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WIU President Guiyou Huang: DEI Update

April 11, 2022

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Dear University Community,

It is hard to believe there is only about one month left in the 2021-2022 academic year. I am pleased that we have made progress during this school year in regard to the University's DEI initiatives; however, our work is not done.

In December 2021 and again in February 2022, I shared an update regarding the work that is taking place on the demands set forth by the WIU Black Student Association, anti-racism training, and more. An updated report can be found on the newly-designed DEI website at (click on BSA Demands Report on the left sidebar of this page).

I would like to express my appreciation to the Ethnic, Race, and Gender Studies Exploratory Committee (ERGS) Committee for their diligence in studying the restoration of the African-American Studies program at WIU, along with other programs dedicated to underserved populations. We look forward to working with the Faculty Senate and others to move their recommendations forward. I would also like to thank the WIU Board of Trustees for approving the establishment of a new Office of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which will be led by a director who will report directly to me. It is our intention to begin the search this summer, with the new office and director in place at the start of the Fall 2022 semester.

As noted in the BSA update report, the Anti-Racism Task Force is underway. This task force and its sub-committees are meeting regularly to identify anti-racism initiatives and advise/support the creation of the University's Diversity Plan. We have also implemented DEI-related training this spring, and we will continue to identify pertinent training modules that meet our justice, diversity, inclusion and equity needs and goals.

While I included the following in my last communication, it is important to share once again. Members of our University community can report instances of discrimination, hate, and harassment at equal_opportunity_and_access/report.php, or by emailing email The form can also be found on the DEI website. Individuals can also directly contact the following offices for assistance: Office of Public Safety, the University Counseling Center and Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts for, and support of, DEI initiatives at WIU. I also want to express my appreciation to the Black Student Association leaders and other student leaders who have met with me to discuss the eradication of racism, and ensuring justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, at WIU and in the community. I know many of you are graduating this spring, and I wish you the best. I look forward to continuing to work with our current and new students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community residents to ensure a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all.

Best wishes,

Guiyou Huang, Ph.D.
Western Illinois University

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