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Diversity Compact III Report

University of Washington Diversity Compact III Report

WHEREAS foremost among the University of Washington’s values is respect for the diversity of human experience and perspective, and,

WHEREAS the University of Washington Regents, in January, 1998 directed the President and the University administration to continue to pursue the goal of racial and cultural diversity, first enunciated in 1975, and in February, 1998 further affirmed the University’s commitment to diversity in its faculty and staff, as in its student body, and,

WHEREAS our University can best pursue its mission in a climate that fosters understanding of and value for diversity, we do hereby individually and collectively commit to continuing and expanding our efforts toward the objectives set forth in the first Diversity Compact, signed in October, 2000.


In October 2000, in the wake of the passage of I-200, the Diversity Council of the University of Washington signed into action the first University of Washington Diversity Compact. Noting the University’s commitment to diversity as a core value, the document outlined goals in areas of outreach and recruitment to bring new students, faculty, staff and community members to campus; retention; and climate to make the University of Washington as welcoming as possible to its students, faculty and staff.

The goal of the Diversity Compact is to help the University of Washington attain an optimal level of diversity. This document extends from past Diversity Compacts and, in the tradition of its predecessors, builds on the commitment of the University of Washington to diversity as a central value. Full diversity in higher education remains a distant goal. The pursuit of such a goal, however, will benefit students, staff and faculty and therefore the University of Washington as an institution for years to come.

During the past year, we have seen greater collaboration between administrative and academic units on issues related to diversity on our campus. Examples of this collaboration are identified below. This is an important precedent that will allow the campus community to work creatively and with greater enthusiasm on these important issues in the future.

This report summarizes some of the major accomplishments related to diversity at the University of Washington during the 2002-2003 academic year*. The document is divided into five major sections: recruitment and outreach, retention, climate, Diversity Council, and new directions. The final section summarizes the report and discusses the context of diversity for the University in the coming years.

*While this report is comprehensive, we realize that there may be a number of other initiatives and programs focusing on diversity that have not been highlighted in this document. We apologize for any omissions and hope that the work that individual programs and staff are carrying out on behalf of diversity continues with great enthusiasm and energy in the future.

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Part I: Recruitment and Outreach

An important focus of past Diversity Compacts was a goal to increase minority enrollments to pre-Initiative 200 levels. In pursuit of this goal, the University of Washington has expanded outreach and recruitment efforts to K-8 students, high school students, and community college students. Some of the efforts include the continuation of programs such as Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Student Ambassadors, and EMPOWER Programs, and the appointment of a dedicated full time recruiter to work with area community colleges. Graduate recruitment has also been expanded through the addition of new institutions to the Western and National Name Exchange programs that coordinate the sharing of names of minority juniors and seniors interested in graduate school. Furthermore, the participation of UW graduate school recruiters in national and regional graduate school fairs and conferences has added to visibility of the UW throughout the country. Scholarship support has also been raised to assist students pursuing baccalaureate degrees at the UW. For example, since its inception the Diversity Scholars program has raised over $7 million in private support, which has allowed 200 Diversity Scholars to enroll at the UW. Similarly, funds to support graduate students have also been raised thanks in part to the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation and other private donors who support graduate education. Finally, the forging of partnerships between the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, the Office of Development, the Office of Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, and the various colleges and administrative units on the UW campus, has facilitated the establishment of stronger relationships with students, parents, and communities throughout the State of Washington.

Highlights of recruitment and outreach efforts during the 2002-2003 academic year include the following:

  1. The mission of the Recruitment and Outreach Unit is to identify and recruit academically competitive underrepresented students who will apply and, if admitted, choose to enroll at the UW. The recruitment and outreach staff carry out multiple visits to high schools, community colleges, churches, and community centers where there is high minority representation. This year alone, the unit coordinated over 100 visits for 1,928 visitors to campus and saw another 1,307 people at off-campus presentations for a total of 3,235 contacts. This coming year the recruitment and outreach staff will build a parent component into all major programs, while at the same time continue their work to increase transfer applications and increase program resources for Native American recruitment efforts.
  2. Students from underrepresented backgrounds submitted a total of 1,318 applications this year, an increase of close to 16% (188) from 2002. Of this total pool, African Americans submitted 398 applications, while 131 were submitted by Native Americans, 685 by Hispanic/Latino students, and 104 by Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. Offers were extended to 873 underrepresented students this year, an increase of 16.4% (123) over 2002. Fall 2003 enrollment figures indicate that more than 51% of the underrepresented students that were extended offers this year had enrolled at the UW.
  3. The successful submission of a Jumpstart grant designed to build language, literacy, and social skills in young children through the involvement of college students as mentors and tutors in pre K-6 classrooms in the Seattle area. Each year, at least 40 undergraduate students will be placed in Head Start sites (with a high proportion of disadvantaged and minority students) to help young learners develop reading and social skills that will allow them to transition to kindergarten and other grade levels. Jumpstart is a partnership between the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity in conjunction with the Carlson Center in the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the College of Education, the Office of Student Financial Aid, the Development Office, and University Relations.
  4. A very positive development this year has been the initiation of “Husky Warm-Up Activities” that enables the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and the Development Office to reconnect and build strong bonds with EOP Alumni at gatherings prior to Husky Football games in Seattle and other locations across the West Coast.
  5. The successful passage of House Bill 1079 will provide access to higher education institutions in Washington to students from undocumented immigrant backgrounds. Sponsored by Representative Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney, HB 1079 was passed by the legislature and signed into law this spring by Governor Gary Locke. The UW, through the efforts of the offices of Government Relations, Enrollment Services and Minority Affairs, was a strong supporter of the legislation because it represents the opening of doors to higher education for undocumented students and serves as an important tool for enhancing diversity representation in our campuses.
  6. Continuation of the Summer Bridge Program. Summer Bridge is a five-week program that provides students with intensive coursework in biology, humanities, and political science. Afternoon workshops in math, English, speech communication, and effective academic reading round out the daily schedule. Students prepare presentations, take course exams and participate in laboratories while also living on campus in university housing. University of Washington faculty led the courses. Seventy-six students from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds participated in the expanded version of the program. Of this total, 24 students were African American, 3 Native Americans, 8 Hispanic/Latinos, 23 Asian Americans, 4 Pacific Islanders, 8 Caucasians, and 6 in the Other category. Funded by the Office of the Provost, the Summer Bridge Program will continue in the next academic year and again join the long-standing three-week program offered through Student Athlete Academic Services and the Educational Opportunity Program in preparing students to make the transition from high school to college. Additional funding for Bridge comes from the President’s Office, whose support for the program is resolute. If the summer program remains in place, projections indicate that both the Summer and Fall Bridge programs will serve at least 658 students by 2007 and continue to monitor at least that number every subsequent year. The program monitors student progress toward graduation and is designed to provide guidance to students throughout their college careers. Students for both programs are selected by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions from among the admitted freshman student pool focusing on students who can benefit substantially from the experience.
  7. This past year Wells Fargo Bank provided over $85,000 worth of computer equipment to establish eight technology centers throughout Eastern Washington and Seattle to engage parents in securing information about educational opportunities available to their sons and daughters.
  8. This year the Office of Development has provided dedicated support to OMA/D by cultivating relationships with private donors to raise funds to support EOP students. This is an exciting development that will help underrepresented students succeed at the University of Washington. It is also important to acknowledge that Regents Bill Gates, Sr. and Jeff Brotman have provided strong leadership in the area of scholarship support and fund raising, and they have pledged to continue their commitments to enhance diversity scholarships.

