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UW Will Develop Diversity Plan, Hire Diversity Coordinator

November 13, 2015

Seeking to strengthen the University of Wyoming’s commitment to diversity, President Dick McGinity will appoint a committee to develop a plan laying out specific measures to achieve that objective. And he will create a new position to coordinate UW’s diversity efforts.

In a memo to the university community today (Friday), McGinity says discussions he has had in recent months with people inside and outside UW have made it clear that the university must do more “to make UW a welcoming and supportive place for all members of our community.

“UW currently has in place many measures to ensure and support diversity, and many people who are doing great work in this area,” the president wrote. “However, if we are going to recruit and retain the best students, staff and faculty, if we are going to be competitive as an institution in an increasingly global and diverse world, and if we are going to graduate students who are prepared to lead, to demonstrate cultural competency and to be successful in the world, then we can and must do more.”

McGinity says he will appoint, in the next few weeks, a UW Diversity Strategic Planning Committee (DSPC). Composed of stakeholders from throughout the university and the greater Wyoming community, it will be charged with creating a “UW Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Plan.” That document will include both short-term and long-term goals, objectives, action steps, resources needed to effectuate the plan, a timeline for communication and implementation, and a robust means for measuring and assessing progress.

The plan will be vetted through UW constituents seeking the support of students, staff, faculty, administration and the Board of Trustees by the end of February 2016.

While the diversity plan takes shape, McGinity says he intends to establish the position of “coordinator of diversity” immediately. The person in that job will report directly to him and be a member of UW’s Executive Council, working with all vice presidents as well.

“Though the state faces financial challenges, and despite the hiring freeze, I find campus discussions so compelling that I believe it is essential to begin a search for a leader now, rather than wait for a draft plan next semester,” the president wrote.

“As the only land grant institution in Wyoming, the university must have a strong commitment to diversity. It must be embedded in our DNA and supported throughout our institution,” McGinity wrote. “While there are many such efforts underway to address issues of diversity throughout the university, it has become increasingly clear that in order for these efforts to have their greatest effect, they must be coordinated, and they must be part of a strong institutional commitment that will be long lasting and enduring…The UW Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Plan will be an important tool in enabling the university to meet the diversity issues and challenges that we are faced with in a proactive way.”

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