The best learning environment — whether in the classroom, studio, laboratory or fieldwork site — is one in which all members feel respected while being productively challenged. At Washington University in St. Louis, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive atmosphere, in which all participants can contribute, explore and challenge their own ideas as well as those of others. Every participant has an active responsibility to foster a climate of intellectual stimulation, openness and respect for diverse perspectives, questions, personal backgrounds, abilities and experiences, although instructors bear primary responsibility for its maintenance.

A range of resources is available to those who perceive a learning environment as lacking inclusivity, as defined in the preceding paragraph. If possible, we encourage students to speak directly with their instructor or TA about any suggestions or concerns they have regarding a particular instructional space or situation. Alternatively, students may bring concerns to another trusted adviser or administrator (such as an academic adviser, mentor, department chair or dean). All classroom participants — including faculty, staff and students — who observe a bias incident affecting a student may also file a report (whether personally or anonymously) utilizing the online Bias Report and Support System.

Issued: July 11, 2016
Sponsor: Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost
Advisory Group: Standing Committee on Facilitating Inclusive Classrooms
Co-chairs: Rochelle Smith, Assistant Provost; Jennifer Kapczynski, Associate Professor (Sabbatical; Jan.–Dec. 2016); J. Dillon D. Brown, Associate Professor (Acting Co-Chair; Jan.–Dec. 2016)