At its Feb. 5 meeting, Lane’s Board of Education unanimously decided to require its employees to participate in a diversity-training program.
The college’s governance system must draw up the details outlining how much training staff will be required to complete, which staff members will receive the training, how often individuals would be required to train and how the college will fund the policy.
“We’ve got faculty and staff who are skilled in professional development, and I think we’re going have to ask them help us come up with a comprehensive program,” Spilde said.
Board of Education member Robert Ackerman said he was concerned that the drafting process for the upcoming procedures could be delayed by due-process hearings.
The initiative to pass a policy that would implement a diversity-education program has spanned a number of years — maybe even decades — but gained considerable steam during the past year.
Four proposals were brought before the College Council for approval in May 2013, but all four were tabled after council members failed to reach a consensus. Some members of the faculty and classified unions publicly disagreed with their leaders over the need for the policy.
In broadly circulated emails and public testimony, some employees and students described instances in which they experienced discrimination. Other employees questioned whether Lane could craft an effective policy.
Spilde said the college plans to implement some diversity education and training options this spring, with a full launch slated for Fall 2014. Classified employees, staff and students will begin discussing potential procedures by Feb. 20, Spilde said.
“I can’t say there won’t be tussles, people who aren’t happy with the speed or content — or direction,” Spilde said. “But we’re going to try and make it as inclusive as we can and develop something we can all be proud of.”
Associated Students of Lane Community College Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate Max Jensen said he’s optimistic.
“Hopefully there will be a good amount of collaboration on the procedures, on how the policy is enacted and how it will actually work,” Jensen said.