Fall 2013 Newsletter
A Message from the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, ADA & Title IX Coordinator
Our Fall 2013 Newsletter recognizes important work undertaken to enhance inclusiveness at Western. The article on Dr. Steve Sulkin being honored as this year’s Diversity Achievement Award recipient recounts Steve’s amazing contributions to increasing inclusion for ethnically diverse students during the 28 years he served as Director of the Shannon Point Marine Center. Other articles cover significant collaborative work improving the climate for transgender people at Western, along with other groups: the designation of 10 gender-neutral and family restrooms across campus, and the ability to indicate a first name preference on important university documents. The article on Title IX informs our readers about how expansive this law is, protecting students from discrimination based on parenting or pregnancy status.
All these efforts speak to President Shepard’s commitment to enhancing diversity at Western, as demonstrated by his remarks at Opening Convocation and convening of a Taskforce on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.
Our Newsletter also shares the speech Associated Students President, Carly Roberts, presented at this year’s Welcoming Convocation for students. At the heart of equal opportunity and inclusion are respect and kindness, and Carly’s remarks are much to this point. In characterizing her generation, Carly says that it “stands at the precipice of a new world and is equipped with the motivation to see that this new world is a better, kinder world.” She ends her inspiring remarks by stating: “We are a generation of change makers. And Western is the place where change makers come to be educated.”
The last article in the Newsletter is a compelling discussion by Laura Langley, Manager of EO Programs, about addressing implicit biases in searches for faculty and staff. As we read this article, I encourage us to reflect deeply on how we frame our world. All of us are products of our circumstances--how we have been raised and socialized does, in fact, creep into our evaluative processes. Being conscious about and discussing this among search committee members will help us mitigate the impacts of our implicit biases so that we are sure to hire the best candidate for the job, regardless of their identity.
Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity