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CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity
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CNU Ad Hoc Study Committee: Religious Tolerance and Diversity

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  • 1. PresentedApril 20, 2012
  • 2. Committee members: Hussam Timani- Associate Professor, Religious Studies Graham Schweig- Professor, Religious Studies Roberta Rosenberg- Professor, English Pamela Pringle- Instructor, Luter Mario Mazzarella- Professor, History Stephanie Bardwell- Associate Professor, Luter; Senate VP, ChairImportant Facilitators in Actions Undertaken: Deb Moore- Invaluable Survey assistance Bill Brauer- Other campus contacts Cindi Perry- Liaison and communication aid Bill Connell- Website notice for our Meeting dates and times 2
  • 3. 1. Executive Summary of Report2. Charge to Committee3. Practices and Processes of AHSCRTD4. Creation & Administration of Survey5. Survey Findings6. Other Campus Practices7. Recommendations of the Committee on Several Key Principles & Topics 3
  • 4. Committee concept: Getting Started Week 2011Multiple Issues: Religious and non-religious perspectives, anti and pro religious viewpoints, on campus chapel, university practices at ceremonies, et alCharge to the Committee by Senate President Practices and Processes of AHSCRTD Creation & Administration of Survey 4
  • 5. “Charge: Given the building of the CNU chapel, the committee will study religious diversity on campus and student attitudes towards religious tolerance in order to understand the ways that CNUs present state of religious engagement enforces or challenges CNUs liberal arts mission. The committee will present a report to the Faculty Senate by the end of the 2011-12 academic year.” 5
  • 6. Open forumAdvance notice of all meetings on Faculty Senate websiteMet at least once each month August-April between 4-6PM Wednesdays in BTC [ enjoyed readily available parking convenience]Others who attended all or part of our meetings included: campus ministers[6], former and current students [2], other faculty [1]Free exchange of ideasCollaborative TasksConsensus on Actions & Outcomes 6
  • 7. Survey of Faculty, Administrators, Students and Staff was initial goal. AHSCRTD asked for input on creating survey questions from CM; the AHSCRTD wrote an original survey.Obtained Faculty list and permission to administer survey to faculty.“Wait-listed” on all others; reasons included: survey fatigue, difficulty to obtain contact info on staff, timing, etc. 7
  • 8. Survey Purpose states: “This part of the survey was commissioned by the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Study Committee on Religious Tolerance and Diversity [AHSCRTD] to inquire about the attitudes of the CNU community upon issues related to religious tolerance, diversity, our forthcoming university Chapel and to request suggestions and comments from our community about these topics. This survey was created as an opportunity for expression as well as to gather anecdotal data about these important issues....” 8
  • 9. Statement of Purpose continued... “...All responses will be treated as confidential information and reported in aggregate form only. Members of the study committee will include the results of this survey in a report expected to be published to the Senate in late April 2012 or early May 2012 and results will be available on the Faculty Senate webpage...” 9
  • 10. AHSCRTD created 7 SURVEY statements each permitting a Likert scale response ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.There were 7 discrete options along the Likert scale, including a central option “Neither Agree nor Disagree” as a proxy for the Neutral response.Each of these 7 SURVEY statements also permitted a comment to be written by the respondent.ALSO- 5 purely open-ended questions were posed inviting commentary. 10
  • 11. Survey was formatted into Qualtrics software working with Deb Moore and was electronically tested by committee; it was edited again for improved clarity.Potential respondents were re-evaluated; Staff, Students and Administrator permissions were deferred or temporarily denied. Full faculty access was obtained and the survey [combined with 2 others] was emailed out. 11
  • 12.  Survey was sent out via email using Qualtrics software to all faculty* in UAEC database. Population [393] of faculty Respondents [166] by faculty Rate of response [~42%] Open dates: January 25-February 8, 2012 Bundled with two other surveys; one also commissioned by the Faculty Senate, the other created by another unrelated group.*Note: Includes adjuncts 12
  • 13. Responses to Initial 7 Statements follow in seven slides. Pie charts ID the item, depict n value, state the mean and note Standard Deviation.Pie chart color scheme key: Gradient shades of BLUE for Strongly Agree, Agree and Somewhat Agree values. Grey depicts neutral response. Gradient shades of RED for Strongly Disagree, Disagree and Somewhat Disagree values. 13
  • 14. Statement #1. The campus community is comfortable with the degree of religious diversity on campus Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 14
  • 15. Statement #2. CNU encourages sensitivity to religious practices andholidays [holy days] of various religions and understanding diversity Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 15
  • 16. Statement # 3. There should be a gathering place or dedicated space for ministers and chaplains Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 16
  • 17. Statement # 4. The CNU campus community treats all religious traditions equally Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 17
  • 18. Statement #5. I am comfortable with a chapel being housed on a state university campus Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 18