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Part II: Retention

As outlined in previous Diversity Compacts, the University of Washington established as a goal retaining diverse students through graduation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We recognize that a strong social and academic support structure will enhance the persistence and academic success of students from diverse backgrounds at the University of Washington. Several efforts during the past year have addressed this broad objective. Highlights of key retention efforts during the 2002-2003 academic year include the following:

  1. This past summer Undergraduate Advising and OMA/D Counseling jointly planned and hosted the registration and orientation of all new incoming freshmen and transfer students. This joint effort was designed to expose new students to the various resources that are available for diverse students on the UW campus.
  2. Earlier this year, the Health Sciences Center Minority Student Program became part of the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, a move that will enhance retention efforts for underrepresented students who are working in Health Sciences related fields. This new partnership between OMA/D and the Health Sciences Administration will provide comprehensive support to students working in Health Sciences majors and those students who wish to pursue advanced graduate and professional degrees in these fields.
  3. This year, the College of Engineering reorganized its diversity programs to enhance outreach and retention efforts in the College’s various academic departments. Program such as MESA, ALVA, and MSEP will continue to serve students under a more streamlined organizational structure. In the coming months, the Dean of Engineering will announce the hiring of a new person who will coordinate all diversity programming for the College.
  4. Another exciting initiative is the establishment of the Sonnenblick-Del Rio Global Citizens Scholarship that is intended to support EOP students who have an interest in studying abroad to “expand and deepen their understanding of other peoples and cultures” and to prepare students “to actively participate in addressing world-wide human, economic, and health challenges of the 21st century.” The award is intended to cover the costs of any study abroad program, travel expenses, and related costs up to $3,000.
  5. This past year the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity launched a series of “diversity talks and workshops” that focused on specific aspects of the retention experience of underrepresented students on the University of Washington campus. The audience for these presentations included: the Faculty Fellows, the UW Minority Community Advisory Board, and key administrators at the Provost’s Workshops on Minority Retention. In addition, OMA/D produced a series of reports that highlighted the Summer Bridge Program and a study on retention covering the period between 1992 and 2002. This report entitled “Descriptive and Longitudinal Analyses of Enrollment, Graduation, and Retention Data for UW Seattle” also identifies those departments that have made substantial progress in increasing minority representation in their majors and those department that are providing the necessary support to get students through graduation. This type of analyses will serve as the foundation for the development of a research center that will focus on issues of diversity in the coming years.
  6. The Pacific Islander Partnership in Education (PIPE) program was recognized with the 2003 Brotman Award for Diversity. PIPE provides cultural and educational support for Pacific Islanders, allowing these students to have a successful academic experience at the UW. Dr. Rick Bonus, Associate Professor of American Ethnic Studies, has provided strong leadership to students in these efforts.
  7. Another important development this year is the appointment of a new Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs in the UW School of Medicine, Dr. David Acosta. Dr. Acosta will be responsible for increasing diversity enrollment in the School of Medicine, as well as enhancing programming to support future minority medical professionals.
  8. The continuation of the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) Getting Connected events, which allows new and current graduate students to build community and learn about resources on campus that can facilitate completion of their degrees.
  9. Several graduate students in the Department of Astronomy have developed a “working paper” that focuses on ways to increase diversity and build the Astronomy pipeline at the UW. This is an exciting development that will allow more underrepresented students at the undergraduate and graduate level to consider careers in Astronomy.

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Part III: Climate

Climate encompasses the learning, working, social, and cultural environments of the University of Washington. It also includes the University’s relationship with the surrounding community. We reaffirm our commitment to work together to build on the actions of Diversity Compacts I and II that are designed to improve campus climate. The University will expand its efforts to make the UW a more open and inviting place for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni recognizing that this requires a sustained long-term commitment and continuous evaluation of the campus climate. Collaboration between various campus units and departments has provided a strong fabric on which to build a climate that is supportive for all. Noteworthy events and accomplishments during the 2002-2003 academic year included:

