Our Diversity Journey, 2009-2018
In 2009, the Diversity Taskforce was charged with developing a strategic plan for racial and ethnic diversity. The plan, Toward a Campus Climate of Inclusion: A Three-Year Plan to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Edgewood College, 2009-2012, was created and identified specific action steps to increase racial and ethnic diversity throughout the College and to begin building a campus climate of inclusion. In 2010, Edgewood hired a staff member to coordinate the inclusion planning efforts and also established the Inclusion Council to oversee the College’s progress toward reaching the goals set forth in the 2009-2012 plan.
The Inclusion Council provided strategic recommendations and actions to the President’s Leadership Team on how to develop and sustain a campus climate of inclusion. The Council reviewed policies and procedures relative to diversity, promoted strategies and best practices to enhance campus climate, and reviewed department and division inclusion planning efforts.
In the Fall of 2013, Edgewood renewed its commitment toward social justice and began building upon previous efforts. The President’s Leadership Team established an ad-hoc planning committee, the Inclusion Planning Taskforce, which drafted, The 2014-2017 Framework for Diversity: A Renewed Vision and Framework for Diversity & Inclusion. The 2014-2017 diversity plan further aligned the mission of Edgewood College with its diversity efforts and identified key leaders across campus to take responsibility for the 17 actions included in the plan.
In the Spring of 2015, the Inclusion Steering Committee was approved by the President's Council and this committee was charged with developing an implementation plan for the signature projects associated with Challenge areas 2, 3, and 6 in the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan (2014-2017). Shortly thereafter, the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion merged to establish the Office of Student Inclusion & Involvement. This merge was intentionally designed to enhance student engagement opportunities on the topic of diversity, encourage cross cultural dialogue, and to provide leadership opportunities to students that were grounded in inclusive excellence.
In the Summer of 2017, a new role, the Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Special Advisor to the President's Cabinet, was created to lead campus diversity efforts. This position serves as a member of the President's Cabinet and chairs the President's Diversity Leadership Council, a group also established in late 2017.
The Edgewood College 2017-2027 Pathways to Purpose (Strategic Plan) also serves as the College's diversity plan. Of the 33 priority actions included in this plan, one-third have an inclusion focus. Diversity is integrated throughout the entire plan and Strategic Priority #5 intentionally calls for us to build an inclusive College where individuals across the rich spectrum of diversity succeed and belong
The President's Diversity Leadership Council reports to the President of the College and ensures that an inclusive and equity lens is brought to the actions of the College. Within the first academic year of the charter of this group, the Council revised the College's identity statement, ensuring students from all gender identities (and expressions) were welcomed at Edgewood College, approved a Land Recognition Statement, honoring the Ho-Chunk Nation and bringing awareness to the 16 Native American Mounds on campus, and led an engagement session with the Edgewood College Board of Trustees.
In the Spring of 2018, the Diversity Practitioner Committee was created and is an extended group of practitioners who have direct responsibilities for and roles with students and faculty/staff from historically marginalized/underrepresented populations. This important group supports the implementation of the strategic plan.
In the Summer of 2018, resources were allocated to fund a full-time Director of the Center for Multicultural Education, the central teaching & learning hub on multicultural issues for faculty.
Our diversity journey is just at the beginning stages and this page will continue to share the evolution of the Edgewood College diversity program.