Diversity and Inclusion

University of Arkansas Philosophy Department Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The field of philosophy recognizes that cognitive and moral advancement is best served when varied perspectives are put forth by diverse people. Further, philosophy is committed to furthering social justice and to combatting racism in both its individual and systemic forms. Like other academic disciplines, however, philosophy has silenced or ignored too many voices for too long. That must change.

All faculty and staff in our Department are strongly committed to improving its diversity and inclusiveness. This diversity includes, but is not limited to: race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, life/work history, geography, and family status. We see great value in exposing underserved populations to philosophy, and we believe that we have much to gain – as teachers and researchers – from interacting with and listening to a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. More than that, we feel an ethical and democratic imperative to further such heterogeneity.

The Philosophy Department aims to create an environment in which all students feel comfortable fully participating, sharing their perspectives, and engaging with our academic community. It is our responsibility to be a welcoming and inclusive department.

Our specific commitments include:

· Careful and special consideration of diversity in our hiring, admissions, and recruitment. In addition to demographic diversity, we expect faculty/staff to help contribute to diversity through teaching and other initiatives. We will strive to improve recruitment and retention of majors/minors as well as graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

· Revising and expanding our curriculum so as to better speak to a diverse student body. This includes revisiting syllabuses for diversity (e.g., in authorship of assigned texts). We also will continue to address issues of diversity and inclusiveness in our course offerings on justice, race and gender, and speech, power and politics.

· The gathering of demographic data on majors/minors and graduate student applicants. This will be used to mark progress and discover areas for growth.

· Creating office, work, and classroom spaces that are not only non-threatening, but positively welcoming, for the diverse student body that we desire to reach.