In 2017, with leadership from State Representative Teresa Alonso Leon, the State of Oregon passed HB2864, requiring the University of Oregon and other Higher Education institutions in our State to report on the processes established to institutionalize cultural competency standards for employees and the institution. Fortunately, the IDEAL framework and the Diversity Action Plans provide a good foundation for the work that lies ahead. Indeed, HB2864 provides an accountability structure that invites deeper levels of personal and institutional accountability. For more information about HB2864 and the progress of our work thus far, please see the information below:
Each public institution of higher education shall establish a process for recommending, and providing oversight for the implementation of, cultural competency standards for the public institution of higher education and the institution’s employees.
The process established must:
- Include a broad range of institutional perspectives;
- Give equal weight to the perspectives of administrators, faculty members, staff and students;
- Require that the institution provide continuing training and development opportunities that foster the ability of the institution’s faculty, staff and administration to meet cultural competency standards;
- Propose institution-wide goals that seek to improve the cultural inclusion climate for students, faculty, staff and administration from diverse backgrounds;
- Require preparation of a biennial report that is presented to the appropriate board regarding the institution’s progress toward achieving the goals
- Recommend mechanisms for assessing how well the institution meets cultural competency standards; and
- Ensure that the institution clearly communicates to new faculty, staff and administrators the institution’s commitment to including meeting cultural competency standards in professional development.
As a reminder, below are President Schill’s charge, our proposed definition of and institutional goals for cultural agility and timeline.
President Schill’s Charge for HB2864 Committee:
- Develop a plan that satisfies each of the HB 2864 process requirements.
- Develop an inventory of actions we are already taking across the institution to achieve the objectives of HB 2864.
- Develop a working definition of “cultural competency”.
- Develop list of campus constituencies and solicit their views on training needs, goals and assessment mechanisms.
UO’s HB2864 Design Committee:
Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh
Proposed Definition of Cultural Agility:
“The integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into policies, practices, individual behaviors and attitudes to enhance university climate, facilitate equity in teaching, research, engagement and service to our state, professions, society and the world at large. Cultural agility focuses on an understanding of cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexuality, abilities and other diversity factors, systems of power and difference among groups, and an ethic of care that values the worth of individuals, families and communities, while protecting as well as preserving the dignity of each person.”
(Adapted from the Standards of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education [NADOHE] and the National Association of Social Workers)
Proposed Institutional Goals:
Faculty, staff, students and friends of the university shall develop an ongoing understanding of their own personal and cultural values, beliefs and biases, including the role of structural systems and oppression, as a first step in appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in the lives of the people they teach, learn, work with or serve.
Faculty, staff, students and friends of the university shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the history, traditions, values, and artistic expressions of colleagues, co-workers, students and constituent groups served and the ways in which implicit and intentional bias as well as discrimination and prejudice contribute to inequitable outcomes on our campus and beyond.
Faculty, staff, students and friends of the university shall influence, support, and encourage the creation of proactive processes to continually develop and exercise cultural agility, while also facilitating institutional dynamics that dismantle all forms of oppression, including unfair policies and practices, while providing a level playing field for every member of the campus community to reach their highest levels of potential.
Faculty, staff, students and friends of the university are encouraged to advance cultural agility beyond their departments, schools, colleges and the UO in order to challenge societal oppression and inequity, and build as well as sustain communities that are empowered with cultural knowledge, free of oppression and inclusive of diverse people, culture and ideas.
(Adapted from American Library Association, National Association of Social Workers and NADOHE)