Departmental Atmospherics

Create Visible Diversity in your Department

As you recall, reminders of role models can serve as a powerful way to counter stereotype threat. Try to institutionalize role models in your department by:

1. Making diversity a strong commitment in hiring and graduate admissions decisions.

2. Place posters like these around your department. Get some shirts (or get some for students) and organize a day to wear them.

3. Invite speakers from underrepresented groups to visit your campus to discuss their work. If possible, arrange for students to have chances to meet with them during their visit in informal settings, like a coffee chat or lunch.

Set and Enforce Departmental Norms of Respect

A great way of signaling to students that they can thrive in philosophy is by modeling respect and professionalism in daily interactions. As a community, discourage disparaging comments about people or philosophical positions. Teach majors and graduate students how to disagree with a view in a respectful way and how to ask questions in a conference setting without being dismissive or condescending. Encourage students and faculty to act as active bystanders for each other.

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