Salt Lake Community College recently appointed a new dean to its School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Dr. Roderic R. Land took on his new role in the summer of 2019, following his previous position as the college’s chief diversity officer.
“There are days where you have phenomenal things happening with the school and students,” Land says. “We also have those moments where you have issues and fires you need to put out in the school, but sometimes those are one in the same. They can be phenomenal moments to celebrate.”
To introduce Land in his new position, the school hosted a Donuts with the Dean event Oct. 24. Students had the opportunity to ask questions, share concerns and discuss programs in the school.
“That was a moment for students to come into a space that they probably have not come into before amongst faculty,” Land says. “It gave me the chance to connect with the students and let them know that I’m here.”
Land shares that there is often a disconnect between administration and students with this type of position.
“I don’t ever want to lose touch,” he says. “I want to stay as connected as possible and [Donuts with the Dean] was my way of trying to stay connected.”
Land also started an initiative within the school called the Social Justice Curriculum Initiative. He received a grant for racial social justice in response to the events in Charlottesville.
“So, for my new role, I was trying to figure out how I can best engage faculty to properly think about issues of social justice within the classroom,” Land says.
Faculty submitted proposals on how they would embed social justice into their curriculum and courses. These applications will be taken into consideration on revising the department curriculum.
By this initiative, he hopes that by inserting a social justice perspective, it will educate faculty and encourage students to engage in the conversation.
“By embedding it throughout the entire course, it can give students a different kind of vantage point or perspective on what social justice means and what it looks like,” Land says.