The University 100 course is a comprehensive student success course designed to assist in the development of effective academic strategies and to promote an understanding of human diversity, values and perspectives as they relate to overall student success at ASU. The course creates opportunities for students to become knowledgeable of others and successful members of the campus community. In the course students are asked to engage in a semester-long project in which students compile a "portfolio" and write an essay addressing your own experiences in human diversity. Throughout the semester the instructor provides exercises and discussion material that addresses various aspects of becoming more aware of social and personal diversity.
Intergroup dialogues are for-credit courses that serve as a means of exploring various forms of conflict and cooperation among social groups and to explore ways to promote social justice. The dialogues are meetings between students from different social identity groups around a particular theme or issue. Program facilitators define the groups by ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, class, age and other characteristics, depending upon the chosen focus of the dialogue. Participants, numbering from ten to sixteen, meet weekly in a small-group, semi-structured discussion format. Readings, writing, and experientially based activities are incorporated to encourage dialogue and discussion of pertinent issues. Peer facilitators encourage dialogue rather than debate as a means of group understanding. Students learn that constructive conflict is possible and that through the mutual validation of opposing positions, coalitions and alliances may be formed. The pedagogy informing intergroup dialogues emphasizes the practice of active listening which assists in the recognition of common ground and/or differences that might otherwise be obscured or overlooked.
In an effort to involve faculty in diversity research on an ongoing basis, the faculty relations subcommittee of the Diversity Initiative developed the Faculty Research Forum. This Forum serves as a vehicle through which faculty may be recognized for the cutting-edge research they are conducting on diversity. The Research Forum typically features 8-10 different faculty projects that are selected through a juried application process that the faculty relations subcommittee oversees. This effort is becoming more collaborative with the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Curriculum Transformation Project and the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity.
The faculty relations sub-committee of the Diversity Initiative seeks to encourage faculty to conduct diversity-related research (particularly on their own campus) by providing funds for a course "buy-out." By providing the extra time available to a faculty member in lieu of teaching a class, faculty members will be more inclined to do research on diversity topics than they otherwise would be. As a part of this program, the recipient of the buy-out serves on the faculty relations subcommittee for the duration of their buy-out time. The Office of Human Relations Programs works collaboratively with the academic department of the faculty member selected for the course buy-out to make sure that the faculty member is supported in their diversity-research effort and that the department is able to cover the bought-out course to their satisfaction.