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Antisemitism and Islamophobia task forces

The climate for Jews, Muslims, Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs and others from the Middle East has been an area of significant concern for the UW, especially since October 7, 2023. Earlier this year, President Cauce charged two task forces to work together with the Office of Educational Assessment to assess the climate for these members of our University community.

We encouraged community members to share their experiences through a survey instrument developed collaboratively by both task forces and/or via focus groups The survey was sent out to all members of the UW community across the three campuses on May 6 and everyone was encouraged to complete it by May 24. Focus groups were limited to members of the Seattle campus community.

In reaching this point, the issue of words and definitions has been a topic of discussion among members of our UW community, reflecting the diversity of views in our society. We appreciate that words and definitions are central to the climate experienced by each person at UW and acknowledge that consensus on which words and definitions to use may not be possible at this time. We ask each person to contribute to the survey and focus groups from their own perspectives and experiences.

Survey and focus groups

  • The community survey closed Friday, May 24
  • The antisemitism focus groups have been completed
  • The Islamophobia focus groups have been completed

Contact the task forces

You can reach out to both task forces via

Task force members

Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor is co-chairing both groups to ensure institutional leadership support for each effort and provide a formal connection to the Office of Educational Assessment. Each group also appointed a faculty co-chair.

Antisemitism Task Force

  • Janet Baseman (Faculty, Epidemiology), Co-Chair
  • Ed Taylor (Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs), Co-Chair
  • Devin Naar (Faculty, Jewish Studies)
  • Steve Snyder (President, Professional Staff Association)
  • Clare Koesters (Master’s student, Jackson School)
  • Alice Zborovskiy (Undergraduate)

Islamophobia Task Force

  • Karam Dana (Faculty, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell), Co-Chair
  • Ed Taylor (Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs), Co-Chair
  • Ali Mokdad (Faculty, Health Metrics Sciences)
  • Leyla Salmassi (Past President, Professional Staff Organization)
  • Zain Abid (Law student)
  • Hibak Hassan (Undergraduate)
  • Tareq Taqiaddin (Undergraduate)

Scope and timeline

While the primary focus of the task forces should be on the climate of the Seattle campus, the survey will be conducted across all three campuses.

The task forces will meet as necessary to complete their work, with a goal to have assessments complete by the end of May.