A home for our diversity center

In her message remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and looking beyond Inauguration Day, President Cauce challenged us to find ways that we can help build understanding and create positive change toward a more perfect union. 

I am pleased to announce positive change taking shape right here on the UW Bothell campus. We have reached a major milestone in the creation of a student diversity center.

As you all know, a diversity center is one of the top priorities of our Diversity Action Plan. To guide us in moving forward, we formed the Diversity Center Steering Committee last June. The group was chaired by George Theo and included students, faculty and staff. It was charged with collecting input from the campus community, developing recommendations on the goals and purpose for the diversity center and identifying possible locations.

Last week, the steering committee presented its recommendations for the Diversity Center and I accepted those recommendations. You can read the full report here

Below is a summary of the recommendations. The details can be found here.

Four options for locating the center were identified. After discussing the merits of each and consulting with the vice chancellors and many of the stakeholders, we have decided to site the diversity center in the northwest corner of the first floor of UW1, including the IDEA project room. The space across the hall, in the northeast corner of UW1, will remain assigned to the Student Success Center. In addition, I’m assigning UW1-103 and the adjacent faculty offices to the Student Success Center. We have identified alternate offices to relocate the faculty currently in this space.

As I’m sure you all know, the work of our Student Success Center is critical in offering our students the high-impact experiences, advising and support that enable them to be so successful. I am cognizant of inevitable disruptions to the staff and the students they serve. We will work to minimize these disruptions. It’s important to enable the good work in the center to continue and become even more impactful. I invite the Student Success Center team to take the lead in deciding how to best utilize the existing and new spaces assigned to the center, and my team is committed to assisting with the transition. 

A newly established implementation committee for the diversity center will be chaired by Counseling Center Director Rosemary Simmons and past ASUWB President Dominick Juarez. This committee will begin work immediately with a goal of opening the center at the beginning of spring quarter, or as close to that time as possible. A subcommittee of this group will gather data over winter quarter that will guide development of programming and services.

The committee also recommended staffing the diversity center with a director, program manager and program coordinator. Together, my team will work with the implementation committee and others involved toward the hiring of these positions.

I would like to thank the members of the committee for their hard work and will move forward with the recommendations as expeditiously as possible.

The development of the center is an important step in making collaborative change across our campus. It is something we can be proud of, and together we can continue to address the challenges of marginalized students on our campus and throughout our region.

The student diversity center began as a dream long before I arrived at UW Bothell, and soon it will be a reality. As our campus continues to celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King this week, I encourage you to consider the dream he had for all of us and how that dream can be lived out on our campus.

You can find President Cauce’s message to the UW community here.