Expanding faculty of color

University Senate passes resolution to make equity, diversity and inclusivity a ‘top priority’

Robin Armagost

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University Senate discussing the resolution.

Photo by Submitted Photo

University Senate discussing the resolution.

UW-Eau Claire is committed to creating a campus that is open and supportive, as well as focused on dismantling sexism, racism, xenophobia and homophobia, according to the UW-Eau Claire Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website.

On Tuesday afternoon, the University Senate passed a resolution to improve retention of faculty, staff and students of color at UW-Eau Claire.

According to the meeting agenda,the three major goals of the resolution are to “strengthen our ability to retain faculty, staff and students of color, create a more just, inclusive and equitable learning environment for students of color and to create a more just inclusive and equitable working environment for university employees of color.”

To accomplish those goals, the University Senate plans to call on UW-Eau Claire’s staff, faculty and administrators “to invest in resources and take specific action,” according to the meeting agenda.

One of these actions is to create the EDI Research and Service Fellowship, which is modeled on the University Research and Creativity grant administered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

This would provide academic staff and faculty stipends, time reassignment and support for projects that would contribute to the advancement of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, according to the meeting agenda.

The University would create the EDI Teaching Fellowship, which would provide academic staff and faculty with support for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), or pedagogical training. 

There would also be the creation of a day-long event, Opening Convocation, which would take place during Blugold Welcome Week for all incoming and transfer students.

The purpose of the event is to introduce the new students to “our campus’s shared values in an academic setting and that would aim to build an academic culture of inclusive excellence,” according to the meeting agenda. 

Additionally, the meeting agenda states that the university would create Retention Working Group to “identify barriers to retention for faculty and staff of color at UWEC,” as well as a retention plan for staff and faculty of color.

Finally, additional faculty and faculty of color would be hired in the American Indian Studies, Critical Hmong Studies, Latin American Studies and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies programs.

Armagost can be reached at [email protected]