Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan
- Thursday, August 29th, 2019
WKU has a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as evidenced in our strategic plan, “Climbing to Greater Heights,” and a variety of initiatives we are implementing that are designed to ensure all students have the opportunity and the resources to complete their degree programs on time. We are also committed to providing a workplace that values and encourages diversity.
To further demonstrate our commitment to, and elevate the conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion, we are pleased today to announce a partnership between the divisions of Academic Affairs and Enrollment and Student Experience. Led by co-chief diversity officers Dr. Molly Kerby, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology, and Michael Crowe, Director of Student Conduct, this partnership will assure broad representation as we refine and implement our DEI efforts.
The latest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan report from the Council on Postsecondary Education is based on data from the 2017-18 academic year and uses data from the 2015-16 academic year as its baseline. While WKU shows progress in many of the metrics, it is not enough to meet the goals the University set. Those goals were intended to be a stretch, but attainable. We are proud of the progress we are making as evidenced by the 2018-19 retention numbers.
However, there were shortcomings in our processes and the resulting plan score will require a remediation plan, which we are already addressing. We are confident that our new model will address these shortcomings with the broader emphasis this partnership brings. Unfortunately, until a modified DEI plan is approved by the CPE, WKU will not be allowed to submit new program proposals for consideration. We expect to submit our modified plan by November 1st and hope for a quick approval from CPE.
Dr. Lynne Holland, Dean of Students, had been tasked with leading our DEI efforts. We thank her for her dedicated service and look forward to working with her as she focuses on her primary role, Dean of Students.
Addressing diversity, equity and inclusion requires our entire community. While co-chiefs Molly Kerby and Michael Crowe will lead our efforts, we challenge everyone in the WKU family to do what they can to provide a welcoming environment that attracts, encourages and retains the diverse population of students, faculty and staff that can enhance the WKU experience for us all.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience