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Discussions on diversity and inclusion

Campus Climate Progress Report – Spring 2019

UW-Madison is committed to creating a welcoming environment that enables all students, faculty and staff to thrive. We continue to work toward this goal. Individuals and groups from across campus have embraced this challenge and devoted significant time and energy to moving the campus forward. These efforts build on the campus Diversity Framework and its implementation plan, R.E.E.L. Change. This page highlights several key initiatives, but is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all campus efforts.

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FALL EVENTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

DIVERSITY FORUM: More than 1,200 registered for the 2018 forum Oct. 31–Nov. 1, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Talithia Williams from Harvey Mudd College on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math fields as career options for all students. An episode of the Starz documentary series America to Me featuring Jessica Stovall (’07) and Adam Levine (’11) was shown, followed by a panel discussion on equity issues. Day Two featured breakouts on mental health, cultivating trust between community and police, and addressing sexual assault and misconduct. A forum for second-shift and third-shift employees was held later in November.

• Diversity Framework Goal 1: Promote shared values of diversity and inclusion.

• Diversity Framework Goal 3: Engage the campus leadership for diversity and inclusion.

• Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.

TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM: This new program, an enhancement of the continuing Faculty Diversity Initiative, represents a substantial additional investment in recruiting diverse faculty. A target of opportunity is defined as a prospective faculty member who will greatly enhance the quality and diversity of an academic department. UW–Madison recognizes diversity broadly including diversity of identity, culture, background, experience, status, ability and opinion. The program is designed to specifically support the recruitment of outstanding faculty members among historically underrepresented groups, with a particular emphasis on race, ethnicity and gender (in disciplines where women are underrepresented).

• Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.

NATIVE NATIONS CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS TRAINING: A capacity crowd of 40 UW–Madison administrators, faculty and staff took part in a first-of-its-kind professional development opportunity focused on working with Wisconsin Native Nations in November 2018. The daylong training on campus offered participants the opportunity to learn from Native leaders and educators about how best to engage Native students to help ensure their success, as well as the priorities and issues of Native Nations throughout the state. The event was hosted by the Native Nations_ UW Working Group, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement. In response to high levels of interest and engagement, the Native Nations_UW Working Group intends to facilitate ongoing training opportunities for UW–Madison employees.

Diversity Framework Goal 1: Promote shared values of diversity and inclusion.
Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

ELDERS-IN-RESIDENCE: The Culture Keepers/Elders-in- Residence Program launched in November, welcoming Ada Deer, a Menominee Tribal member and nationally known champion
of American Indian rights, to campus for a week of activities and engagement with students. A second residency is anticipated this spring. The program is an initiative of the Native Nations_UW Working Group in partnership with the American Indian Studies Program, University Housing and the Multicultural Student Center.

Diversity Framework Goal 1: Promote shared values of diversity and inclusion.

MERCILE J. LEE SCHOLARS: In December, UW–Madison solidified the legacy of the late Dr. Mercile J. Lee by incorporating her name into the two life-changing scholarship initiatives she established and directed for decades. The Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program is the new overarching name for the Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp scholarship programs, which seek to attract academically outstanding students from groups that historically have been underrepresented in higher education. The naming honor coincided with a major gift from alumnus Phill Gross and his wife Elizabeth that will ensure the program continues to grow and thrive for generations to come.

Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.

Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

BUCKY’S TUITION PROMISE: This new commitment to affordability and accessibility benefitted nearly one in five incoming Wisconsin freshmen and transfer students – 796 students in all – this fall. The commitment covers four years of tuition and segregated fees for Wisconsin students whose family incomes are $56,000 or less. The students represent 65 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and more than half are first-generation college students.

Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.

Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

TRANSGENDER HEALTH CARE: The state Group Insurance Board voted to resume providing state employee health insurance coverage of transition care, including surgery, hormone therapy, and other supportive care based on a determination of medical necessity. For students, University Health Services provides these services using an informed consent model, which is the internationally recognized standard of care for transgender health.

Diversity Framework Goal 3: Engage the campus leadership for diversity and inclusion.

CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS MADE EASIER:

The McBurney Disability Resource Center launched a new electronic accommodation and case management system, called McBurney Connect, to streamline students’ requests for disability-related accommodations. More than 700 instructors and 1,600 students used the system this fall for about 4,300 classes.

Diversity Framework Goal 1: Promote shared values of diversity and inclusion.

Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.

Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

STUDENT FOOD AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES: Beyond
the costs of tuition and books, day-to-day expenses like food, clothing, and rent can make it challenging for students to make ends meet. To support students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, students can search a new, comprehensive list of resources to get help with food and financial insecurity through the Food Assistance Info Guide and Student Food & Financial Resource Guide. The resources and student organizations listed, such Open Seat, ASM’s student-run and student-serving food pantry, are available at no cost to students.

Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

TRANSFER ENGAGEMENT CENTER: We know that a higher percentage of transfer students are from underrepresented groups such as first-generation students or students of color. This new center, part of the Center for the First-Year Experience within the Division of Student Life, aims to make transfer students’ experience as smooth as possible. More than 800 students visited in the fall and they were provided support during the transition to campus including advocacy, pre-transfer advising, and transfer specific programs. In addition to professional staff, the center employs experienced transfer students known as Transfer Ambassadors to offer personal and academic assistance.

Diversity Framework Goal 4: Improve institutional access through effective recruitment of diverse students, faculty, staff and through effective relationship building with the wider community.
Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

A number of initiatives are moving forward over the academic year including:

UPCOMING SPRING ITEMS:

CEO CELEBRATES 25 YEARS: UW–Madison’s Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO) is celebrating 25 years of supporting students with disabilities and low-income and first-generation college students. The center was launched in 1993 with a U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services grant, written by Walter Lane, an assistant dean in the School of Education who was dedicated to providing educational opportunities to students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Diversity Framework Goal 5: Improve institutional success through improved retention.

AAU SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVEY: In February, the university will again invite students to take part in a national survey about sexual assault and misconduct on campus. The survey, conducted by the Association of American Universities, will deepen our understanding of how these issues affect students and the campus community, and will help guide the development or revision of campus policies designed to promote a safe and healthy environment. It is anticipated that our results will be shared in the fall of 2019.

Diversity Framework Goal 2: Improve coordination of campus diversity planning.

These actions build on steps UW–Madison has taken over the past several years to expand need-based aid and improve the recruitment and retention of students of color and other underrepresented groups. Evidence of the impact of our efforts includes:

• Over the last decade, students of color have gone from 12 percent to 16 percent of the student body.

• UW–Madison’s retention rate (freshmen returning for sophomore year) is 93 percent among both historically underrepresented students and all other students, eliminating the retention gap that formerly existed.

• Faculty of color have increased from 17 percent to 21 percent. • Graduation rates among all students have been increasing, but

they are increasing faster among students from historically underrepresented groups, resulting in substantial progress on closing the graduation gap.