  1. The Center for Curriculum Transformation continues to fund faculty development aimed at creating more courses that teach students to think critically about issues of diversity. This year’s call for proposals emphasized courses that examine US diversity in a global perspective. A new and important project established by the Center is the Learning We Need Project, which “assists undergraduate students in developing knowledge, skills, and behaviors for working and living in a society characterized by great economic, social, political, religious, and cultural diversity.”
  2. The continuation of the GO-MAP and Gates Millennium Scholars Recognition Dinner. This event features recipients of GO-MAP fellowships, their advisors, and donors to the program. Funds for the Gates Millennium Scholars program are provided through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The program helps competitive African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic/Latino students to attend college as undergraduates and helps underrepresented students pursue graduate degrees in mathematics, science, engineering, education, or library science.
  3. The College of Arts & Sciences conducted a special workshop led by Harvard Professor Lani Guinier for senior administrators on strategies to diversify the faculty. This workshop has initiated discussions that may lead to the formation of a Task Force to explore future strategies for diversifying the UW faculty.
  4. The continuation of the Mary Ann & John Mangels Endowed Lectures Series. Resurrected in part by GO-MAP, the lecture series is open to the community as well as faculty, staff, and students. This year the series featured a broad ranging discussion on “Race in Higher Education” co-sponsored with the Urban Enterprise Center. The keynote speakers included: Dr. Tito Guerrero, III, President of Stephen F. Austin State University and Dr. Yolanda Moses, President of the American Association of Higher Education.
  5. This past year, Vine Deloria, Jr., University of Colorado Professor and author on Native American issues, was the keynote speaker at a Danz and Walker-Ames Lecture sponsored by the Graduate School.
  6. The creation of a university-wide Diversity Program Matrix that highlights all diversity programs that have responsibility in such areas as pre-college outreach and recruitment, retention, graduate preparation, and faculty and staff development was another important development this year.
  7. The University of Washington participated in a national survey related to diversity programming in higher education institutions. The Vice President of Minority Affairs responded to the survey on behalf of the University.
  8. Several weeks ago, the Dean of Arts & Sciences approved a change of status for American Indian Studies (AIS) from a Center to a Program, allowing AIS to have more autonomy as a unit while paving the way for the establishment of an AIS department and major. This step will significantly enhance the University’s ability to attract and retain more Native American faculty, students, and staff.
  9. The launching of the Intergroup Dialogue, Education and Action (IDEA) Training & Resource Institute headed by Professor Ratnesh Nagda, which has as a core value “a deep commitment to building alliances across differences for personal and social change,” provides an important vehicle for students and faculty to talk critically and respectfully about diversity and social justice.
  10. The Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and GO-MAP co-sponsored an event in which Dr. Isiah M. Warner, Vice Chancellor, Office of Strategic Planning, and Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry at Louisiana State University, discussed effective mentoring strategies for minority students in undergraduate and graduate programs.
  11. The continuation of the Spring Powwow. This year marked the 32nd annual Powwow that was held at the Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. This event drew thousands of Native Americans and their guests from across the region to our campus. The powwow is supported by a variety of community organizations such as the Muckleshoot Tribe, as well as UW offices including the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, the Associated Students of the University of Washington, the School of Nursing, the Office of the President, and the UW Alumni Association.

Given that climate issues remain critically important for diversity on the UW campus, we commit to accomplishing the following objectives in the coming years:

  1. Foster an academic and professional environment that values diversity in all its dimensions
  2. Promote understanding of differences and similarities through discussions and other forums where there is active and meaningful dialogue among multiple constituencies
  3. Serve as an advocate for the development of curricula and research related to diversity on the University of Washington campus
  4. Collaborate with academic and administrative units to broaden UW-wide diversity initiatives
  5. Vigorously support the Diversity Compact and ensure that diversity initiatives remain a priority on the administrative agenda
  6. Promote diversity training and cultural competency as a priority for campus staff, faculty, and students

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Part IV: The University of Washington Diversity Council

