There’s a lot happening at Appalachian related to immigration, diversity of thought, belief and community, freedom of expression and encouraging dialogue that allows for differences of opinion, belief and values. More information on actions Appalachian has taken, framed within the context of Appalachian’s role and responsibilities as a state entity and member of the University of North Carolina System, is available here.
At Appalachian, we have a working group, which is comprised of faculty, staff and students. The individuals who make up this group are monitoring the impact government decisions are having on our campus and they are providing expertise, guidance and perspective as we teach and learn amidst uncertainty. The working group, established and charged by Chancellor Everts during the spring 2017 semester, is led by Dr. Sue Edwards, vice provost for faculty affairs.
We strive to provide support, resources and information to the members of our community who may be experiencing fear and uncertainty related to their citizenship status. Regardless of immigration status, our university will continue to dedicate resources to ensure the safety and well-being of every member of the Appalachian Community.
When it comes to providing support to individuals, this is not a public act, nor is it made public, unless it is done so by the individual, at that person’s discretion. While individuals are free to comment on their experiences to the extent that they are not violating employment or conduct policies, the university administration rarely does so. Sometimes this is because of employment policies or state or federal law, and sometimes it is a judgment call made by those who have access to more information than the rest of us have. When you work for or attend Appalachian or any other institution, you put a certain level of trust in those who manage matters of health, safety and well-being for the institution. Not everyone can and/or will know everything that takes place at every level, but this is an institution that holds as a core value support for its students, faculty and staff, and efforts to do so take place around the clock, every day. If you’re reading this, the chances are high that you’re one of the people who helps make our campus a community that cares.
Below are listed some of the more recent and upcoming initiatives specifically related to creating a culture of respect for thought, belief and community. It is by no means exhaustive. On any given day, the university events calendar is filled with excellent programming, much of it open to the public, that evokes meaningful, thoughtful dialogue.
Efforts to reduce bias and foster resiliency include:
The creation of a faculty development program for inclusive excellence through ongoing collaboration between the Center for Academic Excellence, Dr. Brandy Bryson (Program Director for Inclusive Excellence) and a core group of faculty co-ordinators.
Sustained Dialogue, a dialogue-to-action process for transforming relationships and creating informed community change, now in its second year
Programmatic events like the “Say What” summit on freedom of speech, which took place during the spring 2017 semester
The Inclusion Infusion Summer Diversity Institute, which took place in June 2017. Led by Dr. Gloria Campbell-Whatley, UNC General Administration’s Fellow for Inclusion, the event addressed topics such as micro aggressions, gender equalization, globalization, religious sensitivity, how to reduce biases, and how to craft a more effective syllabus, among other topics
Professional development workshops offered throughout the year by Center for Academic Excellence on bullying, conflict, handling criticism, effective communication and similar topics
A half-day of the orientation for new faculty dedicated to teaching how to create an inclusive classroom
A Faculty Senate-sponsored faculty-student listening session held in October 2016 in response to a chalking incident
The online bias incident reporting system found at bias.appstate.edu
Education and outreach initiatives sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance
Here’s where you can find the public statements Appalachian’s Chancellor, Dr. Sheri Everts, has made to the Appalachian Community, regarding matters related to immigration and support for our international community.
Here’s where you can find the public statements University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings has made regarding matters of immigration and the UNC System.