Countdown: 38 days to HLC visit: Diversity
Editor's note: Ranger Today continues a series of articles on the future directions contained within the university's self-study.
Future Direction: Diversity and Inclusion
By Dr. Edward Twyman, Senior Diversity Officer
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is deeply committed to providing its students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work in an ever-changing diverse and global environment. We have an imperative and responsibility to ensure that our graduates are able to work and interact with diverse people and ideas. Our primary responsibility for our current and future direction, then, is the personal and intellectual development, social ethics, and social responsibility of each student.
In addition to the benefits of diversity and inclusion for our students, research denotes there is a need to provide a campus climate where the contributions of all employees are respected and valued in the workplace. It is reasonable to perceive that the demographic composition of our workforce truly affects the quality of our relationships with team members, and decisions made.
Studies on the topic also indicate a workplace that is attractive, responsive to, and optimizes a person's ability to contribute is considered a great place to work. This is another reason the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to being a first-choice institution that attracts and retains the most diverse student body, faculty, and staff in the UW System.
Despite our clear and strong record of supporting diversity and inclusion, there is still much work to be done. Assisting the entire campus to be more accepting of difference is a compelling self-interest and strategic necessity. Current successful curricular and programmatic activities need to be complemented by additional initiatives at a time when higher education institutions often lack the resources, structures, or systems required to achieve or support diversity and inclusion efforts.
Further, although there is genuine interest in and support for diversity and inclusion initiatives from the Chancellor's cabinet, faculty, staff, and students, our ongoing commitment is central to our success now and in the future. We will be known for providing excellent diversity and inclusion educational opportunities and producing graduates who are diversity leaders while delivering excellent services to the communities they serve.
We simply cannot risk the future of our nation by leaving behind students who possess talent, are able to work across differences, and are able to address thorny challenges facing our communities.