The faculty and staff of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Utah are committed to working together with our students and community partners to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning community. As employees at a primarily white institution serving an increasingly diverse student body, we recognize that we need to work proactively to ensure all members of our community feel welcomed and supported, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, class, ability, sex, gender or sexuality. This requires that we aspire not only to a culture of equal treatment but that we be prepared to initiate and support real change in support of equity in our educational and outreach activities.
We must speak plainly and honestly about the harm done by oppressive and destructive systems that excluded many groups from higher education in the past. We must also be prepared to confront the ongoing institutional and individual habits and systems that have continued to make institutions such as this one unwelcoming, hostile, or even dangerous to members of under-represented communities. Specifically, we acknowledge the urgent need to do more to make this a welcoming place to work or study for BIPOC, people with disabilities, first-generation students, those surviving poverty, English learners, and LGBTQ+ people.
We embrace equity as crucial to our goals of excellence in education, research and creative production. As a department we will strive to ensure the just distribution of resources, responsibilities, and opportunities amongst all members of our community, with attention to the ways in which such distribution may contribute to the ongoing work of redressing the long-term effects of historical oppression and exclusion.
We embrace diversity as a source of excellence in education, research and creative production. We recognize the existence of a great variety of differences amongst humans, and acknowledge that these differences have led to historical and current inequalities that we have a responsibility to address. We believe that embracing and learning from these differences is essential to a healthy intellectual and creative community.
We embrace inclusion as essential to our goals of excellence in education, research and creative production. We are committed to developing and supporting strategies that will encourage equity and diversity and the possibilities created by such strategies. We will do so because learning, thinking, and creating are done more effectively and joyfully when they take place in an inclusive environment.