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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Experts critique campus diversity plan

A team of researchers revealed their findings Thursday about the effectiveness of UW-Madison's diversity initiative, Plan 2008. 

 

 

 

The plan exists to increase racial and ethnic diversity at UW-Madison. According to major corporations that recruit from UW-Madison, campus diversity is important because it produces graduates who can work successfully in interracial groups. 

 

 

 

Researchers reported which diversity-related areas UW-Madison excelled in and failed at and made recommendations based on those findings. 

 

 

 

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According to Sallye McKee, the associate provost of multicultural and academic affairs at the University of Minnesota who worked on the research, UW-Madison programs such as Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity are effective for recruiting a diverse student body. 

 

 

 

Additionally, she commended UW-Madison's ethnic studies requirement and decision to uphold funding toward diversity efforts, despite impending budget cuts. 

 

 

 

However, McKee said UW-Madison has trouble retaining minority students and showing prospective minority students what the university has to offer. McKee also noted diversifying UW-Madison should be a campus-wide effort and stressed intercommunication between departments. 

 

 

 

\If diversity is everybody's business, it's everybody's work,"" she said. 

 

 

 

In addition to McKee's recommendations, Associated Students of Madison Representative Marion Ecks, who serves on the ASM campus climate diversity oversight committee, suggested UW-Madison add a class for freshman emphasizing practical topics, such as paying bills and dealing with racial and ethnic differences. 

 

 

 

""It should be an integral part of a seminar to document racial and ethnic issues,"" she said. 

 

 

 

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Paul Barrows said, though UW-Madison has a long way to go, it has made substantial progress. 

 

 

 

""We're not starting from ground zero,"" he said.

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