Our History

Since the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) Inclusivity Initiative for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning People Began ...

October 2003

First meeting of student, faculty, staff and administrator representatives called by University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) staff to discuss LGBTQ issuesUW-Extension explicitly extended 4-H programs to LGBT youthUW-Oshkosh Student Assembly Resolution opposing Wisconsin Defense of Marriage Bills

November 2003

Second UWS meeting, now called Inclusivity Initiative; workgroups formUW System Sr. VP Cora Marrett identifies the need for an advisory committee and begins to appoint administrators and faculty from across the UW System

December 2003

UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker agrees to chair the Inclusivity Initiative advisory committeeAdvisory committee meets and is given its charge by UW System Sr. VP Cora MarrettSteering committee meets and is given its charge by UW System Sr. VP Cora MarrettUW-Milwaukee enacts a domestic partner (DP) policy and posts it on its web siteUW-Milwaukee (UW-M) faculty member notifies UW-M and UWS administrators that lack of DP benefits has been raised as a problem in 3 UW-M searches this year¼-time student employee assigned to Inclusivity Initiative

January 2004

UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker asks UWS chancellors to appoint a liaison to the Initiative and to have that person complete the Matrix of LGBTQ Activities and Services across UWSUW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard responds immediately identifying the importance of the work

February 2004

Mission, vision, goals, and work group tasks clarifiedInclusivity Initiative overview posted to UWSA web siteResearch workgroup completes literature reviews on identifying LGBTQ persons for research purposes, and examines campus climate surveys re: LGBTQ students, faculty and staffSteering committee restructures climate workgroup to reflect needs identified by steering committeeResearch workgroup develops rationale for climate surveyIn response to request, national expert Dr. Susan Rankin submits proposal for study of campus climate for LGBTQ peopleRepresentatives of UWS student LGBT organizations invited to participate in email listSixteen people volunteer to serve as point people from their institutions to the Inclusivity InitiativeInstitutions begin to submit information on LGBTQ activities

March 2004

All UWS Chancellors have appointed a liaison from their institution to the Inclusivity InitiativePresentation on Inclusivity Initiative to UWS Faculty RepresentativesSETBACK: UWS President Lyall determines that DP benefits can not be requested at this time due to state budget crisisSETBACK: UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker, chair of Initiative advisory committee, dies in car crashUW-Eau Claire Chancellor Don Mash agrees to assist Initiative until a new advisory committee chair is identifiedUW-Madison Chair of the Faculty-Senate Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues requests meeting with UWS President Katherine Lyall and UWS Board of Regents Business and Finance Committee Chair Regent Mark Bradley to discuss domestic partner benefitsIn response to request, Dr. Susan Rankin submits proposal for expanded UWS campus climate study to include not only LGBTQ issues, but also women, race/ethnicity and disabilitySETBACK: Assembly Joint Resolution 66 passes, proposing an amendment to the State of Wisconsin constitution that would ban marriage, civil unions, or any other comprehensive legal rights for lesbian and gay couples

April 2004

UW Madison Alumni President Paula Bonner contacts UW-Madison and UWS administrators to inquire "where's the voice?" of UWS in response to the proposed constitutional amendmentUW Madison Faculty Senate passes resolution opposing proposed amendment to Wisconsin State ConstitutionUW-Eau Claire Chancellor Don Mash denounces proposed amendment in remarks to University Senate: "In one breath state leaders talk about a constitutional amendment to clarify stance against gay marriage in Wisconsin (reportedly approved by two-thirds of state residents) and in the next breath talk about competitive Wisconsin attracting people."UW-Oshkosh Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Trans, Queer Education and Advisory Council changes from standing ad hoc committee to all-university panelAll-Inclusivity meeting held in which Point People articulate a desire for a stronger role for themselves at the InstitutionsUW-Green Bay Provost Sue Hammersmith encourages colleagues to support system-wide, broad-based study of campus climateUW-Oshkosh Chancellor Rick Wells agrees to chair Initiative Advisory CommitteeUW-Oshkosh student groups co-sponsor rally against proposed WI amendmentUW-Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller directs architect to include space for an LGBTQ Resource Center in new student union planned for 2007Heads of UW-Madison Alumni Association, UW-Madison LGBT Alumni Council, UW-Madison GLBT Alumni Council, UW-Madison GLBT Issues Joint Governance Committee and Inclusivity Initiative meet to discuss support for the Initiative

