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University Community Invited to Equity Audit Presentation

February 1, 2022
By: Deborah O'Neil

This past fall, the University launched a comprehensive assessment to understand how well it is meeting its commitment to equity for students, faculty, and staff. The assessment, led by the firm Inclusivity Education of Washington, D.C., included surveys and interviews with students and staff, a review of University policies and curricula, and analysis of University demographics and academic outcomes.

On Wednesday, the WSU community is invited to hear the results of the equity assessment in a live zoom presentation at 6 p.m. led by Akuoma Nwadike, Ph.D., the president and founder of Inclusivity Education. The months-long assessment highlights that WSU still has work to do across all domains – from policies and procedures, to protecting against classroom discrimination, to fostering belonging and inclusivity for people of color.

“There is much work to be done, but WSU is poised to do it!” said WSU General Counsel and Assistant to the President Stacey Luster, who is an ex-officio member of WSU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees. “Over the past five years, WSU has achieved many of its goals, including the establishment of DEI Committees, such as Climate, BIRT, LGBTQ+, and the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action. These engaged groups of faculty, students, and staff, along with the Multicultural Programming Committee and our new Faculty Equity Fellow, will continue to provide leadership as WSU develops its action plan to close equity gaps.”

The assessment grew out of the ongoing work of the Campus Climate Committee, charged with evaluating diversity, inclusion, and equity and using a data-based approach to design and assess systemic initiatives. In addition, WSU’s five-year Strategic Plan calls for the University to conduct an independent equity assessment. 

In February 2020, the Campus Climate Committee adopted the following definition of equity for university-wide usage: Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

During Wednesday’s presentation, students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to participate and ask questions. Following the presentation – as well as two other presentations for the University’s Cabinet and DEI Committees – the report will be published on the University’s Diversity and Inclusion website.

Here is the zoom link for the presentation:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://worcester.zoom.us/j/94148884286

Meeting ID: 941 4888 4286

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

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