Equity & Affirmative Action

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What is the Equity Liaison Initiative?

The Equity Liaison Initiative is a strategic, campus-wide effort to engage and support members of all departments and units at UWL in:

  • identifying and measuring equity gaps in the rates of access, retention, and achievement for people of all demographic groups (including but not limited to race, gender, and disability), and
  • implementing evidence-based strategies to remedy equity and inclusion issues in the educational/work environments.

About this initiative

What is an Equity Liaison?

An Equity Liaison is an individual faculty or staff member, designated on a voluntary basis, who will work within their department or unit to: 

  • identify equity issues in their department/unit; 
  • determine appropriate strategies and resources to address these issues; and 
  • serve as a conduit and advocate for these efforts within their department.

Liaisons will be provided initial training and ongoing support from a network of peers and the campus-wide steering committee.

Why is UWL doing this?

UWL is an equal-opportunity educational institution. Providing an equitable educational and workplace environment for all students and employees is not merely a legal compliance issue, it is also an ethical and moral obligation, as well as a strategic imperative essential to the university’s mission. As provided for in UWL’s Strategic Plan, “Sustaining Excellence,” the Equity Liaison Initiative will play an important role in fulfilling this obligation.

Where possible, this initiative will make use of existing data, resources, and practices that are available at UWL. Over time, needs for additional funding for training and assessment will be identified. The initiative will prioritize sustainability and evidence-based strategies.

Who is involved?

The liaisons will be supported by a steering committee which consists of:

  • Nizam Arain (Equity & Affirmative Action) (convener) 
  • Rachel Berry (Joint Multicultural Affairs Committee)
  • Mohamed Elhindi (Information Technology Services) 
  • Grace Engen (Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning)
  • Roger Haro (Interim Associate Dean, College of Science and Health) 
  • Deb Hoskins (Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning) 
  • Roi Kawai (School of Education)
  • Barbara Stewart (Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion)

Additional consultation will be provided by the ACCESS Center, Human Resources, and Campus Climate. 

Department Chairs, Unit Directors, and senior administrators will play a role in visibly supporting the work of the equity liaisons, ensuring that they have access to the data and resources needed, and advocating for implementation of strategies to address inequities.

How can I get involved?

Check the listing to find out who the Equity Liaison for your department or unit is. If your department or unit does not have one yet, speak with your chair or director, or you can volunteer or nominate a colleague by clicking here

Even if you don’t serve as a liaison, you can support the efforts happening in your department and help implement strategies to address inequities.

 

 

Resources for Equity Liaisons

Starting a resource file

Equity Liaisons are encourage to begin compiling a Resource File on issues of equity and inclusion in your department/unit. 

Examples of items that would be appropriate to include in your resource file include: 

  • Departmental Inclusive Excellence plan. 

  • Department/unit annual report, especially if it includes content on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. 

  • Bylaws and guidelines for retention, tenure, promotion, and merit. 

  • A list of issues related to equity and inclusion that are topics of discussion or active efforts in your department/unit. 

  • Information about what peer institutions are doing to advance equity and inclusion in your field.  

  • Academic literature or news articles regarding gender, race, ethnicity, or disability issues in your discipline. 

  • Any data sets that your department/unit currently collects or possesses that relate to equity issues. (If there are data sets you don't have yet but would like to have, please make a note of this.) 

  • An inventory of existing training or professional development opportunities related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

  • Information about professional societies that focus on under-served populations in your field.