Trends and Issues in Higher Ed

Strengthening Community and Addressing Climate

AMC - Copy“This is our community — to truly fulfill our public promise of both access and excellence, we must make progress on diversity. Stereotypes and bias are in the air we breathe. They are part of our societal fabric. We’ve got to begin by not being part of the problem, or less a part of it. We can only do that by recognizing it and acknowledging that it resides in us. We can’t just will it or ignore it away — we have to become culturally aware and self-aware in order to make our campus community more inclusive and just.”

—Ana Mari Cauce, UW President


How do we create a culture of understanding on our three campuses so that everyone feels safe, welcome, respected and supported to succeed?

Inclusion and diversity are core values at the University of Washington. We care deeply about recruiting and retaining the absolute best students, faculty and staff. And excellence, by definition, is diverse, relying on a multiplicity of perspectives to avoid group think and enhance creativity and innovation. This is essential to our academic culture of collaboration. When groups lack diversity, we all lose.

Yet not all members of our UW community are truly able to be themselves and realize their potential. Policies and practices that pre-date many of us nevertheless remain to perpetuate institutional bias. And the social practices described in books such as “‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?’: And Other Conversations about Race” are evident in our dining halls, dormitories and study groups. Some stay and feel frustrated; some leave in search of places where they can better succeed; still others never come at all.

It is our goal to address institutional bias at the UW that creates barriers, and to reach out to members of our community — from prospective students to alumni, from faculty to staff — so they can realize their full potential in a welcoming, supportive environment.

Strengthening Community and Addressing Climate Features


Understanding and Supporting Undocumented Students at the University of Washington

An interview with Gabriel Gallardo and Marisa Herrera outlines challenges undocumented students face, support available and how faculty can help

November 2015 Provost Report

UW Tacoma and its Community Pave Pathways to Promise

UW Tacoma is addressing structural discrimination by building a college-going-culture with community partners