Diversity and Inclusion Are Central to Our Commitment to Excellence

In the Department of Communication, we strive to build and nurture inclusiveness, equity, and diversity as an integral part of our departmental culture and not simply as an initiative. We recognize and seek to combat the structures of discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion that continue to exist within our society and in our educational institutions. We are committed to building a community that is equitable, inclusive, and diverse, one in which all students, faculty, staff, and others feel valued and supported. We subscribe to the vision of Inclusive Illinois: “to support a diversity of worldviews, histories, and cultural knowledge across a range of social groups including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, economic class, religion, and their intersections.”

As a department, we know through experience and extensive scholarly research conducted by our own faculty that different ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds create a more productive work environment that delivers better outcomes. Our scholarly work also reveals that all people have biases in how we view others, and there is a tendency to view people we see as outgroup members less favorably than we do those we see as members of our own group. We also know that systemic racism means that the negative consequences of these biases have long-lasting effects upon certain groups more than others. Thus, we remain committed as a department to working toward reducing such biases and combating systemic forms of inequity and exclusion. We work to foster an environment where students, faculty, and staff can mindfully learn from others not like themselves. Where we fall short, we pledge to listen deeply, understand, and improve. We want our department to be a place where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

In support of these values, our department remains committed to the following:  

  • We will respect and value the human rights and dignity of all of our community members, students, faculty, and staff.
  • We will continue and build upon our commitments to inclusive hiring, recruiting, support, and retention of faculty, staff, and students.
  • We will promote undergraduate and graduate curricula and pedagogical practices that reflect and are designed for the diverse experiences of our students.
  • We expect each faculty member, student, and staff member of our department to help further each of these commitments.  Even if there is an individual or committee tasked with focusing on inclusion, no individual or departmental committee is solely responsible for building and nurturing department culture. The responsibility falls on all of us, all of the time.