Center for Faculty Development
The University of St. Thomas Center for Faculty Development supports the professional growth of faculty by providing responsive programming and grants to support faculty development in pedagogy and engagement of the profession.
Critical Incident Toolkit
What do we do as faculty when there’s been an incident of racist speech, violence, or some other form of hateful conduct, either within the St. Thomas community or off campus? It’s important to our students that instructors acknowledge what happened and take some time in the classroom to talk about it. This allows students to be better informed, share concerns and reactions with others, and to learn about St. Thomas resources.
Many faculty members don’t feel prepared for these conversations. The Critical Incident Toolkit is intended to give you some ideas and ways to structure this type of classroom moment.
Faculty can select the materials that work best for them, and should augment with discipline-specific concepts or documents when relevant. Take some time to look over these resources and consider how they might work best for you. We all hope we won’t need to have these conversations, but it’s best to plan ahead. And – these materials may be useful and relevant for other teaching purposes. Please take some time to get familiar with them.
The Toolkit includes:
- Critical Incident Response: We recognize not every faculty member feels confident in facilitating deeper discussions, so we offer various approaches to having this conversation based on level of engagement. Access the tip sheet on OneStThomas.
- A PowerPoint presentation, Critical Incident Classroom Response, to 1) walk students through a conversation about the incident, 2) clarify the St. Thomas response, and 3) offer students resources for finding support should they need it. There are two version of the presentation available. You will need to log into OneStThomas to access the presentations.
- Excerpts from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops response to racism in their 2018 Pastoral Letter, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.
- A list of terms and definitions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, developed by the Student Diversity and Inclusion Services (SDIS) office at St. Thomas.
- Some guidelines and tips for managing controversial topics in classroom discussions, “Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom,” by Lee Warren from the Derek Bok Center, Harvard University