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Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Higher Education

November 6, 2015 | Student Union, 3rd Floor

TSI 2015

Teaching Scholars Initiative (TSI) is pleased to announce its annual colloquium on excellence in teaching. This year’s theme is:

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Higher Education*

Featuring: Dr. Suzanne Burgoyne & The University of Missouri Interactive Theatre Troupe


The troupe will be performing two scripts with their "rehearsal for life" approach which allows faculty to demonstrate their strategies on stage. Learn more about their scripts "Parts of Speech" and "Identity Politics."


  • Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, language, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social  differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, country of origin, and ability status as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.
  • Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase one's awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within [and change] systems and institutions.
  • Equity (student focus): The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion.
  • Equity (employee focus): The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations of employees (faculty and staff) to have equal access to professional growth opportunities and resource networks that are capable of closing the demographic disparities in leadership roles in all spheres of institutional functioning.
  • Cultural Competence: The state of having and applying knowledge and skill in four areas: awareness of one's own cultural worldview; recognition of one's attitudes toward cultural differences; realization of different cultural practices and worldviews; and thoughtfulness in cross-cultural interaction. Over an extended period of time, individuals and organizations develop the wisdom and capability to: 1) examine critically how cultural worldviews influence perceptions of power, dominance and inequality; and 2) behave honorably within the complex dynamics of differences and commonalities among humans, groups and systems.


Mission Statement

This faculty-driven initiative serves to emphasize the interaction of scholarship with teaching in faculty members’ professional lives and creates an annual themed conference on teaching and scholarship.


In collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Teaching Scholar’s Initiative (TSI) Steering Committee plans and implements an annual OU Norman Campus conference with a keynote speaker and breakout paper sessions.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Committee shall do the following:

  • During the Spring term, the Committee will meet to decide on a theme for the Fall conference.
  • Staying within the given budget parameters for a speaker’s fee, the Committee will choose a speaker that compliments the chosen theme for that year’s conference. The speaker shall be chosen during the Spring term.
  • At the end of the Call for Papers, the Committee will review the submissions and accept or reject the proposals. They will then arrange the accepted submissions into paper sessions, typically one and a half hours long with three papers per session.
  • At the conference, Committee members will serve as moderators in the paper sessions.

Operating Procedures

The Committee shall formulate its own operating procedures, which shall include:

  • A committee chair will be elected by the committee from among the committee members. That person will become the Chair Elect for one year. Committee members will be eligible to become Chair Elect in their second year on the Committee.
  • After one year as Chair Elect, the Chair Elect shall become Chair for a term of one year and another faculty member from the committee will serve as the new Chair Elect.


The Committee shall formulate its own operating procedures, which shall include:

  • 6 faculty members will be elected by the Faculty Senate to 3-year staggered terms
  • 2 new members will start at the beginning of each academic year
  • 2 members will rotate off the committee at the end of each academic year


Chair: Susan Burke // Chair-Elect: Bruce Mason // Ex-Officio: Mark Morvant, Hong Lin

  • 2012-15: Susan Burke (School of Library & Information Studies)
  • 2012-15: John Snead (School of Library & Information Studies)
  • 2012-15: Randall Kolar (School of Civil Engineering)
  • 2012-15: Michele Eodice (Associate Provost for Academic Engagement)
  • 2013-16: Alan Shapiro (School of Meteorology)
  • 2013-16: Allison Palmer (School of Art & Art History)
  • 2014-17: Bruce Mason (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2014-17: Sandra Tarabochia (Department of English)

Note: While transitioning from a grassroots committee to an ad-hoc Faculty Senate committee, membership is moving from a volunteer basis to a structured system. The dates listed above do not necessarily reflect how many years a given member has been on the committee as many have been on for quite a few years more than this represents. However, for the purposes of visualizing the rotation of long-term members off the committee these membership terms have been assigned. Notice that four members will rotate off in 2015 to bring the number of committee members into compliance with the proposed 6 member committee structure.

TSI History

Jan. 2004: “The Lore of Teaching… Successes, War Stories, Innovations, and Scholarship”
Keynote: Dr. Paul Risser, OK Chancellor of Higher Education, “Teaching for Tomorrow in Today’s World”

Jan. 2005: “What Constitutes Good Teaching and How Do You Know It When You See It?”
Keynote: M. Susan Savage, OK Secretary of State, “Higher Education in the State of Oklahoma”

Jan. 2006: Keynote: William Bondeson, University of Missouri, “Teaching and Professing”
Plenary, Kent Johnson, OU, “Improving Teaching to Improve Learning: Instructional Development at OU”

Feb. 2007: “Academic Balancing Acts”
Keynote: Tom Boyd, OU, “Relaxing on an Academic Tightrope: Balancing Amid Disequilibrium”

Apr. 2008: Plenary, Ken Bain, Montclair State University, “What the Best College Teachers Do”
Keynote, Ken Bain, “The Promising Syllabus”

Apr. 2009: Plenary, Zach Messitte, OU Int'l Programs, “Teaching Norman from Around the World”
Keynote: Glen Johnson, OK Chancellor of Higher Ed, No Title

Feb. 2010: Plenary, Gregg Garn, OU K20, “K-20 Center Collaborations: Outreach and Impact”
Keynote: Tom Boyd, OU, “Shifting the Focus of Teaching: From Professor-Student to Subject Matter”

Oct. 2014: Building Communities of Learning for Student Success
Keynote: Steven Pollock, University of Colorado, Boulder

Key Topics

This year’s conference is dedicated to exploring issues related to inclusion in the classroom and in the university community as a whole. Potential topics for paper submissions include:

  • Promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion in the classroom and the lab
  • Helping underrepresented students succeed in different disciplines
  • Using assessment as a tool for promoting diversity instruction
  • Linking diversity and civic learning
  • Advocating inclusion in advising and in mentoring
  • Including diversity and inclusion as elements of retention and recruitment

Call for Papers

We invite submissions on the topics listed above or any topics related to the conference theme. Appropriate types of submissions include research reports, extended abstracts, case studies, and works in progress.

Faculty and staff in the University community whose work and expertise are related to the theme are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal to present as an individual, a group, or a panel. The presentation formats could be not only stand-up presentations, but also roundtable discussions, case study analysis, faculty and student panels, theater scripts, visual displays, and more.

Submission deadline: September 15, 2015

Submission Procedure: Please submit a title and a 250 word (maximum) abstract: Submission

Conference Venue

The conference will be held in the University of Oklahoma Student Union on the OU Norman campus.


Scholars Room
Opening Remarks
Sr. Vice President and Provost, Kyle Harper
Scholars Room
OU Diversity Vision
Vice President of University Community, Jabar Shumate
3rd Floor Hallway
Scholars Room
First Theater Script: Parts of Speech
3rd Floor Hallway
Scholars Room
Second Theater Script: Identity Politics
3rd Floor Hallway
Governors, Regents & Associates Rooms
Concurrent Sessions
3rd Floor Hallway
Governors, Regents & Associates Rooms
Concurrent Sessions
Governors, Regents & Associates Rooms
Closing Remarks
TSI Chair, Bruce Mason


For further information, please contact:

Dr. Bruce Mason, TSI Chair
Dr. Hong Lin, Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence