This is being done by the school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Anyone surprised?

The Vanderbilt Hustler reports:

University holds unconscious bias trainings for high-level administrators, rolls out series of workshops for future learning

Senior leaders and administrators at Vanderbilt are pushing for extensive unconscious bias training throughout the 2019-2020 school year. Training began at an Aug. 28 workshop for senior administrators, kicking off a year-long commitment to training faculty and staff about the dangers of unconscious bias, according to Chief Diversity Officer André Churchwell. The initial training included deans, vice chancellors and senior staff, including Interim Chancellor Susan Wente.

“It was a huge, in-depth, level-setting and awareness-raising set of exercises and discussions that set the stage of what’s coming next, which is called train-the-trainer,” Churchwell said.

The train-the-trainer program aims to equip certain members of the Vanderbilt administration with the knowledge and resources they need to hold their own unconscious bias trainings across departments and schools. In October, the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion conducted a four-day training session with 16 Vanderbilt leaders, selected from the Office of the Dean of Students, faculty and Human Resources. These individuals will conduct unconscious bias training throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

“We recognize that we have a very diverse staff and student body, but we can’t deliver on the power of diversity if we aren’t inclusive,” Churchwell said. “Inclusion doesn’t occur until we have a mission to deal with our own blind spots around people who are different from us.”

Churchwell has conducted unconscious bias sessions at the Vanderbilt Medical Center for the past five years and trained 4500 staff and faculty there. In an interview with The Hustler, Churchwell discussed the process of adapting these sessions to a higher education setting.


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