University of Missouri Implements Mandatory Diversity Training

In the wake of accusations of widespread racism on the University of Missouri’s (MU) campus in Columbia, the university announced this week that it will implement mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all faculty, staff, and students.

Recent incidents on campus are said to have lead to the training’s implementation. Last month, the president of the Missouri Students Association, who is African American, said he was called the “N-word,” and more recently, an intoxicated student was removed from campus for shouting racial slurs at black students.

Several protests followed these incidents, and students called on university administration to take action. Several students also used Twitter to voice their concerns, and dissatisfaction over their not being addressed, by tweeting at Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, stating that “it is time for more than forums.”

Last week, two days after an on-campus Black Lives Matter sit-in held by students, Loftin announced the university’s decision to implement diversity and inclusion training. He called on students to live by the values of “respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence.”

Training for faculty and staff will begin immediately. Beginning in January, all incoming MU students will be required to complete the training program — which informs them of campus resources and emphasizes each student’s responsibility to be inclusive — in order to be eligible to enroll in classes, according to the announcement.

Loftin said he hopes the training will “create awareness of and address conscious and unconscious discrimination toward each other and our students.”

In addition to the training, MU is looking to hire a vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity and will expand diversity training to include any new faculty members.