Why Not Implement Another Ten Year Plan?
Despite its twenty-year history of strategic plans for diversity, success on the widespread scale the UW System intended remains frustratingly out of reach, with only modest gains in key areas. Though Plan 2008 provided a bold, progressive vision for transforming the UW System, it did not—and could not—fully anticipate the myriad of practices and processes that its institutions would need in order to cultivate truly diverse and equitable learning environments. Moving forward, we as a system of higher education institutions intend to focus our efforts on driving diversity deep into our everyday cultures, daily practices, and organizational patterns where it can take root and eventually blossom.
What About The Goals of Plan 2008 Which We Have Yet to Reach?
Establishing a critical mass of faculty, staff, and students from historically underrepresented groups will remain a top priority for UW campuses under Inclusive Excellence. As institutions of learning, as a collective system of higher education, and as a state, our futures depend heavily on our ability to educate and hire those who will soon constitute the new majority in this country. We shall maintain our support of efforts aimed at diversifying our institutions, including our multicultural/disadvantaged initiatives, pre-college programs, and efforts such as the Equity Scorecard Project to enhance access, retention, and graduation rates for students of color as well as to ensure their full and successful participation at all levels of institutional life.
What Does Success Looks Like?
Success will be recognized by numerous hallmarks, some of which include:
- Thorough institutionalization of equity and diversity where they are embraced as core values and used to inform campus decision-making, educational practices, and policy-making;
- Greater compositional and equitable representation diversity of among faculty, students, staff, and other university personnel;
- Steady and significant rates of retention and upward mobility for faculty and staff who are members of underrepresented populations;
- Steady and significant increases in the retention and graduation rates for all UW students;
- Proportional representation of students from underrepresented and underserved populations in competitive academic programs and co-curricular activities that are indices of excellence;
- Improved campus climates that provide a strong, abiding sense of belonging and community for all UW students;
- Better alignment and cohesiveness between diversity efforts and other institutional initiatives, particularly those that focus on excellence in undergraduate education;
- Greater numbers of UW students who possess the requisite multicultural competencies they need to navigate an increasingly diverse democracy; and
- The enhanced capacity of UW System institutions to meet the ever-emerging and complex needs of its students, the state, and society, now and in the future.
What Benchmarks Will We Hold Ourselves Under?
UW System Administration and UW institutions will likely engage in collaboration with one another to identify which reliable measures will be used to assess how they are doing in their Inclusive Excellence-related efforts.
How Long Will We Have To Implement Inclusive Excellence?
The Inclusive Excellence process is an iterative one, something that unfolds and develops over time, according to each institution’s mission, culture, identity, and demographics. If institutions work diligently and steadily to incorporate their diversity work into the larger institutional culture, Inclusive Excellence and diversity more generally will simply become integrated into the larger fabric of the institution.
What Kind or Resources Are Required?
Inclusive Excellence is not a free-standing initiative to be treated as separate or distinct from other institutional planning efforts. Therefore, its implementation should not require any additional resources of either the financial or human kind. It will require the leveraging of institutional resources so that they are distributed according to a campus’ most pressing diversity needs.