May 2004

UW-Madison Compensation and Benefits Committee requests that interviewees for new UWS President be asked what efforts they would make to ensure domestic partner benefits in the UW System.SETBACK: Joint Committee on Employee Relations approves compensation package that omits DP benefitsUW-Colleges Senate passes resolution expressing opposition to the Wisconsin legislature's joint resolution regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriageUW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard requests proposal for an institution-wide LGBTQ CouncilUW Madison Academic Senate passes resolution opposing the proposed WI constitutional amendmentUW-Madison Committee on Women passes resolution against marriage amendmentUW-Madison University Child Care Committee passes resolution against marriage amendmentMatrix of LGBTQ Activities and Services across UWS completed as last report is submitted.UW-Madison Daily News article on failure to attract and retain faculty due to lack of DP benefitsSafe Space presentation to UWS Faculty Representatives

June 2004

UW-Stevens Point (UW-SP) Assistant to the Chancellor and Director of Equity and Affirmative Action requests that some UW-SP bathrooms be designated as unisex to accommodate needs of transgender students and employeesUniversity of California (UC), San Francisco requests information about UWS Inclusivity Initiative as UC System is about to embark on a similar initiativeArticle on Inclusivity Initiative appears in UW-Madison Alumni NewsletterSETBACK: Inclusivity Initiative loses ¼-time student assistant

July 2004

UW-Oshkosh Dean encourages his colleagues to work toward expansion of domestic partner benefitsUW-Madison Academic Staff Executive Committee learns in-state tuition benefit available to spouses will be extended to domestic partnersUW-River Falls staff begin exploring creation of a faculty senate LGBTQ committeeUW System L&S Deans write to UWS Vice Presidents Cora Marrett, David Olien and Linda Weimer, urging them to play a leadership role in opposing the proposed amendment to the WI State Constitution that would discriminate against LGBT people.Inclusivity Initiative Chair asked to assess the level of support at UWSA, the UWS Institutions, and the Board of Regents for opposing the WI constitutional amendmentUW-Madison asks Inclusivity Initiative to circulate announcements of search for a masters prepared Director of Diversity Programs and Initiatives, and Coordinator for Diversity Programs

August 2004

UW-River Falls Interim Chancellor Virgil Nylander requests assessment of DP "soft" benefits – to see what more can be offered; expresses interest in encouraging BOR to support benefitsUW-Stevens Point's Domestic Partner policy posted to Diversity webUW-Platteville begins offering LGBTQ services through Women's CenterUW-Parkside hosts Gay Civil Rights Diversity Circles WorkshopUW-Milwaukee Chancellor Carlos Santiago expresses support for the Inclusivity InitiativeUnited Council of UW Students LGBTQ Issues Coordinator agrees to work with Inclusivity Initiative to identify student liaisons from each UWS Institution to the InitiativeUWS Associate VP Ron Singer, UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Rick Wells, UW-Stevens Point Provost Virginian Helm and UW-Eau Claire Associate Vice Chancellor Kimberly Barrett meet to identify best ways to oppose WI constitutional amendment proposal

September 2004

UWSA Chairs of diversity initiatives gather to discuss mechanisms for coordinating and supporting the full range of diversity effortsUW-Superior Academic Staff Senate Resolution in support of the Inclusivity InitiativeData on DP "soft" benefits gathered from all institutions and posted on UWSA web siteUW-Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller has commissioned two faculty members to conduct a study of the campus climate for students, faculty, and staff who are: women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people of non-Christian religious beliefs/spiritual traditionsMany letters of support for the work of the Initiative from faculty, staff and studentsNew UW System President Kevin P. Reilly expresses support for the Inclusivity InitiativeUW-Madison begins to offer non-resident tuition remission for domestic partners and their dependentsUnited Council passes resolution against the proposed marriage amendment to the Wisconsin constitutionResearch workgroup completes literature review and proposal for state-wide, broad-based climate study to include race, ethnicity, sex, disability, sexual orientation and gender identityUW-River Falls includes "become an increasingly more open and affirming community for LGBTQ members" in its diversity plansAll UW-System Chancellors agree to support the request for domestic partner benefitsAll Chief Student Affairs Officers across the UW System sign letter opposing the proposed marriage amendment to the Wisconsin constitutionUW-Eau Claire unveils a newly-designed, and very inclusive diversity web sitehttp://www.uwec.edu/diversity/index.htm

