At the University of Illinois at Springfield, the Psychology Department’s primary mission is to assist its majors in developing the knowledge, skills, and values that define psychology, academically, as a contemporary social science discipline and, professionally, as the foundation for a variety of post-baccalaureate career paths. As a department within the College of Health, Science and Technology, the Psychology faculty has a related but secondary mission, shared with all other departments within the College, to build upon and further enhance the fundamental knowledge, skills, and values of a liberal arts education among all of its students.
Statement on Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
The Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois Springfield commits to diversity, inclusion, and social justice (DISJ) in its internal practices, principles, and policies, and in its engagement with the university, the community, and the culture at large. We embrace the idea that this commitment requires ongoing effort and investment.
As a department, we define social justice as an active and collaborative commitment to promote equity and inclusion for all groups on campus and in our society. We advocate for fairness and empowerment for all individuals regardless of ethnic and social backgrounds because we believe that each individual has the right to dignity, respect, full access to life’s opportunities, and the resources to realize their full potential.
We also recognize and value the strengths and unique contributions of a diverse community because it enriches our experiences and worldviews and helps us be better global citizens. We believe that to be effective, our commitment must be grounded in a dynamic, sensitive understanding of the unique present and historical realities of various groups. Our understanding of DISJ must be active, complex, and attuned to the diverse histories and cultural contexts of various groups and individuals who have been and continue to be impacted by prejudice and discrimination in its many forms. We stand in solidarity with all groups that suffer the impacts of prejudice and discrimination, including but not limited to racism, ableism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, and homophobia.
We are taking the following steps with the intention of promoting lasting change and transformation:
- We are examining and, as necessary, updating our department’s search processes to ensure that we utilize the best practices in equitable hiring.
- We are researching, implementing, and assessing best practices for addressing diversity, inclusion, and social justice in our teaching.
- We have implemented a standard item of business at department meetings to check in on our progress toward our commitment.
We will communicate the actions and products of the DISJ committee and department at large to the campus community in a semesterly blog for ongoing discussion and accountability.
The UIS Psychology Department will:
- Develop and deliver a curriculum that reflects rigorous disciplinary goals and expectations for optimal learning outcomes;
- Foster student sensitivity to and appreciation for the usefulness of psychology in addressing real world problems;
- Set clear guidelines for ethical academic behavior;
- Establish clear performance objectives at the program and individual course levels;
- Provide variety in learning formats and experiences;
- Encourage student autonomy and active engagement in learning experiences;
- Appreciate student diversity and address relevant diversity issues within the curriculum;
- Evaluate student performance fairly and provide feedback on a regular basis;
- Review the curriculum systematically and maintain consistency with evolving professional standards and guidelines;
- Advise students effectively about institutional policies and procedures, exploration of career options, and post-baccalaureate educational possibilities; and
- Encourage student participation in program decision-making and co-curricular activities.
The governance of UIS Psychology Department is conducted in accordance with the department bylaws.