Chief Diversity Office to offer new certificate program for faculty and staff
Thursday, May 7, 2015

The University of Iowa Chief Diversity Office (CDO) is announcing a series of new initiatives to make the campus a more welcoming and inclusive environment. Beginning this fall, the CDO will offer the BUILD initiative—a non-credit bearing certificate program for faculty and staff who want to gain skills to contribute to the creation of a campus climate that supports safety and success for everyone at the university. To earn a certificate, faculty and staff must complete a series of workshops (two core courses and a minimum of five electives).

Listen to Georgina Dodge talk more about the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival and what’s next for the Chief Diversity Office in this video.

“By bringing together new and growing bodies of research, methods for bringing theory to practice, and hands-on skills, the BUILD initiative will be both challenging and enjoyable,” says Georgina Dodge, chief diversity officer and associate vice president. “We are excited to provide a vehicle for ongoing education for university employees that will contribute to personal development and career advancement while Building Community, which is the motto of the Chief Diversity Office. We are grateful to the campus partners who are contributing to our inclusion efforts; we can make the University of Iowa a welcoming space for all.”

Participants in the BUILD (Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity) initiative will learn:

  • skills for relationship and coalition-building across difference
  • how to recognize and address micro-aggressions and micro-inequities
  • strategies to reduce the impact of implicit bias in hiring, promotion, decision-making, and work culture
  • techniques for promoting authentic dialogue on diverse teams
  • methods for navigating conflict while respecting diverse opinions, backgrounds, and identities

In addition to the certificate program, the CDO plans to announce a new faculty fellowship and other initiatives intended to strengthen the university’s commitment to diversity. These are intended to serve as a successor to the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival which will be ending this fall.

“We recognize the history and important purpose this festival has served,” says Dodge, “But we now have a number of partners on campus and in the community that are putting on other diversity-related festivals and events, and helping raise cultural awareness by bringing people together. This allows us to channel our energy and resources in other ways and be a little more nuanced in what we do to advance our diversity efforts. We’re not taking a step back in our diversity efforts, but instead looking at how we can ramp things up.”

Dodge says her office will continue to provide support to the growing network of student and community events that have developed and is looking for special ways to commemorate the final Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival on Oct. 4, 2015.

“We hope that all those who have appreciated, attended, and supported the festival over the years will return this year to help us wish a fond farewell to a beloved tradition, and join us in envisioning how we can boldly step into the next 25 years as an institution that is committed to diversity and inclusion,” says Dodge.