The first Diversity Compact set a goal of establishing the University of Washington Diversity Council. Focused on the health and well being of diversity efforts in and around the University of Washington campuses in Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma, the Diversity Council was fully activated in May 2001. After defining the most pressing diversity issues at the University, the Diversity Council designated committees, known as working groups, within its membership to address those issues. Each group reviews specific issues and makes recommendations concerning those issues to the Vice President for Minority Affairs, Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló, who heads the council. The current working groups include:

  1. Climate/Retention
  2. Curriculum
  3. Outreach/Recruitment
  4. Staff

Members of two additional committees, Disabilities, and Gay Bisexual Lesbian Transgender, also participate in and contribute to all working groups to ensure that issues pertinent to disabled and GBLT faculty, staff and students are recognized and addressed in all aspects of university life. Diversity Council members include university administration, staff and faculty; undergraduate and graduate students representing student groups and student government; and members of the community with an interest in diversity issues. Members serve two-year terms. The Diversity Council meets once per quarter as a full body while working groups and subcommittees meet throughout each quarter of the regular academic year. Council members head all working groups and committees. Highlights of key accomplishments during the 2002-2003 academic year include:

  1. The submission of an annual report based upon the work of the Diversity Council, working groups and committees that was presented to Interim University of Washington President Lee Hunstman on June 3, 2003.
  2. The launching of the Diversity Council website, which will be a resource for staff, faculty, students, and community members on diversity related issues. The web address is:

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Part V: New Directions

The University of Washington reaffirms its commitment to diversity as a core value through its programmatic efforts as well as through the commitment of students, staff, faculty, and administrators who carry out work on behalf of diversity. The challenges confronting diversity are great but with sustained efforts and the commitment of all of the campus community we will make diversity a reality on the UW campus. Several new initiatives will allow us to continue building on the work of previous Diversity Compacts. These new developments include the following:

  1. During the past year the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity has been developing a strategic plan that will support campus-wide efforts on behalf of diversity. OMA/D’s strategic plan covers the following key program areas: retention, university graduation, student life, diversity and climate, outreach, recruitment, and college preparation, staff development, campus and community engagement, development, and assessment and accountability.
  2. A new initiative that will provide an appraisal of diversity efforts at the University of Washington is currently being developed in coordination with the Provost’s working group on diversity. The appraisal will review the institution’s strengths and weaknesses related to diversity programming and will make recommendations for drafting a campus-wide diversity plan in 2004.
  3. For the 2003-2005 biennium, the University of Washington (UW) has established a range of enrollment management practices aimed at bringing the university in line with the state funded enrollment levels. In this respect, there are numerous new initiatives related to student progress and new student enrollment. One example of this is the unveiling of changes to the community college admissions process. The Direct Transfer Agreement will continue to be honored through Spring quarter 2004. Effective Fall 2004, the university will review and admit transfer students through a comprehensive review process. Nonetheless, the university continues to review the impact of this change and is committed to building a diverse cohort of new transfer students for Autumn 2004. In order to ensure a commitment to diversity and the ability to admit students who can most benefit from the academic programs available at the UW, the University through the Office of Undergraduate Education, Undergraduate Admissions, and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, will refocus and enhance its outreach efforts to community colleges in Washington State. In particular, additional staff will assist prospective students with more focused information on the criteria for departmental admissions and the complexities of comprehensive review factors.

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Many exciting developments have occurred this year related to diversity on the UW campus. There has also been greater collaboration between academic and administrative units on diversity related efforts. Ultimately, such differentiated approaches, programs, working groups and committees will become obsolete when the optimal level of diversity at the University of Washington is reached and individual group efforts merge into a self-sustaining precisely balanced scaffolding underpinning the day-to-day operations of the University of Washington. This document and directive extends from past Diversity Compacts and, in the tradition of its predecessors, builds on the commitment of the University of Washington to diversity as a core value. Full diversity in higher education remains a work in progress and as such is rarely attained. However, the pursuit of improved diversity for students, faculty and staff is an effort that will accrue interest and benefits for years to come.

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