  • 19. Statement # 6. I am concerned about religious references inbenedictions, invocations or in the selection process of the religious representative at significant university events (ex. Graduation, Honor Code invocation) Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 19
  • 20. Statement # 7. The Chapel can be of service to the CNU community and be well integrated into our University mission Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neutral Somewhat Disagree Disagree Stongly Disagree 20
  • 21. QUESTION # 1: “The campus community is comfortable with thedegree of religious diversity on campus.” CommentsPositive or offers “The campus diversity mirrors religious diversity of this area 2 of the state”positive view orobservationNon-committal “I’m reluctant to speak for anyone else” 5Critical or offers “Very strong Christian focus that can disenfranchise 12 students of other religions”negative criticismNot relevant to “This is an awful question-how can I answer for the 3 community. Isn’t that the purpose of a survey? And whatquestion or objects to can we do about religious diversity anyway? Recruitquestion posed religious minorities? Accept fewer Christians? Bias is showing through on this question.”TOTAL # COMMENTS 22 21
  • 22. QUESTION # 2: CNU encourages sensitivity to religious practices andholidays [holy days] of various religions, and understands diversity.Positive or offers “The Provost’s Office has issued memospositive view or 3 reminding faculty to allow students to missobservation class without penalty for religious observances, such as the Jewish high holy days” and “I can only say that I haven’t noticed any insensitivity by the administration”Non-committal “I hope so” 2Critical or offers “Basic lack of awareness is the problem”negative criticism 5Not relevant to “Is that even serious? what other nonquestion or objects to 1 judeo [sic] christian holidays do we have off?”question posedTOTAL # COMMENTS 11 22
  • 23. QUESTION #3 There should be a gathering place or dedicated space for campus ministers and chaplains.Positive or offers “Colleges are academic institutions. As such they should encouragePositive view or 5 understanding of the multitude of religions practiced around the world.observation The professors who perform those rituals should have a place to perform them properly.” I am religiously unaffiliated, yet value the many traditions and faiths and their spiritual leaders. We’re going to have a Chapel, but itinerant chaplains as things stand. Of course they should have a space.” Critical or offers I Strongly Disagree. This is a State University, religious practices should negative criticism 5 be neither encouraged or discouraged.”Not relevant to “Loaded question: if we have on staff campus ministers (how aboutquestion or objects 2 rabbis?) and chaplains, why would we say no to a gathering space forto question posed them?” TOTAL # COMMENTS 12 23
  • 24. QUESTION # i: “On the CNU campus, what is the role of faith-basedorganizations, such as interfaith ministry, intervarsity, Hillel, in campus life?”Comments Positive or offers “The role is to improve the spiritual lives of students. 65 positive view or Academics does wonders for the mind, but very little to observation nourish the soul.” Non-committal “This question should be really directed to students–not 11 appropriate for faculty–since much if not all of campus life is driven by 4700+ students–and very little by 250+ faculty.” Critical or offers “I feel that faith-based organizations should not be highlighted 7 negative criticism as one of CNU’s strong points. Especially when recruiting future CNU students in the scientific/evolutionary programs.” Not relevant or No example 5 objects to question posed TOTAL # 88 COMMENTS 24
  • 25. QUESTION # ii: “How should use of the chapel be determined?”-CommentsRelevant responses “By committee” 22 responses 74addressing “use” of “By regular scheduling practices” 18 responsesthe chapel “For any event, religious or secular” 12 responses “All religions equally served” 11 responses “First come first served” 5 responses “Faith groups given priority” 3 responses “Exclusively religious use” 3 responsesNon-committal “I don’t know” 4Critical or offers “it would be my hope that the building would be 3negative criticism renamed and repurposed for general campus use unrelated to religious expression” and also, “not at all.”Not relevant to 3question or objectsto question posedTOTAL # COMMENTS 85 25
  • 26. QUESTION # iii: By whom should the use of the chapel bedetermined?-Comments.Most popular Responsive “By university committee”Suggestion- similar 25conceptsPopular response “Scheduling Office” 16Popular response “Administrative support person” 12Popular response “Campus ministers/ministry.” 8Miscellaneous responses “Independent administrator not subject to outside 20 pressure”, “First come first served”, “Whoever wants to get married at a University.”Humorous or Facetious “A bean counter.”responses 5TOTAL #COMMENTS 86 26
  • 27. QUESTION # iv: As we anticipate the opening of the chapel, what are the potential educational opportunities for the campus community? CommentsPopular religious or “A place to go in times of trial, confusion, seeking; a sanctuary of quiet serenity; one-on- 18 one and small group conferences pertaining to spiritual matters; and exposure to lessspiritual suggestions familiar points of view, practices and rites.”What CNU should “There are*sic+ a wealth of opportunities if the chapel is truly used as an interfaith space. 17 Opportunities dwindle if the CNU community views the chapel as more available orencourage welcome to only one or two faiths. If it is an open and inviting space to all perspectives, students can be encouraged to engage in critical thinking and dialogue about these various perspectives.”Comparison with “Chapel at my undergrad state supported institution was used for concerts, visiting 5 speakers, organization installations, and other non-religious activities. I am sure thatother universities people could reserve the space for religious ceremonies, weddings and possibly funerals. I hope CNU has an open policy like that-open for non-religious as well as religious activities.”Educational “There are wonderful opportunities for both interfaith and sectarian 14 education and religious observance. But who will decide on use of the chapelOpportunities when competing groups require the space at the same time. Also, no official activities should be held in the Chapel- the rights of the non-religious student must be observed too.”Objection posed “The chapel should have no educational role and should never be a place that 12 students or faculty or anyone is required or expected to visit.”TOTAL # 66COMMENTS 27
