Many colleges and universities have undertaken efforts to increase student diversity and to make their campuses more inclusive and welcoming to students from underrepresented groups. At Washington University in St. Louis, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion is charged with supporting these efforts.
But now the university is launching the Academy for Diversity and Inclusion. This organization has the mission of improving the campus climate for all faculty and staff members. It will offer networking events, diversity training, and support for existing and new affinity groups.
Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration at Washington University, said that “the academy will function as the university’s primary forum for improving climate and culture, with the goal of making Washington University more equitable, welcoming and inclusive.”
Adrienne Davis, the William M. Cleve Professor of Law and vice provost, who is leading the search committee to find a leader for the new academy, added that “our first impulse is to take care of the students, but we don’t always take care of ourselves. The academy will foster that sense of community. This fills one of those gaps and promises to really improve culture and climate. And if we can make real progress there, we can make progress in other areas as well, from admissions to staff and faculty recruitment and retention.”