Vice Provost seeks student input on Diversity Framework implementation

Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims says student involvement with the Diversity Framework will be essential to its success.

Image By: Yifan Yu

The Associated Students of Madison Coordinating Council met Wednesday to hear from the university’s Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims about the importance of collaborative student effort in implementation of UW-Madison’s Diversity Framework.

Sims, the interim vice provost for diversity and climate, outlined six working committees which will be established to address the five goals in the latest campus diversity plan, finalized in May.

These goals include efforts to promote campus-wide values of leadership, coordination and retention concerning diversity and inclusion.

The framework, Sims stressed, is based on a collective effort. He said students campus-wide need to “roll up their sleeves and get involved,” and can do so by sitting on one of the working committees.

Each of the six committees will be comprised of eight to 12 people and assigned to specific goals, such as promoting shared values of diversity and inclusion and improving recruitment and retention efforts.

Committees will then be tasked with honing in on the goal and establishing actions that will eventually accomplish what the goal encompasses.

Sims has given the committees a March 1 deadline for finalizing information on how to actively execute their goals.

He also highlighted that while there are no concrete requirements for committee members, he will be looking for students and faculty who have both the expertise and time to achieve the desired effect of the Diversity Framework.

The framework’s implementation will take place through a series of five phases spanning 10 years, Sims said.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Sims urged students to consider, explaining the university’s past diversity planning has worked, but not well. “What I’d like to do is find a way to sustain the enterprise.”

Sustaining the enterprise, Sims continued, will be about a collaborative effort from the students.

He suggested that students who typically do not take part in diversity and inclusion discussions, like students of the majority, engage in these conversations.

Sims also discussed the Student Advisory Board, a separate entity from the six working committees, which will be comprised of various sections of student life and tasked with assessing committee functionality.

Students interested in sitting on the board can apply here: http://go.wisc.edu/z5969r.

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