Program Proposal: Diversity and Inclusion
The four questions that comprise the Diversity and Inclusion section of the Lumen Programs form were added in September 2020 and impact proposals effective Fall 2020 and beyond.
Responses to each of the four questions are required for:
- All new program proposals, and
- Change proposals noted as greater than 50% (i.e., When "No" is selected in response to the top-of-form/header question that reads, "Is the change being proposed only a curricular change that would impact fewer than 50% of the credits in the program [i.e., plan or subplan] under consideration?")
Thorough and complete responses to each of the four Diversity and Inclusion questions are expected for new program proposals. Responses to each of the four questions are also required for greater-than 50% change proposals, however there is the realization that the Diversity and Inclusion questions may feel/be more or less relevant depending on the change being made. That being said, please consider and provide a response to each question. The responses do not need to be lengthy but should acknowledge how the program is being attentive to diversity, equity, and inclusion and particularly how/if the proposed change may impact those efforts and/or specific populations. For example, if the program is changing its tuition structure or mode of delivery, these changes could have a significant impact on students and access. As such, it will be important the Diversity and Inclusion questions reflect a thoughtful analysis of these potential impacts. If, however, the change is updating certification exam pass rates, there is less relevance for matters around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the responses can be less detailed.
For less-than 50% change proposals and for proposals to suspend admission and/or discontinue the program, the questions appear on the form with a red box around the answer box, but the response fields are disabled and cannot be completed.
Questions about how programs are being attentive to matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion have typically been asked verbally during Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) and/or University Academic Planning Council (UAPC) meetings when new program proposals are being considered. In recognition of campus-wide interest and attention to diversity and inclusion, the Diversity and Inclusion section was added to the Lumen Program form to provide programs with advance opportunity to consider and address these topics and thus be better-prepared for the conversations during governance meetings.
Diversity and Inclusion Section Questions
Following are the four questions presented in the Diversity and Inclusion section:
- Describe how the proposed program curriculum and learning outcomes will advance inclusive excellence. Discuss specific components and requirements within the curriculum that will offer students opportunities and learning activities to engage in diversity with respect to perspectives, theories, practices, and populations different from themselves. If internships or clinical, practicum, or experiential learning experiences will be required, discuss how students will have access to diverse practice settings.
- Discuss how the proposed program will actively pursue an equity in student recruitment, access, retention, and degree completion. Describe specific strategies to identify and recruit a diversified student population for programs that do direct admissions. Include evidence-based and effective practices. Provide examples of academic and student support services that will be implemented to support student learning success and completion.
- Consider how the proposed program will ensure equity in recruiting and hiring of faculty, instructional staff, and staff who will oversee the program curriculum, professional/career development experiences, and research/scholarship where relevant.
- Note any plans or strategic initiatives at the university that are closely linked with the development of the proposed program. Note how efforts will align with the appropriate and applicable accreditation standards that address diversity where relevant. To the extent that the response to questions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are connected to plans at the department, school/college or university, make those connections explicit where relevant.
Guidance on Responding to Each Question
There are many resources available to help shape responses to these questions and for showing how programs are thinking about matters related to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Karen Mittelstadt (email@example.com) in DAPIR, as well as Jenna Alsteen in the Graduate School (firstname.lastname@example.org) are happy to work with programs on considering and crafting their responses. Following are some things to consider and tips for each question:
Question #1 (re. curriculum, learning outcomes, activities): This question asks about ways diversity, equity, and inclusion are addressed in the curriculum and/or in teaching and learning. There is also interest in knowing about diversity in practice settings. Many disciplines lend themselves to explicitly addressing diversity issues. Other ways this can be addressed is by describing attention to classroom climate or active work on gaps in D/F/Drop rates for courses.
Question #2 (re. recruitment, retention, access): This question invites a focus on recruitment and access for programs that have direct admissions and that recruit directly. For graduate programs, there are substantial diversity recruitment resources available through the Graduate School. For other programs, most schools and colleges have active diversity plans that can serve as resources. This would also be an opportunity to showcase any local programs designed to help students succeed and advance to graduation. Similarly to question #1 with its focus on the curriculum, efforts related to establishing a welcoming climate or addressing systematic racism could be described in this response.
Question #3 (re. faculty and staff): Effective responses to this question will usually refer to departmental, school/college, or university-level faculty and staff recruitment plans and efforts. Some units are small with low levels of faculty/staff hiring, which can make this a difficult question to respond to at the most local level. Often answers on this question point more toward school/college plans or institutional efforts. Describing particular local plans that may develop pipelines or provide models for others is a useful approach to this question.
Question #4 (re. links to university efforts): This question invites programs to show that they are aware of and aligned with school/college or campus-level diversity plans and initiatives and engage with them as appropriate.
Examples from Program Proposals
As noted earlier in this document, campus-level governance committees have been asking programs about their attention to matters of diversity and inclusion for many years. Similarly, UW System and the Board of Regents have also been requiring new programs to demonstrate their attention to diversity and inclusion with a dedicated section of the full program proposal template. While the prompts in the full proposal are slightly different than the four questions in this new section of the Lumen Programs form, the general topics of teaching and learning; student, faculty, and staff recruitment; and alignment with institutional efforts are present in both proposal documents. Following are some good examples of how programs recently addressed these matters on the full new program proposal that went to the Board of Regents. Within these examples, programs can see how other programs successfully presented their efforts.
BBA-Supply Chain Management, Diversity Section of Proposal to the Board of Regents, January 2020
In alignment with the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the major would be marketed to a diverse prospective student pool. The objective is to utilize the diversity of the courses enrollments to enrich classroom discussions. For example, one student learning outcome is that graduates will be able to effectively communicate to individuals across many functional areas of an organization. As a means to build student abilities to communicate and to collaborate across diverse perspectives and experiences, many assignments will be completed in assigned groups. These activities will engage and support students in team-based and problem-based activities and present students with opportunities to collaborate with others they may not know personally, and who may have a different gender, ethnicity, or background. Additionally, the overt recognition of marketing as a core function of SCM attracts a significant number of women. In 2018-19 60% of the students enrolled in the existing certificate in SCM were women. It is expected that the B.B.A. in Business: Supply Chain Management would continue this class profile, which would help improve diversity in the field given that it is currently somewhat male-dominated. Lastly, the B.B.A. in Business: Supply Chain Management will offer annual global trips exposing students to supply chain and overall business culture in foreign countries. Understanding the different international applications of concepts learned in class is an incredible experience, as is gaining exposure to a business culture different from that of the United States.
Equity in student recruitment, retention, and completion. The B.B.A. in Business: Supply Chain Management will align diversity and recruitment efforts with the School of Business. Undergraduates pursing a B.B.A. degree are asked to complete curricular and co-curricular elements that enhance their ability to work and lead diverse teams. Students learn to work across differences in order to improve individual and organizational performance and be effective in their careers. The undergraduate program benefits from an engaged, collaborative, and talented student body. To help ensure that this student community is sufficiently diverse, the School of Business offers the Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) program for high school students. This program serves promising students from diverse backgrounds who have strong academic records and demonstrated leadership skills, but who may not have considered a university education. Students in the BEL program join a diverse community in self-exploration, team building, academic growth, and career development, gaining a distinct advantage when they enter college.
Equity in hiring of faculty and staff. The School is intentional about investing in the growth of faculty and staff so they will continue to make positive contributions to the School’s culture. All new members of the learning community are introduced to a strategic focus on diversity and inclusion during onboarding, and receive professional training in progressive levels of cultural competence. Faculty and staff actively participate in workshops that encourage conversations about inclusion and enable them to overcome their own unconscious biases. The School of Business’s commitment to creating a positive, inclusive learning environment is further reinforced by insightful seminars for faculty members, focusing on strategies to create more inclusive classroom experiences.
MS-Financial Economics, Diversity Section of Proposal to Board of Regents, August 2020
In alignment with the College of Letters and Science and Wisconsin School of Business commitment to diversity, the proposed program will address diversity and equity within the program curriculum. The curriculum will strive to ensure that students can demonstrate professional communications, teamwork, and are aware of culture competencies. Students will be supported in the achievement of inclusive excellence through readings and activities in the classroom. The M.S. in Financial Economics program will encourage use of classroom materials such as readings developed by women and authors from underrepresented groups.
The program will be marketed to a diverse prospective student pool. The M.S. in Financial Economics faculty and staff will work closely with the Graduate School and Division of Continuing Studies recruitment teams in developing marketing plans for this program. In order to recruit a diverse body, faculty and staff will also ensure outreach to organizations that support women interested in the fields. For example, the Department of Economics has an undergraduate organization focused on women in economics and M.S. in Financial Economics faculty and staff will hold a recruitment event with this group. To better reach underrepresented populations, the Graduate School Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Funding will be consulted, and recruitment materials sent to recognized pipeline programs that have established relationships with UW-Madison.
M.S. in Financial Economics faculty and staff will partner with the Center for Academic Excellence in College of Letters & Science to increase student awareness of the program. M.S. in Financial Economics staff will attend the UW-Madison undergraduate resource fair to increase awareness of the M.S. in Financial Economics program among undergraduate students. Program faculty and staff will promote strong retention and degree completion among diverse students by ensuring that faculty and staff devote time to student needs and help promote a positive climate.
The Department of Economics and Finance Departments will continue with their efforts to diversify the faculty body. On the faculty recruitment front, Economics has focused on increasing the number of faculty who come from underrepresented populations, including increasing the number of female faculty in the department. The department has reached out to alumni and colleagues in departments across the country in order to better identify promising young scholars to try and recruit them to Wisconsin. In addition to these recruitment efforts, the department will promote training to raise faculty awareness of diversity and inclusion issues prevalent at UW-Madison. Faculty and staff will attend training such as the Thrive@ UW series, Building Inclusion@UW, and send out Inclusive Teaching Resources.
The M.S. in Financial Economics staff will promote strong retention and degree completion among diverse students by having a robust staff that can devote time to student needs and help promote a positive climate. The M.S. in Financial Economics will have a dedicated program coordinator to support these students. This staff member will focus attention to diversity, recruiting, retention and climate. In addition, the program coordinator will work with both the Department of Economics Career Development Office and Wisconsin School of Business to coordinate career advising. The program will focus on providing a supportive and inclusive environment while continually exploring new ways to incorporate issues of diversity and inclusion into the curriculum, faculty recruitment, and the overall student experience.
MS-Information, Diversity Section of Proposal to Board of Regents, August 2020
Curriculum: When developing the M.S. in Information curriculum, the Information School faculty and staff voted to emphasize preparation of students for working in a diverse and multicultural society. They included "cultural literacies" as a program level learning outcome: "Demonstrate professional communications, teamwork, and awareness of culture competencies." Students will be supported in achievement of the inclusive excellence through readings, activities and reflections in the classroom portion of the required internship course (LIS 620). It will also be addressed in the courses that meet the ethics requirement. Diversity and inclusion issues will also be addressed across many other program courses and specifically in LIS 500 Code and Power, LIS 444 Africa and the Internet. The Information School will encourage use of classroom materials such as readings developed by women and authors from underrepresented groups. The program internship coordinator will develop an array of internship settings including large corporate, small business, non-profit, government, social service and educational settings in different communities. A goal will be to develop an array of practice settings that appeal to different student interests and which give students the opportunities to increase their cultural competencies.
Recruitment and Access: The program will target scholarships to recruit underrepresented students. The Information School already has practices in place to ensure that diverse students are highlighted in web and paper marketing materials. For example, students visiting the department see an array of diverse student types and interests depicted in posters of recent alumni. The M.S. in Information will use the UW-Madison’s membership in the GEM Consortium network. GEM supports qualified students from underrepresented communities in pursuing technical and scientific graduate education and the Information School can recruit students through the GEM network. M.S. in Information staff will participate in events that draw together women and underrepresented student populations, such as Association for Women in Computing, state and regional professional associations such as Midwest User Experience conference and state chapters of the International Global Data Community (DAMA). M.S. in Information staff will partner with the Center for Academic Excellence in College of Letters & Science to increase undergraduate student awareness of the M.S. in Information as a graduate education option. The Information School recently hosted an information table at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Milwaukee in order to increase awareness of the array of Information School educational programs. M.S. in Information staff will attend the UW-Madison undergraduate resource fair to increase undergraduate student awareness of Information School graduate programs. Program staff will collaborate with Computer Science to send cohorts of students to the Grace Hopper Annual Conference of Women in Computing.
International Recruiting: An important element of exposing students to different cultures is international student recruiting. The M.S. in Information will help the Information School grow its international student population, which is currently low compared to Information School at peer universities. There has been demand from potential international applicants for an M.S. degree in the Information School and the Information School plans to increase its international student population to be comparable to peer programs.
Retention and Degree Completion: The Information School will promote strong retention and degree completion among diverse students by having a robust staff that can devote time to student needs and help promote a positive climate. The Information School current has two positions that support graduate students. The budget proposal for the M.S. in Information includes a plan for additional staff so that 3 student-oriented staff members will coordinate their efforts to ensure attention to diversity recruiting, retention and climate across the Information School's graduate programs. In addition, the budget proposal includes a plan to hire an internship coordinator/advisor in 2021 which will strengthen services to students while coordinating efforts with the College of Letters & Science Success Works (career services and support unit).
Faculty and Staff Recruitment: The program will staff itself to support a diverse student body. The M.S. in Information program coordinator will devote time to fostering a positive climate in the program. The Information School received permission to recruit two faculty diversity hires in 2019-2020 in order to increase the diversity of its faculty. These recruitment efforts are underway.