Western Washington University Diversity Action Plan

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted on 6/9/06

Source File: http://www.wwu.edu/president/action_plan.shtml


In 2005, the President directed the Provost to lead an update of the Strategic Plan that guides management and governance toward becoming the premier institution of its type in the nation. The process for developing Western Washington University Engaged Excellence: Strategic Plan 2006 employed wide participation from all segments of the university, including faculty, staff, students and external constituents.

Diversity has long been an integral part of Western's strategic planning, and is an underlying factor in multiple aspects of an excellent university. The following specific statements related to diversity are excerpted from the University's 2006 Strategic Action Plan. The full 2006 Strategic Plan, Engaged Excellence, which provides the context for the value we place on diversity, is published on the university's website. (pdf) (html)

The University's Mission makes very clear that through an integrated system of engaged excellence throughout the university, Western will bring together an increasingly diverse and talented student body, faculty, and staff to form a learning community that, along with community partners, involves its members in active learning, scholarly discourse, and reflection.

The University's Values Statement embraces, among other values, the importance of diversity of thought and people and seeks to become more diverse. We honor the contributions of all members of the campus community. We are committed to listening to all sides of an issue and opposed to any form of discrimination.

The University's Strategic Objectives to demonstrate engaged excellence include excellence:

  • In civic engagement by developing leadership, effective citizenship, and social responsibility in all members of the campus community.
  • As a diverse campus community where members appreciate, honor, and celebrate people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

The University's Strategic Actions are designed to enhance Western’s institutional effectiveness in fulfilling its mission, meeting its strategic objectives, and providing an effective foundation for the Western Experience. While diversity is a value that is integrated throughout the plan, the following excerpts from the published Strategic Actions are directly related to diversity:

Recruit and retain high quality students. High quality and diverse students enhance the Western Experience for all. Western remains committed to continuing to recruit highly talented students, despite an increasingly competitive environment. Therefore:

  • The University should enhance the financial resources available for student recruitment.
  • The University should enhance recruitment efforts for targeted populations.
  • The University should improve delivery of advising services, especially for undecided and transfer students.
  • The University should improve international, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary opportunities for students.

Recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff. High quality faculty and staff are crucial for providing students an integrated Western Experience. The University faces an increasingly competitive national marketplace for the services of faculty and staff. Therefore:

  • The University needs to maintain ongoing emphasis on achieving competitive salaries and broad-based benefits for faculty and staff.
  • The University needs to devote more resources to support innovative teaching, high quality scholarly and creative activities, and collaborative and interdisciplinary activities.
  • The University needs to enhance its emphasis on increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff through recruitment, retention, and exchange opportunities.
  • Units need to identify ways to facilitate and recognize staff efforts to serve the needs of the campus community.

Build collaborative relationships with off-campus communities. Western places a high value on connections with the broader community, its role in serving the needs of the broader community, and the ‘real-life’ laboratory that the broader community provides. Therefore:

  • The University should provide improved structure to facilitate civic engagement, leadership development, effective citizenship, and social responsibility in its members.
  • Units should seek to increase the scope of existing outreach and collaborative programs, where feasible, and should consider building broader connections to regional, national, and global communities through such activities as internships, applied scholarship, service learning, and community service.

Become more diverse and enhance opportunities for students to understand and participate in different cultures and diverse societies. Diversity remains one of the central values of the Western Experience. Therefore:

  • The University should strive to become more diverse through recruitment, hiring, and exchange efforts.The University should develop more avenues for campus community members to experience different communities – locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Units should integrate the study of different cultures and diverse societies more fully across the curriculum.
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