Dear Western Community:
Creating and sustaining a campus that is diverse, inclusive, and welcoming to every single member of our Western community is absolutely central to our mission as a university. During the past academic year Western, with important leadership contributions from our students, has engaged with new urgency in conversations about advancing those goals with concrete action and renewed commitment. As a result of those conversations, a number of new initiatives have been launched, and the purpose of this message is to provide an update on their progress.
Although I have tried to be brief about each of these initiatives, giving them detail they deserve is too long for an email. Please see the complete update,available here.
Celebrating the new work underway—and the many foundational, diversity-related programs that have long been a part of Western—is consistent with soberly owning up to the fact that much work remains to be done. Building the diverse and inclusive Western community that we all deserve and desire will require continued commitment, collective learning, persistence of thought and action, and purposeful behavior. In these outcomes and initiatives noted I hope you will see, as I do, signs of progress toward a future that more fully reflects and represents the rich diversity of our campus as well as the local and global communities.
I would like to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who have been involved in working on these initiatives and the enormous commitment of time and energy they have made on behalf of all of us in the Western community. The leadership, outreach, expertise, and partnership of the President`s Taskforce on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity has touched nearly all of these new initiatives. The Social Justice and Equity Committee of the Faculty Senate has also been instrumental in facilitating inclusive and far-reaching dialogue that will contribute to sustainable change on campus.
As we envision the future of Western through a strategic planning process this year, we will initiate a deeper understanding of how we can advance success for all students and more purposefully utilize and align university resources to enhance student learning. We have a number of impressive initiatives across campus focused on increasing diversity and excellence; our challenge is to ensure that those activities are coordinated to have the desired impact in advancing the university in meaningful ways. Similarly, we have a number of groups that are engaged in meaningful conversations around diversity and excellence. While encouraging creative ideas from individuals and groups, we need to align their work for maximal impact.
I look forward to the ways in which our campus creativity, compassion, and commitment to excellence through diversity will come forward. Thank you for your commitment to building that future together at Western.