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Organizational Diversity Analysis: Azusa Pacific University

Autor:   •  September 11, 2017  •  6,142 Words (25 Pages)  •  396 Views

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With its well-written statement and purpose, values, guidelines, and the expectation of these goals, APU has been carrying out the diversity program through all levels of the university. There are several departments with heavy involvement in the university's diversity program. The Office of Diversity, Human Resources Department, International Student Center, and Student Activity Office, they all pitch in to help with the school diversity program. The university administrators encourage and support the faculty members who integrate intercultural study and other issues into their research and classes. The Office of Diversity is the main support system to assist faculty and staff in forming diversity programs. The Human Resources Department help plan and implement trainings to staff and faculty, in areas such as cultural awareness training, etc. The Student Activities Office helps plan different missions overseas, and part of their goal is to help students participate in intercultural experiences. APU also has an International Student Center to help international students and underrepresented, Christ-centered communities at all levels of the University. The center helps local students become aware of cultural differences, and prepares them to interact in a globally-minded society. At the same time, the International Student Center shows international students the Christian aspect of love, and provides opportunities for the exchange of Christ-centered redemptive insights. Some faculty members have implemented intercultural learning on both inside and outside the classroom, through student groups or teams. There is a student group named Third Culture Club, which was formed by students raised outside the United States, or those who moved from their home country to another country.

Diversity is a huge subject at APU. Even today, there are still some questions within the school such as transgender, homosexuality, same-gender marriage, and etc. What happens when diversity issues conflict with Christian beliefs? Is the Christian belief system required to help the university employees with a diversity program? At what degree will APU allow different religions to exercise on campus? Does the Christian view of diversity fit in today’s modern world? How do schools measure diversity? I will show you with the analysis report next, as we explore deeply into the diversity of APU.

Strengths

As it was stated earlier in this paper, one of APU’s strengths is its beliefs. APU’s values are based on the Bible and written in its core. The school is putting the values in Christ and the Bible. APU strives to make all decisions after consulting scripture and with prayers.

APU has established different offices to oversee diversity in different areas in the university. The Human Resources (HR) office has one staff member that oversees trainings. Esther Attebery is the Manager of Workplace Learning and Retention within the HR office. In an interview with Esther, she explained how her position functions. Moreover, she detailed what was in her realm of attention for diversity training for staff at APU. A project that has been ongoing since 2006 is the Imago Dei training. Imago Dei stands for the Image of God. The training incorporates workshops, lectures, discussions, and personal experiences. In total, there are 16 hours of training that a staff member will attend. Eight of those hours will be spent in a classroom on campus where the workshops and lectures will take place. The other eight hours will be spent outside of the university and at the choice of the staff member as to where they would like to go. The personal experience must be a cultural experience that is different to the culture of the staff member. The goal of the personal experience is to learn about others who are different than the staff member so that they can gain more understanding and appreciate the heart of God (Office of Human Resources, 2015). The personal experiences can be anything from attending an international chapel on campus to participating in a cooking experience that relates to another culture. The teaching during Imago Dei is diversity of many things and not just race or ethnicity. The goal of Imago Dei is to increase awareness of diversity in the workplace and school environment, and realize the many benefits of accepting and working with diversity. It reflects how all human beings are made in God’s image and all deserve respect. There is a difference between equity and equality where equality is the same for everyone while equity is where everything is made fair (E. Attebery, personal communication, March 25, 2015).

Attebery (personal communication, March 25, 2015) would like to incorporate an idea she saw working at another university, Fuller Seminary, where groups of students get together throughout a semester to speak to each other about their stories. She feels that having an opportunity to speak to a coworker for an hour over a span of a semester can bring the best opportunity to grow in mutual diversity. She would like to start this for staff members at APU.

God honoring diversity takes grappling with the scripture. Tolerance is where all ideas are accepted on the table and there is a discernment on which ideas hold value. In society, tolerance is where all ideas are accepted and must be seen as valuable no matter what (E. Attebery, personal communication, March 25, 2015). This idea that tolerance is taking on a new meaning is a subject that has been making its way into debates over the last couple of years. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway writes in “Christianity Today” that there is now a “shift from accepting the existence of different views to believing that all views are equally valid,” (2012). She goes on to reference D. A. Carson, an author who wrote that Christians must prepare themselves to suffer in defense of their faith (2012). Jesus proclaimed, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you,” (New International Version, John 15:18, 19). This is where APU has been holding firm. As a Christ centered institution it must rely on its faith in Christ to keep its values and not conform. Society will continue to push this new form of tolerance and APU will hold fast.

The Office of Diversity is an area that oversees the diversity issues and training for the faculty at APU. This department is led by Executive Director Richard Martinez, Ed. D. Dr. Martinez recently held a diversity conference in Arcadia that invited leadership from APU as well as leaders from other universities. This is a two day conference that covers issues in society

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