Diversity and Inclusivity

Campus Climate Survey Follow-Up Actions 2017-18


Feb. 20, 2018: Update on progress from Chancellor Van Galen

The following have been identified as action areas to pursue during academic year 2017-18 in response to the spring 2017 Campus Climate Survey. The thematic areas of focus were defined by the working group which helped create the survey tool and additional input was provided at the Aug. 29, 2017, Campus Leadership Workshop. The final action areas were refined by the Chancellor’s Cabinet on Oct. 16, 2017. In demonstration of the importance of addressing these issues, $25,000 in one-time institutional funding was allocated in Round 2 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Budget Process to support the implementation of these actions.

For more information on the campus climate follow-up process, to learn more specific details of the action items, or to find out how you can support our efforts to maintain a healthy campus climate in line with UWRF’s core values, emal or call 715-425-0662.


Goal 1: Foster common understanding and common definitions of diversity and inclusivity, while also increasing individual and team intercultural competence. These actions will focus on developing community standards regarding intercultural competency and promoting cross-campus “ownership” of climate, which is not the responsibility of one office or person, rather is everyone’s duty.

  • The Chancellor’s Office, in collaboration with Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs, will organize continued professional development related to intercultural competency. Already provided to a group of senior leaders, these development experiences will be expanded to a broader group of campus leadership, such as department chairs and program directors, and will also include student leaders.
  • Institutional statements on the definition of diversity and inclusivity as well as the developmental-focused approach promoted through the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) inventory will be promoted campus wide.
  • A group of faculty, staff and students will be trained Qualified Administrators in the IDI/ICS to further disseminate these tools to faculty, staff, and students.*
  • Annual training and onboarding training in these areas should be considered to ensure sustainability of these efforts.

    * Details of the training of IDI/ICS Qualified Administrators have not yet been explored and need to be further fleshed out.

Goal 2: Create a stronger culture of reporting on campus.  These actions will address the clear lack of understanding/awareness that emerged from both student and employee respondents regarding how and where to report climate-related concerns or incidents.

  • The Bias Education Response Team (BERT) will promote the new “Report it” Web page, created as a single point of entry for individuals wishing to report incidents or concerns.
    • Summaries of what constitutes protected and non-protected speech, guidelines on academic freedom, information related to the UW System freedom of expression policy, etc. will be published on the institutional website to provide often needed clarification.
    • Information regarding the Web page, as well as regarding freedom of speech and the related UWS policy will be provided during New Student Orientation.
  • Simultaneously BERT, with support from University Communications and Marketing, will coordinate launch of a UWRF values promotional campaign that will include information about the importance of reporting actions or incidents that do not correspond with UWRF values.
    • The values campaign/reporting process will also be shared during New Student Orientation and New Staff Orientation.

Goal 3: Reinforce institutional commitment to showing appreciation for the value of all employment categories. These actions will help us better understand and address the results of the study regarding perceived employment-category discrimination (IAS/tenure-track faculty, university staff/academic staff, etc.).

  • Human Resources will convene a set of focus groups with shared governance groups and develop an action plan based on group discussions. A facilitator may be hired to support this process.
  • Based on the action plan, employee category-specific programs that support our goal of better cross-communication, appreciation, and understanding between employee groups will be developed.
  • Provide ongoing opportunities, such a dedicated annual SIE lunch, or other creative/innovative programs, where representatives of different employee categories can interact in positive ways to better cross-communicate the value and contributions of every role on campus.

Goal 4: Support faculty ability to address difficult or sensitive issues in the classroom. These actions will help ensure understanding of, and adherence to, prevailing guidelines on academic freedom (AAUP, UW System, etc.) by all faculty and IAS, and promote culture of faculty and instructor confidence in working effectively with differing viewpoints.

  • Academic Affairs will schedule professional development opportunities for faculty around the broader topic of inclusivity, as well as specific to if, when and how sensitive topics should be addressed in the classroom.
    • Academic Affairs will review AAUP standings on academic freedom and ensure that all instructors are aware of its entitlements, limitations, and obligations
    • Professional development many also address the inherent difficulty faculty may have when teaching or discussing certain topics, and dealing with the assumptions students may consequently make.
    • UW System legal may be invited to speak on these topics at a faculty development event, cabinet meeting, Leadership Assembly or other open forum.

Goal 5: Foster a culture of healthy argumentation and debate especially among students. These actions are aimed at supporting students ability to engage in appropriate, healthy dialogue on difficult topics; encouraging students to interact with others who may hold different opinions or come from different backgrounds; and modeling good debate practices, following rules of civil discourse and productive dialogue, focusing on evidence based arguments, etc.

  • Student Affairs will lead a series of co-curricular programming (including through involvement of SGA, use of existing resources such as WRFW) that engages faculty and instructors, or in-house subject matter experts, in a well-moderated forum or open debate format on public policy and social issues. This series may include:
    • Holding an event through the newly created Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation, coordinated at UWRF by Neil Kraus, where it is required to show both sides of an issue.
    • Involving groups specialized in skits or dramatizations of appropriate and inappropriate ways to discuss difficult issues.