Meetings: The full council meets quarterly, and the subcommittees meet monthly.
Place: Sherman Hall
Co-Chairs: Andrea Henderson , Director, Equal Opportunity and Access, and Ron Williams, Assistant Provost
The University Diversity Council (UDC) at Western Illinois University (WIU) recognizes that diversity is an indispensable element of our core values of Academic Excellence, Educational Opportunity, Personal Growth and Social Responsibility. The university is fundamentally committed to including and integrating individuals within our campus community from different groups regardless of their: gender, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran status, socioeconomic background, and/or intellectual outlook. Our commitment to diversity inevitably means actively supporting positive change and ultimately achieving transformation.
The mission of the University Diversity Council is to identify and recommend deliberate efforts that attract and retain members of historically underrepresented groups to WIU and to work to create a rich academic, intellectual, and cultural experience and environment for everyone by extending our focus beyond representation to genuine participation.
- The goals of the Western Illinois University’s Diversity Council are:
- To serve in an advisory capacity to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA).
- To reinforce and advance efforts to sustain and promote campus diversity. As members of the diversity council, we consider this work essential to advancing the goals of the strategic plan – Higher Values in Higher Education – and supporting our mission to have a profound and positive impact on our changing world as we educate and prepare a diverse student population to thrive in and contribute to our global society. We also consider the promotion of campus diversity fundamentally necessary to effectuating positive change in the patterns of disadvantage and discrimination that are still so prevalent in the academy and in society.
- To devise new diversity strategies and programs which support the values of Western Illinois University: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility.
- To identify barriers to inclusion and diversity initiatives and to provide solutions to eliminate those barriers.
- To assist and support efforts to diversify WIU’s faculty, staff, and students and develop approaches to integrating diversity with respect to public service, teaching and research into WIU’s academic mission.
- The University Diversity Council has established the following set of objectives to assist with the attainment of the Council’s goals:
- To analyze data that reveals the status of campus specific diversity programs and initiatives in an effort to diversify WIU’s faculty, staff, and students
- To bring diversity experts to campus to speak on the importance of diversity and how it relates to an academic institution’s mission
- To increase the support of faculty and staff in an effort to enhance the quality of campus-specific diversity outcomes
- To conduct research on best practices and proven models utilized at other institutions and systems of higher education throughout the country and abroad to enhance and expand our programs
- To create a forum for faculty and staff who are undertaking diversity related research, service, or other initiatives to present and share with the campus community to reform the curriculum and to enhance cultural competence and diversity awareness
- To identify distinguished faculty and staff candidates for diversity awards or honors
- To assist with the planning and implementing of conferences, seminars, and/or symposia for faculty, staff, and students that are designed to increase individuals’ cultural awareness, knowledge, attitudes and skills as they relate to inclusion