Vice Provost & CDO Patrick Sims Gives Diversity Update to Faculty Senate

A year after passing a resolution to support cultural competency as part of faculty’s ongoing professional development, the Faculty Senate heard Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims provide an update May 1 on the status of overall diversity and inclusion efforts at UW-Madison.

The Campus Strategic Framework or Diversity Implementation Plan outlines 18 initiatives to be achieved in three phases over a 10-year period. This year marked the end of phase one with several successes to share:

  • The first-ever campus diversity climate survey was administered to students with one-fifth of UW-Madison students responding. A task force, chaired by Sims and Vice Provost and Dean of Students Lori Berquam, is now reviewing survey results is expected to share findings and recommendations in the fall.
  • February featured the launch of the Diversity Inventory Project (DIP), an online database to collect all diversity programming and efforts at UW-Madison.
  • Initiative one of the campus strategic framework addresses expanding cultural support and well-being services for students, faculty and staff. Progress was made this year on several fronts including the creation of the Black Cultural Center, which was dedicated on Feb. 28 and will hold a campuswide open house on May 3.
  • Our Wisconsin, a community building program for new students, was started last fall and will be expanded to include all incoming students in the fall of 2017. The Senate also heard about a second training day being added to the 2017 Diversity Forum. Day two will focus on developing cultural competency skills for UW behavioral health specialists, student service professionals and campus advisors.

Vice Provost Sims talked with Faculty Senate members about strengthening relationships with campus and community partners and establishing the first ever Chancellor’s Community Advisory Committee. The advisory committee meets to discuss climate issues and offers thoughts with campus leaders on how best to proceed.

Campus and community partnerships were also highlighted by this year’s Powwow and the Latino Youth Summit. In early April, 6,200 people came to the Alliant Energy Center to learn about Native American culture; the Latino Youth Summit provided 80 middle-schoolers and their families with knowledge of how to navigate college preparation.

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) will honor its college graduates when students from DDEEA Programs ­– including CeO, Chancellor’s Scholars, First Wave, PEOPLE, POSSE, Powers-Knapp Scholars, and Pathways – gather on May 12 for the 4th annual DDEEA Graduation Recognition. The students’ achievements will be celebrated, the keynote address provided by actor Andre De Shields and the Outstanding Alumni of Color award presented to Ada Deer, the first Native American woman to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the first member of the Menominee Tribe to graduate from UW-Madison.