LSU College of Art & Design Commits to Inclusion & Equity
We are a community that nurtures creativity, innovation, and expression. We believe that our world is made better by embracing and celebrating our differences. To honor our differences, we must share a liberating commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our conversations, our practices, and in all aspects of the college.
As visual learners, we understand the importance of representation and thus, dedicate ourselves to the recruitment and retention of students and faculty from historically underrepresented groups. To encourage a more diverse group of incoming students, we will actively pursue connections to local and national underrepresented communities through direct outreach, social media, and LSU alumni networks. To ensure greater representation of underrepresented groups within our faculty, we will advertise our postings in a broad range of sites, ask all incoming applicants for a statement of diversity, and ensure that our search committees include a trained diversity advocate. To encourage transparency, we believe our college website must reflect our commitment to diversity by including this statement and information on our ongoing efforts to foster diversity, equity and inclusion principles.
As spatial thinkers, we recognize that in order to flourish, people must be given safe spaces to question, challenge, and evolve. Creating room to grow means looking critically at the foundations of our pedagogical practices, from the ways we organize our studios to our course offerings. Our goal is to integrate and to create new pathways in our classrooms where our students continually learn about diversity and inclusion throughout their entire education. As designers, we acknowledge our disciplines’ roles in systems of oppression and commit ourselves to developing more awareness so that we may work together to foster more just spaces for all. As educators, we understand that learning is an ongoing process, and thus embrace annual diversity training for all faculty, students, and staff to make each of us more informed participants. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our goal to create a learning and working environment that fosters the best in our students, faculty, staff, and administration.
As a college, we recognize that where we want to be may not always reflect where we have been. We acknowledge the injustices faced by members of underrepresented communities, and we strive to support them through our words and deeds to create a more just and equitable future for all. To do so, we must challenge assumptions. We must be better listeners, so that when we do speak, we ensure we speak for all regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, religious affiliation, age, and ability. We must create welcoming and safe spaces for all to voice their truths. We must especially support our students, meet them where they are, and remind them that each of them has a valued contribution to make to our college and to the world.
Commitment to Change
- 33.7% of the LSU College of Art & Design’s student body is comprised of students from historically underrepresented groups.
- In 2020 the College of Art & Design Diversity Committee was activated. The committee is made up of faculty, staff, and students.
- In 2019 the college hired its first Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Diversity
- In 2020 a mural to honor the university’s first African American professor, Julian T. White, was installed in the Design Building atrium.
- Though only 6.7% of the college faculty are from historically underrepresented groups, with new hiring policies in place to foster greater representation, we are striving to increase that percentage.