Chancellor's Blog: Shared governance supports EDI initiatives

| Chancellor James Schmidt

This afternoon the University Senate passed a motion to include faculty contributions to equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) as part of faculty periodic review. This vote echoes (1) an academic staff vote earlier this month to require EDI contributions to be included in academic staff performance reviews; (2) a similar motion by our university staff that EDI contributions of university staff employees should be recognized; and (3) previous Student Senate actions in support of the overall EDI implementation plan, including recommending the provisions that were approved today.

I am very pleased by this commitment of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff to our EDI goals. It reflects our shared mission to serve all our students and to prepare graduates who will succeed in an increasingly diverse world. Each of us — whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, in the residence hall or in offices across campus — has a vital role to play in creating an equitable and inclusive campus. These actions by our shared governance bodies underline our commitment to hold ourselves accountable for fulfilling the grand mission we set ourselves.

These actions by our faculty and staff are important steps in moving forward with our EDI strategic plan — but they are just part of many initiatives underway this spring. Work continues on the professional development modules for students, faculty and staff. This week I will meet with members from campus and community who have spent the past six weeks in two Circles of Change discussion groups. They are concluding their work by developing specific change actions designed to make our university and our region more inclusive and equitable. These pilots have gone well, and we now plan to expand the number of Circles of Change groups this fall. If you are interested in participating, please contact Audrey Robinson at robinsoa@uwec.edu.

In April, I will announce opportunities for faculty and staff to participate in strategic initiatives that directly support our retention and EDI goals. Watch for more information about how individuals and teams can find ways to contribute to our EDI goals.

Equity, diversity and inclusiveness is at the core of our mission and the heart of what will continue to make UW-Eau Claire the distinctive university it is. I am excited to see these important efforts moving forward!

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