Panel discussion examines diversity in UF classrooms and curriculum

Published: February 19 2013

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A panel discussion will be held Monday to examine historical attempts to diversify the University of Florida student body, faculty and curriculum. The roundtable will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Smathers Library East, Room 1A, on the UF campus.

Organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, this panel will bring six former and current UF faculty to discuss the racial, ethnic and gendered integration of UF in the last century, and how these changes affected teaching and learning on campus. Participants will discuss the creation of programs for women’s studies, Latin American studies, African-American studies and Jewish studies, and their relationship to the changing student and faculty body at UF.

Led by a moderator, participants will discuss the relationship of the culture of a university to diversity at that institution, and curricular and student-led mechanisms to help all UF students find an understanding of their place in the world. In looking forward, this panel will discuss how racial, gender/sexual and religious exclusion at UF affected the history of the institution, and how these issues remain current in light of worsening socioeconomic issues that limit who can attend college today.

The panel will be moderated by UF professor of psychology Bonnie Moradi. Panel participants will include: Carmen Diana Deere, UF professor of food & resource economics; Harry Shaw, professor emeritus of English and former CLAS associate dean for minority affairs; Connie Shehan, professor of sociology; Meera Sitharam, professor of computer science and engineering; and Kenneth Wald, professor of political science. Their prepared remarks will be followed by a period of questions-and-answers and general discussion led by Moradi.

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act’s creation of land-grant universities, this panel is the second of five “humanizing conversations” in spring 2013 that will discuss the historical and contemporary context of student, faculty, and public life at the University of Florida.

The center invites UF faculty, staff, students, and members of the public to join in this series, which will include future discussions about academic and sexual freedom; dialogues between sciences and humanities; and the impact of market forces at UF. Speakers will address how these sensitive issues affect the daily lives of students and faculty at the University of Florida and the public of North Florida more generally, and will help members of the community come to a better understanding of how UF came to its current form and how this past shapes how it might develop in the future.

All events are free and open to all and include time afterward for questions or discussion. Refreshments will be served. For more information on these and future talks, visit


Bonnie Effros,

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories