An Associated Students of Madison committee reached a consensus Wednesday regarding the development of an ad hoc committee to rewrite a new Diversity Plan for the University of Wisconsin.
The Campus Diversity and Climate Committee invited representatives from four shared governance groups from across campus to speak about the issue. The Associated Students of Madison, the Council for Non-Represented Classified Staff, the University Committee, a part of the Faculty Senate and the Academic Staff Executive Committee attended the meeting.
In a letter to Professor Marlys Macken, co-chair of CDCC, the University Committee charged CDCC with the responsibility of assembling an ad hoc committee of representative staff, faculty and students from UW to solely focus efforts on comprising an effective diversity plan. They also requested CDCC work with ASM, ASEC and the UC to provide these representatives.
A motion proposed by ASM Diversity Chair Vice-Chair Brittany Moes, that a 20-person committee comprised of five representatives from the four shared governance committees, plus an additional five non-voting, ex officio community members was passed.
She said it is more important for the resulting group to advocate for diverse causes rather than merely superficially appear diverse.
“At the end of the day, we need caring people who are thoughtful and who are really going to be engaged,” Damon Davis, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement said.
Representatives present at the meeting outlined their nomination process for individuals seeking to be a part of this ad hoc committee. The University Committee, ASEC and CNCS all described a self-nomination process, including the submission of a one page personal statement in order to be considered for the position.
ASM Shared Governance Chair Sam Seering said the applications for those interested in being on the committee will be reviewed by a group of students involved in shared governance and then ranked based on a range of criteria.
Members will choose their own chair and co-chair as well as make independent decisions about this diversity plan, Macken said. She added that she wants this committee to be comprised of experts on campus.
Professor and Chair of Urology Stephen Nakada recognized the issue of diversity as a matter that could take years to solve and change. He urged the rest of the attendees to recognize the essential function of the ad hoc committee specifically for the immediate drafting of the diversity plan.
“This should be a short-lived group to provide broad based results in a rapid fashion,” Nakada said.
The meeting concluded with a consensus on the number of members to comprise the ad hoc committee as well as a unanimous understanding of criteria for nominees. The meeting adjourned with plans to reconvene Dec.12, when committee members will be finalized and development of the Diversity Plan will commence, a plan requested by the University Committee to be drafted by April 1, 2013.