Diversity & Inclusion Expertise Office
Leiden University has committed itself to a diversity policy that professes the aim to become an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected, and to develop their full potential. The Diversity & Inclusion Expertise Office advises faculties, institutes and programs on their approaches to diversity and inclusion, provides training programmes, guidelines, and information to staff and students, and facilitates a number of staff and student networks concerned with issues of diversity and inclusion.
The working of privilege at Leiden University
Despite these initiatives, experiences of discrimination and unwarranted arrogation of privilege continue to occur. More importantly, there is much we do not know about the working of privilege at Leiden University, about the variety of ways in which diversity policy is experienced and practiced in its different Faculties and Institutes, and about the extent to which students and staff feel safe enough, or sufficiently challenged, to develop their full potential in the (inter-) disciplinary contexts in which they study.
Students researchers’ research proposals are drawn up in consultation with D&I Expertise Office staff
CADS staff supervises MSc research on diversity and inclusion at Leiden University in collaboration with the staff of the Diversity and Inclusion Expertise Office. Researchers and their supervisors within the CADS MSc programme commit themselves to three months of full-time ethnographic research (January-March) among staff and/or students related to the diversity and inclusion policy of Leiden University. Students researchers’ research proposals are drawn up in consultation with D&I Expertise Office staff, taking account of what the latter find urgent and relevant. The results of the research are shared with D&I Expertise Office staff, even if subject to common ethical standards of ethnographic research in the protection of privacy and confidentiality.
Cumulative increase of knowledge about diversity and inclusion
Supervisors and D&I Expertise Office staff aim at a cumulative increase of knowledge about diversity and inclusion issues at Leiden University, and in university contexts in general: new projects should ideally build on research findings collected and questions refined and elaborated in the course of previous research. Earlier research projects supervised by CADS staff already include a variety of projects: experiences with diversity and inclusion in a STEM discipline Institute, experiences of diversity and discrimination among selected networks facilitated by the D&I Expertise Office, and appreciation and knowledge of decolonization efforts in university teaching in SSH disciplines.