University of Washington Bothell Diversity Action Plan
The 2020-2021 Diversity Action Plan (DAP) is currently posted below.
If you have any questions, contact Interim Dean of Diversity & Equity, Wayne Au.
Diversity and the University of Washington Bothell
The University of Washington Bothell has one of the most diverse student bodies for a 4-year university in the State of Washington. Consistent with previous years, last year we enrolled a non-White student majority, with 7% of our student population being Black or African American, 10% being Latinx or Hispanic, and 30% being Asian or Asian American. Last year, over 40% of our incoming students were first generation college students, and roughly 35% of our incoming students were eligible for Pell grants (a marker of low income). While we would love to see increases in several student populations (i.e. higher percentages of Black, Latinx, and Native/Indigenous students in particular), we are an institution of higher education committed to access.
However, like all universities, we are imperfect. As the 2019 University of Washington Campus Climate Survey highlighted, many of our students, faculty, and staff—particularly those from marginalized communities or identities—feel a lack of community and support at UW Bothell. Fortunately, it is within our power to continually improve UW Bothell, and there are very tangible steps we can take as a campus to help all of us feel supported as a community of service, teaching, scholarship, and learning. This sense of improvement and building community is what lays at the heart of the Diversity Action Plan.
Background and Context
In the 2014 – 2015 academic year, University of Washington Bothell (UWB) Chancellor Wolf Yeigh charged the UWB Diversity Council with creating the campus Diversity Action Plan (DAP). The UWB Diversity Council developed the campus DAP in spring of 2015, making a series of recommendations and goals to improve campus climate and experiences of all students, staff, and faculty. Chancellor Yeigh then signed off on the DAP, affirming the recommendations made by the Diversity Council on behalf of the campus.
The campus Diversity Council assessed the 2015 DAP in the spring of 2018, roughly 3 years after it was originally implemented, noting areas where UWB met or did not meet the goals outlined in the DAP.
In the spring of 2018, Chancellor Yeigh created the UWB Office of Diversity & Equity, and appointed Dr. Wayne Au, Professor in the UWB School of Educational Studies and chair of the campus Diversity Council, as Interim Dean of Diversity and Equity.
That same spring, Chancellor Yeigh directed his Cabinet to catalogue the diversity work in their units over the last several years and share that data with the Interim Dean of Diversity & Equity, who in turn produced a campus diversity report that noted campus trends and contained extensive appendices.
UWB also began its next round of strategic planning during the 2018-2019 academic year. During this process, Chancellor Yeigh charged the Chair of the Chancellor’s Diversity Council with the creation of the DAP version 2.0, with the intent that this new DAP would support the strategic plan.
DAP 2020 Process
In the spring of 2019, Dr. Au, in his role as Diversity Council Chair and Acting Dean of Diversity & Equity, shared both the assessment of the 2015 DAP and the campus diversity report with the UWB campus via email and through multiple campus presentations, with the goal of gathering community input on campus diversity priorities, to be incorporated into the next revision of the DAP. As part of both the campus emails and the presentations, an anonymous, online survey was shared where respondents could identify priorities related to diversity that they found important to focus on in the coming years.
Using a combination of the assessment of the 2015 DAP, campus input via both the presentations and the online survey, as well as ongoing issues raised in the course of his work as Chair of the Diversity Council and as the Acting Dean of Diversity & Equity, Dr. Au drafted revision of the DAP in 2019. Input was then sought on this draft from the campus Diversity Council, the Council of Academic Deans, ASUWB, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the Chancellor’s Executive Council, and the broader campus students, staff, and faculty via campus email. Feedback was then compiled and incorporated into the final version, which was then presented to Chancellor Yeigh in the fall of 2020 for approval.
What's Different about the 2020 UWB DAP?
Outside of different specific recommendations (which will be noted, below), it is important to note some key differences between the 2015 and 2020 versions of the DAP:
- The 2020 DAP is more focused in terms of strategic priorities. The 2015 version of the DAP had a long list of goals, some attainable, some not, but all framed in terms of 1, 3, and 5-year goals. The 2020 DAP is a bit different in that, while it holds many goals as ongoing and as consistently core parts of supporting diversity at UWB, it focuses on fewer goals to be completed over a shorter period of time. The reasons for this shift are both strategic and institutional. As an institution, we will constantly need to attend to the larger list of concerns raised by marginalized communities on campus, and in the interest of educational justice we will continually work on improving UW Bothell from the perspective of diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, we also have limited resources and capacity, and the constantly changing local and national contexts (e.g., campus incidents, regional incidents, legislation, etc.) mean that we can’t feasibly plan to fix everything all at once. So, the intent here is to work with broad goals in mind, but also make some choices about where to focus some of our resources over the next few years.
