LTE: UK instructors need diversity

UK invites students to “See Diversity,” a play on words, aligned with the popular “See Blue” rhetoric.

And as I look around the classroom, I begin to see a vibrant student population of all races, creeds, religions, cultures and sexualities.

I see a university that is attempting to mold an environment that provides ample opportunity for students to learn and mature through each other.

We should be appreciative of this diversified student body – and the interactions that organically occur as a result – as it mimics life after graduation.

But when I look toward the front of the classroom, where the pillar of education stands and teaches, I struggle to see diversity.

In fact, within my four years as a UK student, only five of my educators have been non-white.

Now, recognize that three of those five instructors were Hispanic teaching Spanish courses, and it becomes evident that the instructors at this university – those who guide our increasingly pricey education – fail to emulate diversity.

If quality of education still resides as the main priority, how do we neglect the obvious advantages of diversity?

A diverse faculty would benefit minority students by generating greater engagement in the classroom, provide necessary role models, and often times a sense of belonging.

Minority students find security knowing the leader of their classroom understands their culture. More importantly, advantages of a diverse faculty are not limited to only minority students.

Research shows that a diverse faculty benefits students of all backgrounds.

A report by the National Education Association in 2014 declares, “a teaching force that represents the nation’s racial, ethnic, and linguistic cultures and effectively incorporates this background and knowledge to enhance students’ academic achievement is advantageous to the academic performance of students of all backgrounds.”

A diverse faculty spontaneously promotes diverse teaching methods and approaches toward educational content, likely improving the overall educational welfare for all students.

I love being a Wildcat and I am continually astonished by our improvements as an institution.

However, the university could make greater efforts in fostering a faculty that more so mirrors its student population. It’s our responsibility, as students, to call for progressive change within our university.

In honor of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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