The University of Washington’s Diversity Blueprint 2022 – 2026: Actions toward Access, Inclusion, and Equity outlines a set of high-level, aspirational goals for our tri-campus community. These goals provide an overarching framework, rather than a step-by-step guide, to assist individual academic and administrative units in designing local strategic action plans appropriate to their specific contexts and needs.
The Diversity Blueprint begins with the University of Washington’s Diversity Council, a body composed of faculty, staff, and students from across all academic and administrative units, which is charged with advising the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Diversity and University Diversity Officer on campus diversity issues. In 2010, the Diversity Council responded to the campus community’s calls for the creation of a comprehensive plan that would guide the University of Washington toward achieving its stated goals for diversity and inclusion. In the spirit of those calls, a Diversity Blueprint was developed to challenge the University to live up to its mission of valuing diverse perspectives, creating a welcoming learning environment for all students, and promoting broad access and equal opportunity.
Although we have made real progress since 2010, much work remains to be done, and our goals continue to evolve. The 2022 – 2026 version updates five of the six goals from the previous Blueprint, renewing and deepening our commitments to making the UW more inclusive and more equitable for students, staff, and academic personnel from diverse backgrounds, as well as our commitments to improving transparency and accountability. Our new goal challenges us to move beyond simply assessing diversity needs across our three campuses by prompting us to develop opportunities for place-based education and engagement. This latest version also reflects a fuller understanding of our community’s needs for access to relevant resources.
Academic and administrative units are asked to create local plans for action, but not without central resources. Since 2017, the Blueprint has been supported by focused workshops and by the Diversity Seed Grants program. Both will continue. We are adding a new, online set of resources with links to materials relevant to localizing each goal.
The work we do to advance access, inclusion, and equity—individually, but especially collectively—will help make us a more excellent university.
Diversity Blueprint Goals
To effectively respond to ongoing needs as well as to enhance progress already made, and in order to reflect current concerns of the University community, the Diversity Council has produced an updated Diversity Blueprint 2022 – 2026: Actions toward Access, Inclusion, and Equity organized around these six goals:
1. Cultivate an Accessible, Inclusive and Equitable Climate
The University must actively work to create and maintain learning, working, living, and healthcare spaces in which students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds believe they can thrive. Our goal is to foster a welcoming climate that is accessible, inclusive, and equitable across our research, healthcare, virtual, and campus environments.
2. Attract, Retain, and Graduate a Diverse and Excellent Student Body
The University must continue to actively recruit and support a diverse body of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The University must increase its capacity to serve students from communities that are underrepresented in higher education, including students who identify as Indigenous, Black, and People of Color; students from low- and modest-income families; students who identify as disabled, LGBTQ+, veterans, and alumni of foster care; international students; transfer students; and students who are part of recent immigrant populations.
3. Attract and Retain Diverse Academic Personnel
The University must increase efforts to recruit faculty, post-docs, librarians, and other academic personnel from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education, including those who identify as Indigenous, Black, and People of Color. The University must increase efforts to retain diverse faculty at all ranks and to support the success of diverse academic personnel across the full arcs of their careers.
4. Attract and Retain Diverse Staff
The University must increase efforts to recruit staff from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education, including staff who identify as Indigenous, Black, and People of Color. The University must increase efforts to retain diverse staff at all ranks and to support the success of diverse staff across the full arcs of their careers.
5. Develop Place-Based Education and Engagement to Advance Access, Equity, and Inclusion
The University must provide all students, staff, and faculty with opportunities to better understand the environments in which their learning and work lives take place. In particular, the University must rigorously explore its histories of racial, ethnic, and other forms of exclusion and actively engage the histories of the diverse communities within which its Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses are located.
6. Improve Accountability and Transparency at All Levels
University leadership must commit to working toward established goals for diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. Leaders at all levels must accept accountability by implementing new initiatives to achieve these goals; ensure that best practices are disseminated across all three campuses and across all of our research, healthcare, and virtual environments; and make clear the University community’s responsibility for advancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.
Moving the University of Washington toward fulfilling the goals identified in the 2022-2026 Diversity Blueprint will require the combined efforts of administrative and academic units, as well as faculty, staff, and students, across our three campuses. The Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, in collaboration with other diversity offices and programs across the UW, will offer assistance to units to formulate plans and identify resources for effective change.