- The 2020 UWB DAP is more purposefully framed within the broader 2017-2021 University of Washington Diversity Blueprint. The Blueprint is organized around six goals:
- Cultivate an Inclusive Campus Climate,
- Attract, Retain, and Graduate a Diverse and Excellent Student Body,
- Attract and Retain a Diverse Faculty,
- Attract and Retain a Diverse Staff,
- Assess Tri-Campus Diversity Needs, and
- Improve Accountability and Transparency
As a campus we are committed to continually working on these six goals of the UW Diversity Blueprint as part of our ongoing diversity work at UW Bothell.
2020 Diversity Action Plan's Four Priority Areas
In addition to the six goals outlined in the UW Diversity Blueprint, over the next three years, from 2020-2023, the University of Washington Bothell will focus on the following four priority areas in its Diversity Action Plan:
1. Building Community
- Consciously work towards making UW Bothell a more outwardly supportive community for LGBQTIA students, staff, & faculty. While the UWB community has many members who are LGBQTIA, the network of LGBQTIA students, staff, and faculty is not particularly strong, and members of this community do not necessarily feel as outwardly safe here as they could and should. We could improve this situation through programming, supporting student groups, and establishing a staff & faculty group.
- Establish affinity groups for faculty & staff . Faculty and staff of various identities have consistently voiced the desire for a regular meet-up or gathering to get to know each other, build deeper connection and community, and strengthen their networks.
- Increased mentorship opportunities for staff and students. Partner with Student Affairs to create mentorship opportunities for diverse staff and students.
- Continued diversity programming in support of marginalized communities. There is an ongoing need to make sure that our campus diversity programming works to support historically and institutionally marginalized groups on campus.
2. Building a More Inclusive Campus Climate
- Faith Accommodations for students, staff, and faculty. Consistent with the 2019 Washington State Law regarding religious accommodations for students in higher education, work with appropriate campus units (e.g., VCAA, academic Deans, and Disability Student Services) to develop clear language, protocols, and systems for providing reasonable accommodations for students’ religious practices.
- Clearer, more precise, and systematized hiring processes/protocols for increasing the diversity of faculty & staff applicant pools. Partner with OEHR, the VCAA, academic Deans, and unit hiring managers to establish systematic protocols for diversifying applicant pools for faculty and staff positions.
- Establish more transparent protocols and reporting processes for bias reporting at UW Bothell. While UWB does have a bias reporting system through the CARE portal, we need to develop a clearly outlined and transparent process for bias reporting for students, faculty, and staff. This process should articulate how to make a bias report, to whom the report goes to, what the communication protocol is, what campus authorities could potentially be contacted, what official processes have to be followed, and what potential outcomes could be produced.
- Intentional campus programming on the relationship of Free speech, hate speech, and political speech on campus. Given rising political tensions locally and nationally, the upcoming presidential elections, the increase of frequency and intensity of white supremacist activity, the entire UWB community would benefit from understanding both the legal parameters of speech in higher education and various ways to combat hate speech in our communities.
- Intentional campus programming in sexual assault awareness and support of victim-survivors. In addition to the above-mentioned professional development for faculty and staff, and in addition to a focus on increased transparency in the CARE reporting system, there is an ongoing need for purposeful and intentional shifts in campus culture to be more supportive of victim-survivors and for campus education in this area more generally.
- Increase transparency in CARE reporting protocols. Similar to the needs of bias reporting system, the campus community would benefit from more transparency and clearer communication about CARE reporting – what happens when a report is filed, who sees reports, what possible actions and outcomes are possible.
