There are five guiding principles in the development of a diverse and inclusive university. These include: Accountability, inclusiveness, shared responsibility, evaluation, and institutionalization.
Accountability: We must determine where the university is now and identify the goals and outcomes that will create an inclusive environment. Accountability helps to identify the reporting structure and the assessment of the diversity goals and outcomes throughout the university.
Inclusiveness: All stakeholders are included on all committees, programs and curriculum issues.
Shared Responsibility: Each and every member of the campus community is responsible for the creation of an inclusive environment.
Evaluation: Continuing assessment structure in place to ensure that needs are being met and resources are provided.
Institutionalization: Makes diversity and inclusivity the way that the university does business.
Change takes time. Research shows that systemic change will take as much as five years. This does not mean that there will not be improvement along the way.
Benefits, Challenges, Successes
Research shows that diversity is beneficial to the educational process for all students. A diverse student body increases intergroup communication and interaction and discussions about issues of social justice thereby, increasing all students' personal and academic development. Research also shows that increasing student diversity contributes to all students' college satisfaction, cultural awareness, and racial understanding. These factors appear to have long terms impacts. When students interact with those different than themselves they are more likely to have an increased sense of social responsibility after college. Increases in inclusivity and diversity not only benefit students but benefit the university overall.
There has been continual commitment to increasing diversity and inclusivity on the CWU campus. There has been an increase in the number of students from traditionally underrepresented groups, increases in faculty and staff, and increases in programming related to issues of diversity. The previous and present faculty, staff, students and administrators should take pride in the movement to systemic change.
The Inclusiveness Initiative spearheaded by President Gaudino is a move to a systemic institutional change in the campus. The Inclusiveness Initiative's charge is to create an environment that promotes learning and supports students, faculty and staff in all they do, where they are valued, culturally competent, and responsive members of CWU, the Ellensburg community, the state, the country and the global community. In the past twenty years, there have been various diversity reports suggesting that the campus climate is not welcoming nor is it supportive. The challenge is to ensure that individuals do not perceive themselves to be ignored, disrespected or misunderstood and, that there is a willingness and, in fact, an encouragement for individuals to speak up because to do otherwise will only foster fear and anger.