WHEREAS, the University of Washington’s Institutional Diversity Statement emphasizes the importance of diverse experiences and perspectives as being integral to its broad view of excellence as a way to “promote access, opportunity and justice for all” (UW Diversity Mission Statement 2014); and
WHEREAS, the University of Washington Tacoma “promotes an environment where diverse perspectives and experiences are expected” and “attracts and retains a community of people and ideas representing diverse cultures and experiences” (UW Tacoma Mission, Values and Vision, October 2007); and
WHEREAS, the University of Washington Faculty Senate passed Class C legislation on January 29, 2015, as a Resolution Concerning Equity, Access and Inclusion in Hiring (Bulletin No. 539) in part as a response to the UW’s concerns regarding faculty demographics (small number of faculty of color and fewer women in higher ranks and administrative roles); and
WHEREAS, then-Interim President Ana Mari Cauce launched in April 2015 a Race and Equity Initiative for the UW and in so doing, acknowledged the difficulties and fears of violence faced by young African American men and women in particular; and
WHEREAS, the University of Washington Faculty Council on Multicultural Affairs and the Faculty Council on Women in Academia is in the process of writing a joint council statement on Black Lives Matter; and
WHEREAS, the Black Student Union of the UW Tacoma presented “Demands of Black Students” to campus administration on February 25, 2015, in support of #Black Lives Matter; therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Council of the UW Tacoma Faculty Assembly commits itself to initiate, support, and be accountable for actionable items to address concerns of the Black Student Union. While most of these requests focus specifically upon Black students, we believe their demands hold relevance for all students, faculty, staff, and administration. We commit to addressing in collaboration with the aforementioned groups (1) the underrepresentation of Black faculty and others who reflect the diversities of our student body, (2) the need for greater emphasis upon student recruitment and retention, especially for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, (3) a call for diversity awareness and inclusion training for all campus units and events that includes a focus upon institutional and systemic bias, classroom climate and course content, as well as faculty and staff hiring, evaluation, and merit reviews, and (4) the development of deeper understandings of how social identities intersect with institutional discrimination and systemic bias and how the resulting negative impact upon individuals and groups is best eradicated, and (5) to embrace and institutionalize inclusive excellence and anti-bias education and leadership practices to advance a more just and equitable learning, teaching, and working experience at UW Tacoma; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Executive Council recognizes a need to improve the institutional capacity to prepare UW Tacoma students to lead efforts to transform institutions and society towards social justice, and that the Executive Council specifically calls for an increase in course offerings that have direct relevance to #BlackLivesMatter and other related student movements to eradicate racism. In order to further support the intent of student activism, the Executive Council additionally recognizes the importance of student voice and encourages inclusion of students on all committees central to the work of the university, including admissions, retention, diversity, budgetary, hiring committees, and strategic planning processes. The Executive Council recognizes the necessity for students to be an equal part of institutional change at UW Tacoma; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Executive Council charges the Faculty Affairs Committee to revise its charge to include an ongoing focus upon race and equity issues. This action will require a change to the University of Washington Tacoma Faculty Assembly Bylaws to be considered and voted upon by the full faculty in spring quarter 2016. This Bylaws change will institutionalize the commitment of the UW Tacoma faculty to proactively address the ongoing societal, political, and institutional changes needed to eradicate all forms of marginalization, discrimination, and oppression experienced by members of the UW Tacoma community and beyond.
Approved by Faculty Assembly Executive Council on 12-02-15.
Developing a Race and Equity Agenda for the UWT Campus and Community
Anthony Falit-Baiamonte (Lecturer of Urban Studies)
Emily N. Ignacio (Associate Professor of Sociology)
Christopher B. Knaus (Professor of Education)
Huatong Sun (Assistant Professor of Communication)
Members of Executive Council's Diversity and Equity Campus Fellows Group, 2014-2016.