- Re-envision the Campus Diversity Council to align with the UWB Office of Diversity & Equity. UW Bothell has undergone several institutional shifts regarding diversity work in recent years. The establishment of the Student Diversity Center – with consistent staffing was a huge leap for campus in terms of institutional capacity to enact diversity work. Further, the more recent creation of the Office of Diversity & Equity, along with the creation of the position of the Dean of Diversity & Equity (as well as bringing the Student Diversity Center in alignment with the Office of Diversity & Equity), has increased our capacity to coordinate diversity and inclusion work on campus. Given the ongoing evolution of UWB’s institutional diversity capacity, the chancellor, in conjunction with the Dean of Diversity & Equity, will re-envision the Campus Diversity Council as a gathering of UWB diversity leads, who, as a body, can then communicate and coordinate with each other to articulate a campus vision of diversity and bring our programming and campus resources in alignment to achieve our diversity goals.
- Establish a Hate Incident Response Task Force. Currently the University of Washington Bothell does not have clear protocols and policies for communications, support, and actions when blatant incidents of hate happen on campus (i.e. racist signs or graffiti). This workgroup will consist of representative constituents from across campus at various levels and will be charged to develop recommendations for protocols and policies for when such incidences occur.
3. Faculty & Staff Development
Our faculty and staff work in service to our students, their scholarship or professional work, and to the campus community as a whole. As such, one of the most immediately effective ways to improve student experience at UWB is to strengthen our faculty and staff capacity to more successfully work with our student body.
- Partner with necessary campus units to help develop staff and faculty orientation and on-boarding that attends to the diversity of our students, to potentially include, but not be limited to: Culturally responsive pedagogy; inclusive practices for students with disabilities, international and multilingual students, veterans, survivor-victims of sexual assault, undocumented students, LGBTQIA and non-binary students, and first-generation college students; introduction to Title IX; introduction to the CARE and bias incident reporting process; anti-sexual and racial harassment training; and implicit bias.
- Work with academic units and appropriate faculty governance to establish an anti-bias practice of using competitively hired pools for adjunct faculty/part-time lecturers, with the intent that these pools will require training and orientation on working with the diversity of UWB students.
- Partner with appropriate UWB units (e.g., VCAA, academic Deans) to build the capacity of current faculty to work with the diversity of UWB students through supporting best practices for inclusive classrooms and curriculum.
- Partner with the Office of Organizational Excellence and Human Resources to build the capacity of UWB staff in working with UWB students – through training and supporting professional development.
4. Build Out of the Office of Diversity & Equity
In order to support the intense diversity needs of UWB and to strive towards meeting the above goals, the Office of Diversity & Equity (including the Student Diversity Center) requires increased, centrally funded resources and increased staff capacity. Ideally, this could include having all core ODE staff funded from permanent monies, increasing the budget to support campus programming and training, increasing staffing to support diversity initiatives at UWB (e.g., a Diversity Center program manager to support Black students at UWB, an Assistant Director for the Diversity Center, a program assistant to help with day-to-day operations, and/or another professional staff member to support the campus level work with faculty, hiring, bias complaints, etc.).
Key Indicators of Working Towards 2020 DAP
Overall, if we are successfully working towards the goals outlined in the 2020 Diversity Action Plan, we should see improvement in feelings of community and belonging in the next Campus Climate Survey, as well as see improvements in student retention rates and retention rates of staff and faculty from historically marginalized identities. As a campus, clear progress towards meeting the goals outlined in the 2020 Diversity Action Plan would be, at a minimum, indicated by evidence of the following tasks/outcomes being completed.
- Annual activity reporting for units in each of the above areas (coordinated by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion)
- Firm plan and commitment from central administration for the resources necessary for the build out of the Office of Diversity & Equity.
- CARE and Bias Reporting Protocols and process outlined clearly for reporters
- Hate Incident Response Workgroup established by Autumn Quarter 2020, report and recommendations delivered by end of academic year 2021
- Campus Programming on Sexual Assault and Awareness
- Campus Programming on Free Speech/Hate Speech/Political Speech
- Regular gatherings for marginalized faculty and staff
- Improved and systematized hiring process protocols for faculty hires accepted and enacted by academic leadership.
- Faculty trainings – in service and orientation/onboarding
- Staff trainings
- Continue to communicate with campus community regarding religious accommodations
- Diversity Programming
- Pilot mentoring program
- White anti-racist faculty & staff group formed
- LGBQT Community building events
- Performing another climate survey in 2024 (either led by UWB or UWS)