Learn how to anticipate and appropriately handle diversity and inclusion related campus incidents.
Contentious campus incidents (such as student protests, sit-ins, hate speech, and bias incidents) often necessitate a strategic, comprehensive, and proactive response from campus leaders. An ill-prepared response can cause confusion and anxiety, or even further perpetuate a lack of commitment in addressing the underlying needs of students – particularly those who are minoritized or lack campus advocacy and support. However, utilizing a proactive and appropriate tone when incidents — whether harmful or benign — occur can build a collaborative and open campus culture.
Join us for this comprehensive training, designed to provide leaders with a hands-on protocol development process to realistically anticipate and strategically plan for a variety of large-scale incidents that may disrupt everyday campus operations. Through a highly interactive agenda, you will take part in activities and simulations to help you adequately prepare for and practice real-life campus scenarios. Our diverse speaker panel of senior professionals will help you get a comprehensive perspective on how to:
- Understand and assess your campus landscape
- Manage student protests and sit-ins
- Appropriately handle free speech and hate speech incidents
- Mitigate and resolve bias incidents
- Assemble and audit your core response team
You will leave this conference more confident to strategically forecast, prepare for, and successfully handle a wide variety of difficult, DEI-related campus scenarios, while demonstrating a thoughtful commitment to the issues at hand.
Simulation and Discussion: Student Protest, Campus Sit-In, and Controversial Speaker Response Protocol
During this interactive session, you will be assigned one of three possible scenarios: student protest, campus sit-in, or controversial campus speaker. In small teams, you will begin working on your response strategy and will be presented with additional facts for each scenario that may require some adjustment to your strategy. Participants will receive a protocol guide that they can use to plan for when these types of situations surface on campus. We will also use this time to debrief the simulation and discuss some of the challenges, new strategies, or lessons they learned. Our expert speakers will provide their own observations and reactions to each group’s approach to their assigned scenario.
Who Should Attend
This conference is designed for those who work closely with diversity, equity, and inclusion matters and are looking for a comprehensive, real-time response strategy to manage and lead through controversial student issues related to diversity and inclusion affairs.
Diversity professionals, vice presidents of student affairs, academic leaders, faculty, deans of students, and public relations or marketing professionals are among those who will benefit from the content of this program.
Bring your team and save!
Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, access to the networking reception on Wednesday, breakfast and lunch on Thursday, and breakfast on Friday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.
1:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Our expert speakers will provide the foundational and historical context that outlines how higher ed institutions have moved from perpetuating resistance that oppresses minority groups to fostering inclusive and positive change. You will be able to critically reflect on this historic-to-present-day timeline while identifying at least one or more incidents on your own campus that may require a strategic university response.
Subtle signs from student groups, social media chatter, or increased participation in student organization efforts could all be examples of “red flags,” alerting campus leaders that an event may turn into a potentially large-scale incident that draws campus-wide attention. In this session, you will be presented with a list of guiding questions to consider when determining what issues might be surfacing on your campus that may cause future concern. Participants will be able to assess their current campus landscape and begin to identify early intervention strategies.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have a drink on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, which means you will have the opportunity to meet your peers and our speakers face-to-face.
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Our expert speakers will present in-depth case studies on their own experiences about managing student protests and/or sit-ins in partnership with campus leadership. Details including the root of the issue, how it evolved, how it was responded to and managed, the campus’ reaction to the response, and what the aftermath looked like will be reviewed and discussed. You will have the opportunity to learn from these scenarios and create a short list of best practices and lessons that you’ve learned that you can apply to your own campus.
Controversial campus speakers, attempts to oppress free speech, or hate speech are just some examples of contentious issues that campus leaders may face when individuals or groups of students activate and demand opposition or resistance. You will discuss tensions that may cause strains in communication channels and explore new ways to facilitate meaningful cross-cultural dialogue amidst these difficult moments.
In small groups, you will be assigned one of three possible scenarios: student protest, campus sit-in, or controversial campus speaker. You will work on your response strategy and will be presented with additional facts for each scenario that may require some adjustment to your strategy. The simulation will compel participants to think about the following: who the core response team members will be, what audiences need to be addressed and through what communication channels, what talking points need to be covered, identifying support networks and policy enforcement considerations. You will receive a protocol guide that you can use to plan and strategize when these types of situations surface on campus. We will also use this time to debrief the simulation and discuss some of the challenges, new strategies, or lessons they learned. Our expert speakers will provide their own observations and reactions to each group’s approach to their assigned scenario.
Bias or hate incidents intend to target or marginalize people based on their social, political, racial, gender, or religious identities. When these events occur, feelings of confusion, hurt, and frustration often perpetuate throughout campus. We will discuss strategies on how to a) recognize a bias incident, b) coordinate efforts for the core response team, c) review considerations when developing a response, d) execute the plan, and e) restore and repair harm inflicted on the campus community.
Small groups will be designated and each group will be presented with a bias incident case study. Each group will serve as external consultants and assist their institution (in the case study) with a design and plan to help their campus recover from the bias incident. You will discuss the following key considerations when proposing their plan: who makes up the core response team, what are the top priorities that need to be addressed, what will the communication strategy be, and what kind of efforts will restore harm inflicted on the campus community.
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Knowing who to adequately prepare and train as a member of your core response team is one of the most critical parts of implementing and executing the appropriate protocol. Using the previously discussed campus scenarios, you will examine key considerations when determining who should serve on the core response team. You will be able to identify at least 3-5 key members of the core response team who will take the lead in responding to these types of incidents on campus.
You will review one of your own campus scenarios and facilitate an audit of members involved in devising and executing the campus response. You will then examine: who was involved, why were they selected, and what training, resources, or tools were at their disposal? Were they effective – why or why not? Was anyone missing? This information will help you make decisions when assembling the ideal core response team.
Dr. Gail Baker
Vice President and Provost, University of San Diego
Dr. Gail F. Baker is USD's chief academic officer and works closely with President James T. Harris III and the university's academic deans. Prior to joining USD in 2017, Dr. Baker was dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Dr. Frank Shushok
Senior Associate Vice President, Virginia Tech
Frank leads Virginia Tech’s largest auxiliary enterprise with an operating budget well over $100 million. He provides leadership for the many departments across campus and plays a role in Virginia Tech’s Title IX efforts and cares deeply about eradicating sexual violence from college campuses.
Dr. Katrina Rodriguez
Vice President of Campus Community and Climate, University of Northern Colorado
Dr. Katrina Rodriguez leads the climate, inclusion, equity, and community building initiatives at the University of Northern Colorado. In her role, Katrina partners with students, staff, and faculty to identify and implement strategic initiatives to build and support a healthy and inclusive university community.
Learn how to anticipate and appropriately handle diversity and inclusion related campus incidents.
Team Discounts Available
- 1-2 registrations: full price
- 3-4 registrations: 15% off each conference registration
- 5-7 registrations: 20% off each conference registration
- 8 + registrations: 25% off each conference registration
Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.
Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.
Questions About the Event?
Senior Program Manager, Academic Impressions