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A Reckoning on Race for Higher Education:  Next Steps and Legal Considerations for Campuses 

2 Presentations 0 Sections


Set against the context of protests across the country this summer and a return to campus in the fall, whether in-person or virtual, this mini-workshop will examine various aspects of race in higher education and on campus, together with the relevant legal issues. The half-day workshop will consider changes that today’s students and other groups aspire to bring about in the nation’s colleges and universities, while addressing the ever-present legal requirements and leadership challenges that higher education counsel are called to advise on as they traverse this terrain.

Part 1 of this mini-workshop will explore legal and operational issues in creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive learning and living environments on campus, with a particular focus on responses to on-campus and online bias incidents and hate speech as well as institutional relationships with campus and local police.

Part 2 of this mini-workshop will address campus mission and priorities relative to faculty, staff, and curriculum, including fundamental tenets of recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse faculty and staff, the demographics of tenure and strategies for addressing racial disparities in the tenure pipeline, and calls to better align university curriculum with an institution’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Part 3 of the workshop will afford participants the opportunity to actively engage in one of five concurrent discussion groups on (1) Protests and Police, (2) Race-Neutral Strategies for Employment/Faculty Diversity (3) Bias-Incident Reporting and Response, (4) Race-Based Scholarships, Groups, and Programs, and (5) Controversial Monuments and Building Names.

Presenters will address counsel’s role in helping institutions achieve their missions and model their values, and weigh meaningful alternatives to address concerns while at the same time complying with the strictures of the law.


Who Should Attend?
This program is at the intermediate-advanced level. Presenters presume attendees have some familiarity and experience with higher education discrimination law. The workshop is directed to college and university counsel with responsibility for equity and discrimination law matters in student affairs, faculty affairs, and employment. Counsel may also wish to invite administrators with significant responsibilities for oversight of equity, diversity, and inclusivity programs, student affairs, and public safety.