Commitment to Inclusion

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) is committed to creating an environment of inclusion and opportunity that is rooted in the responsibility of practicing planners to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity while serving the public interest. Students who contribute to a learning environment that is respectful and inclusive are preparing to excel in a culture of ethical behavior as professionals. Urban planning students develop the knowledge and skills of professional planners in the classroom and in community based projects, where they act as planners in training. Therefore, DURP expects all students to meet the goals outlined in the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for planners as well as standards in the University of Illinois Student Code.

Rights and Responsibilities in DURP Learning Environments

The DURP learning environment includes dialogue, collaborative work, and service-learning. By enrolling in a course in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, students agree to be responsible for maintaining a respectful environment in their academic and professional training. The expectations outlined in this code apply to all people participating in DURP activities, including classes, projects, and extracurricular programs.

Rights in the DURP learning environment. All participants in DURP activities have the right to feel comfortable sharing in the conversation, to be free of intimidation or ridicule, and to face no discrimination on the basis of their views. Through classroom discussions, opinions are questioned and challenged and may be strengthened or revised. In group project work, students have the right to be included, to contribute, and to have their voices heard by team members. Group projects prepare students for working with a variety of colleagues and allow for the opportunity to learn from classmates.

Responsibilities in the DURP learning environment. Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for maintaining an inclusive, respectful environment and all are expected to respect the opinions and backgrounds of others. In order to have successful dialogue, basic rules of courtesy should be followed. Students and faculty are also responsible for dialogue that meets the standards of academic and professional planning settings, where opinions are valid when they are supported with appropriate evidence and logical arguments. Students and faculty may speak from personal experience, but should not make arguments based on uninformed stereotypes, misrepresented information, or unsupported assertions. In group work, participants are responsible for providing the opportunity for each group member to contribute. Ideas and contributions should be valued and considered equally as long as they meet the basis of accepted academic and professional standards for planning work.

Maintaining an Inclusive and Professional Environment

Conduct that interferes with the rights of another or creates an atmosphere of intimidation or disrespect is inconsistent with the environment of learning and cooperation that the program requires. Because professionalism and ethical behavior are critical learning objectives in DURP, students should expect that grading and evaluation may be based on their adherence to behavior that upholds the rights and responsibilities outlined here.

Students, faculty, and staff should assume an active role in ensuring that we maintain a positive and open department climate by working to understand and avoid invalidations, insults, or offenses (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward people based on their identity. Since these acts may be unintentional, the aim of addressing them is learning and understanding, rather than sanction.

  • Students, faculty, and staff may work to maintain an inclusive, professional climate in multiple ways, depending on the circumstances and comfort level. These approaches could include:
  • Speaking out in the classroom, explaining problematic issues with the aim of teaching, learning, and understanding;
  • Speaking with the instructor, requesting reinforcement of standards for respectful and appropriate communication or assistance with resolving interpersonal issues;
  • Talking to the Department Head about a problem with an instructor or assistantship supervisor;
  • Anyone experiencing problems may speak with individual faculty, members of the departmental diversity committee, or the Department Head to discuss concerns and obtain information about how to resolve a conflict.

More serious incidents or persistent offensive behavior may result in the following:

If behavior escalates or rises to the level of violation of university policies on harassment, options are to:

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