Professional News

Faculty Resources for Handling Tense Discussions of Election Outcome, Other Topics

photo of professor at front of room speaking to in-person class of Journalism 101 students wearing masks and physically distant in the room.
Jen Smith teaches her Journalism 101 class on the first day of class at UK in the Fall 2020 semester. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2020) — All University of Kentucky faculty members know their areas of expertise and how to convey that to students. What happens, though, when current events are not part of a class curriculum, but they are the elephant in the room (or Zoom as it might be), and students want to discuss them?

The Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) offers resources to assist faculty members and teaching assistants how to effectively handle these discussions. Two sessions are happening this week and others are available anytime online.

UK students and faculty, like many other people living in America right now, may be experiencing stress and even trauma from the perfect storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial violence and inequality, and the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

Topics related to the election may arise during class meetings or in other activities. How do faculty members talk about the election with students? What are ways faculty members can respond to possible tense moments that result from comments among students?

The CELT event “Responding to Tense Moments After the Election” will be online at noon Wednesday, Nov. 4.  Visit for more information and to register.

CELT will also offer an event designed for graduate students and teaching assistants — “Supporting Students of Color as Graduate TAs and Instructors” — 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. Visit for more information and to register.

Another resource, “Teaching Online in Times of Tension,” is located online here:

CELT is part of Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation and offers a wide array of resources for faculty and teaching assistants during the current instructional environment in the Teach Anywhere portal.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.