2305 West End Ave
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Phone
(615) 322-7311
School Information
"Founded in 1873 with a $1 million gift from 'Commodore' Cornelius Vanderbilt to establish an institution that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country,” today Vanderbilt University is globally renowned for its transformative education and research. The university's 10 schools reside on a parklike campus set in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, providing a collaborative culture that empowers leaders of tomorrow." The university enrolls over 13,500 students, has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1, and has over 70 undergraduate majors. (Source: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/about/facts/) (Source: https://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/profile/index.php#fastfacts) (Source: https://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/major/)
General Information
Vanderbilt University has taken multiple steps towards "equity". One such step was symbolic in nature. The School of Nursing added an anti-racism language to its official diversity and inclusion position statement. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Center for Teaching (CFT) has created a suggested curriculum for other colleges to incorporate social justice issues and "difficult discussions" into their classrooms: "For most teachers, leading classroom discussion on difficult topics is a perennial challenge. Part of the challenge lies in the fact that we never fully know which issues will be “hot buttons” for our students. Conversations can become heated very quickly, and before long, it can feel like the class is careening out of control. This guide seeks to help teachers feel more confident leading difficult dialogues by encouraging reflection on how such discussions connect with larger learning goals, and by providing specific strategies and resources that teachers can use to create more productive conversations in their classrooms."
  • The Center for Teaching (CFT) has created a guide for developing and writing a diversity statement: What is a diversity statement, and what purpose does it serve? Increasingly, institutions of higher education are becoming more intentional and programmatic about their efforts to embrace principles of inclusion, equity, justice, and diversity throughout campus life. As they do so, they are more focused on finding faculty who have experiences and competencies that can contribute to these efforts. Consequently, universities and colleges frequently are requesting that job applicants address how they can contribute to a culture of inclusion and equity within the campus community in the form of a “diversity statement.”
  • Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and care where every community member feels supported and experiences a strong sense of belonging. As part of this commitment, university leaders are actively working to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias, along with implementing new educational opportunities for community members to meaningfully engage with this issue.
  • The Student Center for Social Justice and Identity “offers a variety of interactive training and workshop sessions to help Vanderbilt students, student groups, and student organizations unlearn and disrupt stereotypes and biases, and challenge inequity on campus and in their broader community.” Trainings include Microaggressions, unconscious bias, The Impact of Power and Privilege,Decolonization, and Ally and Accomplice.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the Bachelor's degree requirements, all students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to complete 1 course in the Perspectives category, which “gives significant attention to individual and cultural diversity.”
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • On February 2, 2022, Vanderbilt University professor, Gilman W. Whiting, called parents ``ignorant racists” for opposing Critical Race Theory by tweeting that “ignorant racist are worried about scarring their kids with CRT.” Whiting holds three positions at the university as Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, the Director of the Scholar Identity Institute, and the Director of Graduate Studies for African American and Diaspora Studies.
Resources
  • The Vanderbilt Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion promotes environments that are “affirming, welcoming, equitable, inclusive, and diverse.”
  • On April 21, 2022, Vanderbilt Law School concluded with the final Dean’s Lecture Series on Race and Discrimination with a lecure on “Implicit Bias, Structurel Bias and Implications for Law and Policy” by Associate CA Justice Goldwin H. Liu.
Symbolic Actions
  • The School of Nursing added an anti-racism language to its official diversity and inclusion position statement.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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