Bradley University Faculty Amplify Calls For Anti-Racist Efforts On Campus

Jun 13, 2020

Hundreds of Bradley University faculty and staff have issued a statement condemning systemic racism and injustice — both on campus and in society at large.

The initiative was started by the Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Social Work. Professor Jackie Hogan, who helped draft the statement, said the initial goal was to reach out to students within the department. But quickly, she said, they started to hear from faculty and staff across the university who wanted to join.

Soon, more than 200 faculty and staff had signed on.

“Colleges and universities, we have to remember, are products of their societies,” Hogan said. “Whatever issues you see in the broader society, you’ll also see that on campus — whether it’s racism, sexism, homophobia, or more generally intolerance. Bradley is no exception.”

Hogan said the statement is meant to amplify and expand upon the message from President Stephen Standifird. Faculty identified actionable items for the university to confront white supremacy on campus. That includes doubling down on the development of anti-racist curriculum.

“We already have a really strong foundation in our programs,” she said. “African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies, Women and Gender Studies — all of these already engage in that work and have been doing so for many years. But we’d love to expand that. Pull more students into our classes.”

Hogan said they’d also like to see more diverse programming on campus, including speakers, lecturers, and performances. She said diversifying faculty, staff, and the student body needs to be a priority.

“When we look at the statistics for other universities in our region, we’re actually doing really well on scores of diversity,” she said. “If we look at the data on the College Factual website, we see that Bradley is actually doing better than institutions like ISU, SIU, Butler — and we’re well above the national average. But we still have a lot of work to do.”

The calls to action come as Bradley faces financial challenges caused by enrollment declines and COVID-19 related stress. But Hogan said that shouldn’t deter change.

“These aren’t necessarily things that are going to take a big investment in terms of dollars,” she said. “But they are things that are going to take a lot of investment in terms of will and person hours to make them happen.”

Hogan said faculty and staff, as well as President Standifird, are ready to do the work.

A spokesperson for the university said once a new diversity-focused advisory committee is up and running, the hope is that faculty who initiated will work closely with the new group and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to bring new ideas and programs to the table.

Read the full statement here.

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