Department Reports on Inclusive Excellence/Equity

A page within Academic Affairs

When and to whom to report:  Academic departments’ Inclusive Excellence (IE)/Equity reports are due July 1. The format and template for the report are available at the link above and here. The report should be uploaded into Digital Measures by the department chair and a hyperlink to the report will pull as part of the departmental component of the department's annual report. See Digital Measures instructions for annual reports.

What is the relationship of the IE report to the Equity Liaison program?

The goal of both the reports and the Equity Liaison program is to promote a culture within departments to engage in serious data-driven, outcome-based strategies regarding inclusive excellence and equity. Although the department chair submits the report, the process should be a department-level process and the Equity Liaison (EqL) can serve as a resource in the development and implementation of the plan. Departments are encouraged to develop goals and plans with the data on equity by department provided at the Equity Liaison website. The reports are linked to two of UWL’s primary strategic planning goals; namely, 1) achieve demographic equity in access and retention for students, staff, faculty, and administrators, and 2) provide fully inclusive educational experiences for all students.

How to think about the report? 

The goal of the report is to help departments plan and reflect. Feedback on department IE reports is provided by from the Academic Department Equity Liaison Steering Committee (composed of CATL's Inclusive Teaching Specialist and CASSH, CBA, CSH, and SOE's DEI Fellows) who will consider the department's goals, action steps, and measures of success, and how those elements align. In addition, departments may request additional feedback or consultation about options from the committee.

  Examples of strong departmental reports:
     - English (CASSH)
     - Exercise & Sports Science (CSH)
     - Feedback rubric for departmental IE/equity reports

How will these reports be used?
The reports are used to provide feedback to departments regarding their goals and outcomes in addition to identifying best practices. The reports are public documents that may be viewed by any interested individuals/units. Furthermore, departments include and reflect on IE reports in their departmental APR self-study.

  • APR self-study guidelines for undergraduate APR departments indicate the inclusion of the IE reports and in the narrative departments are asked to "Discuss the inclusive excellence plan for the department/program, including successes and challenges in implementation, as well as feedback received, outcomes and future goals.

Do you have questions? Need help?  Please contact Ashley Edwards (CST)-

What to consider when developing goals: UWL and UW System have identified three central goals for the Inclusive Excellence initiative, aimed at serving historically underrepresented student populations better: improving accessclosing equity gaps (differences in performance between underserved populations and students as a whole); and improving the campus climate. The form asks units to report in one or more of those three goal areas. 
   -The data website for Equity Liaisons and departments provides several sources of information about equity caps.
   -The CATL Inclusive Excellence Guide includes instructional "equity strategies" for helping to close equity gaps.  

Definitions and sample responses: Remember that this report should reflect unit-level activity, rather than individual. Think of each element of your “plan” as a “goal.” 



Sample responses 

1.Improving access 

including but not limited to, improving access to: higher education in general, UW-L in particular, specific majors and minors; the full range of educational opportunities offered to students through your college and its programs (including, but not limited to internships, service learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, problem-based learning, authentic assignments).

Identify the “High-Impact Practices” department members currently use and assess student use of and barriers to engaging in them; use this information to reduce barriers. Useful help: colleagues from outside the department to interview students or administer surveys; list of “high-impact practices” and strategies for improving them. 

Work with community partners on diversity awareness.

2.Closing equity gaps

including but not limited to narrowing performance gaps between dominant groups and historically underserved populations in: initial courses leading to a program (“gateway” courses); courses within General Education for non-majors; courses across a program; particular types of assignments or learning experiences. 

Implement student self-evaluation forms on written assignments to help students and the department identify gaps in knowledge and/or skills. Department will evaluate these forms at the end of each term and develop appropriate responses. Useful help: examples of such forms, CATL staff assistance in developing responses likely to help; data from IR to help gauge success. 

Develop and implement diagnostic, early assignments (within the first three weeks of a course) that can identify problems; develop and implement early and intentional interventions based on this assignment. Useful help: workshop to develop such assignments and interventions (CATL? Writing Center?); data from IR to help gauge success. 

3.Improving campus climate 

including but not limited to: developing effective, civil communication skills for discussing difficult topics related to diversity; bringing diversity issues into course content; providing the campus and community with diversity-related programs and events; developing student, staff, and faculty bases of knowledge related to diversity or particular populations; developing partnerships with diverse communities beyond UWL that serve community-defined needs; extending expertise on diversity issues and populations to other organizations (e.g., professional associations, other campuses, local businesses or agencies, UW System organizations).

Learn about implicit biases and identify ways they might influence our pedagogy. Useful help: resources on implicit bias and its effects; free books; facilitator from outside the department to guide departmental discussion.. 

Find ways for more students to see themselves represented in course content and assignments across our programs. Useful help: strategy for mapping across course sin a program; assistance developing and delivering a department-level workshop.