  • 28. QUESTION # v: What else should the Ad Hoc Study Committee on ReligiousTolerance and Diversity consider? Comments. “Religious intolerance by those who despise the religious freedoms of others”.Wide range of concerns 32 “Separation of church and state”.and suggestions – these “I do not believe that Christmas celebrations and Bible Study groups at the President’s home are appropriate at a public university”.include perceived “That polytheistic religions (not Christianity, Judaism or Islam) have an equal right to use the chapel if theyobjectionable practices, wish to do so”.political correctness “Let’s stop being afraid of acknowledging the importance of God and religion in the lives of the majority”.concerns, free expression “The question about concern for religious references and representatives at University functions andconcerns, establishment ceremonies should be given more attention. If these functions are mandatory, and many of them are for faculty and students, a diversity of perspectives should be represented OR any religious association avoidedconcerns, and others. whatsoever. The extent to which any particular religion is promoted at a state institution is concerning overall.”Satisfied 5 “The topics you are looking into seem adequate.” “I think keeping the Chapel non-denominational and open to all should be the goal of the committee”.Offers suggestion – or 12 “Making such a space available to the CNU community is not an endorsement of any particular religion. I do not opposeAsks question the implicit endorsement of religion itself as part of a student’s wellbeing any more than I do building a rec center.(You don’t have to go.) The minority that rejects religion should not exercise a veto over the majority (or Plurality) that Wide range of topics embraces some form of spirituality. And given the role of religion in public affairs across the globe, we would dedicate space for confronting these issues directly, and not through shrouded or snarky asides in a classroom.” “Drop the label of “chapel”. Find another name. Spiritual Center or House of Reflection or Center for Inner Peace or Temple. No more prayer/benediction for university events (graduation, etc.). Where do the agnostics and atheists go?”Suggestion related to “How will the maintenance and monthly expenses the building incurs be paid for if it is a 3 privately funded enterprise? Will state funds pay for the electric and water bills?”policy TOTAL # COMMENTS 52 28
  • 29.  St. Pauls Chapel - the chapel of Columbia University, NY Memorial Chapel - a non-denominational building on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park Wren Chapel - the oldest University chapel in the United States and located on the campus of the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Heinz Memorial Chapel -of the University of Pittsburgh Sage Chapel -at Cornell University University of Seattle has several chapels. “Chapel of Saint Ignatius is the principal Roman Catholic chapel of Seattle University. Immaculate Conception Chapel is primarily for personal prayer and liturgies for small groups. The Ecumenical Chapel is primarily for the celebration of Christian and ecumenical worship. The Multifaith Prayer Room is primarily for prayer and religious services for Buddhist, Hindi, Jewish, Muslim and other members of the Seattle University community. Virginia Tech War Memorial and Memorial Chapel 29
  • 30. 1. Study facilities use [e.g. Chapels] on other campuses [public and private] to maximize satisfaction of all constituencies – We have included sample policies from other schools in full report.2. Sponsor annual seminars/forums on topics suggested by faculty in their comments. We have suggested sample topics in full report. 30
  • 31. 3. Adopt KEY PRINCIPLES and promote concepts of voluntariness, educational uses, interfaith programs and policies on use and scheduling of the chapel. We have included simple explanations of these Key Principles as well as sample policies on scheduling from other schools in full report.4. On occasion, conduct periodic anonymous, voluntary inquiry about how we as a university treat religion, diversity, faith and other topics which are highly sensitive to students and faculty- and which topics are private and personal, but nonetheless affect the university’s educational culture. We have suggested sample topics in full report. 31
  • 32. 5. Initiate opportunities to respond to concerns voiced in Survey We have identified essential issues raised by faculty in the survey and this is included in full report.6. Senate consider addressing the recommendations of the committee in a long term plan to promote key principles. We have suggested Senate opportunities in the full report. 32
  • 33.  As a committee we were made aware of many points of view and many passionate thoughts on this complex set of topics. We are pleased the faculty survey was executed; we could not have managed additional inquiry via surveys of other campus groups. We expect the experiences at other university campuses will helpfully inform our future experiences. The committee thanks all who participated in the search for information, the survey and the meetings; and for voicing your individual views. 33

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