Great Faculty Diversity Means a Closer Connection
Opinions / November 25, 2017
Walking around campus, you’re sure to notice how multicultural our student body is, but does the diversity translate to KPU’s faculty?
In general, it doesn’t seem like KPU’s faculty is any more or less diverse than the majority of institutions around the province. Reflecting diversity in employment is a never ending work-in-progress, so of course there’s always room for improvement, namely in regards to the representation of women, minority groups and sexual orientations and identities.
As curriculums expand to include more perspectives, there’s never been a greater need to have professors from as many different backgrounds as possible. The university can’t really call itself a place of diversity if the student body continues to become more inclusive while the range of faculty doesn’t shift at a similar pace. KPU, along with every other post-secondary institution in the country, should strive for nothing less than a reflection of Canadian society. There’s no doubt that this will make our student body more unified and confident.
In an ideal world, a student from any background should be able to see their culture represented in their instructor pool. They should feel like they’re able to relate to a professor or mentor on a cultural level. That kind of understanding helps a student feel like they belong to a community, which is what student and faculty diversity is all about—connection and community. The greater the diversity, the closer the connection.
A good place to start in terms of forming a more diverse faculty is looking at courses where the curriculum is centered on specific groups of people. For instance, an Indigenous professor teaching an Indigenous history or literature class would be able to bring something that, say, a Caucasian professor couldn’t. When a professor has not only the wealth of experience but also the richness of ancestral connection to the material, their lessons become even more powerful.
When a professor is connected to the material in that way, students often receive a greater level of understanding, and hopefully an even greater appreciation for the material. Of course, this isn’t to say that someone who isn’t Indigenous shouldn’t teach courses that revolve around that culture, but it’s about time we have a better representation of perspectives across the board. KPU thrives on its diversity, and will only become stronger if it acts on its desire to reflect the real Canadian society.