October 2004

Fringe Benefits Advisory Committee passes resolution to add domestic partner benefits to UW System benefitsPlea for Domestic Partner benefits made to Board of Regents Business and Finance Committee; full Board requests information for following meetingIndividual and Family Life Insurance Domestic Partner Coverage added to UW System benefits; employees already enrolled in the life insurance plan can add their domestic partners and eligible childrenAction Wisconsin holds Town Hall meeting about the marriage amendment at UW-Eau ClaireUW-Parkside Student Government passes resolution of support for the Inclusivity InitiativeUW-Eau Claire Women's Studies committee sends letter of support for the Inclusivity InitiativeUW-Whitewater passes resolution against proposed marriage amendment to Wisconsin constitutionUW-Stevens Point Foreign Language Department endorses resolution in support of domestic partner benefitsUW-Platteville Women's Studies Program writes to UWS President Reilly and VPs Olien and Weimer, asking them to take a stand against the amendmentUW-Green Bay Student Senate passes resolution against the amendmentUW-La Crosse Faculty Senate passes resolution supporting domestic partner benefitsUW-Milwaukee Faculty Senate passes resolution against the amendmentUW System Regent Bradley asks for estimates of what it would cost to provide domestic partner health insuranceUW-Superior Chancellor Julius Erlenbach writes memo of support for Dianna Hunter's work informing the campus community about the potential negative impact of the marriage amendmentUW-Stevens Point School of Health Promotion and Human Development memo to UWSA administrators in support of the Inclusivity Initiative

November 2004

UW-Madison Committee on Women passes resolution against marriage amendmentBoard of Regents approves including domestic partner benefits in the pay plan request to the GovernorAssociated Students of Madison pass resolution against amendmentUW-Stevens Point Philosophy Department writes memo to UW System administrators in support of Inclusivity Initiative and domestic partner benefitsUnited Council issues statement of support for domestic partner benefits for UW System employeesUW System Women's Studies Consortium passes resolution in support of domestic partner benefitsUW System Women's Studies Consortium passes resolution against marriage amendmentUW-Green Bay Faculty Senate passes resolution against the amendmentUW-Stevens Point English Department passes motion in support of Inclusivity Initiative and domestic partner benefits

December 2004

Update on Inclusivity Initiative presented to the Board of Regents by UW System Senior Vice President Cora Marrett, UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Rick Wells, UW System Academic Planner Christine Flynn Saulnier, United Council Academic Affairs LGBTQ Issues Director David Glisch-Sanchez, UW-Oshkosh student Crystal Heckert, UW-Eau Claire student Jessica Janiuk, and UW Green Bay student Aaron Hulse, is very well received. Regent President Toby Marcovich states the UW System should be at the forefront of inclusivity. Regents request draft resolution to include transsexual people in UW System anti-discrimination policyUW-Stevens Point Faculty Senate passes resolution against marriage amendmentUW-Stevens Point Department of Psychology endorses resolution in support of domestic partner benefitsUW-Extension Faculty Senate passes resolution against marriage amendmentUW-Platteville Faculty Senate passes resolution in support of domestic partner benefitsUW-Oshkosh Academic Staff passes resolution against marriage amendment

January 2005

UW Colleges Senate passes resolution in support of domestic partner benefitsLaura Gutknecht, OutReach Speakers Bureau, presents "Transgender 101" to Inclusivity Point People and to UW System administratorsUW-Madison Council for Non-represented Classified Staff passes resolution against marriage amendment

February 2005

Protections for transgender people added to UW System nondiscrimination statement by Board of Regents