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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.