A Message from the Vice Provost
President Shepard’s message to the campus community on valuing diversity states: “Responsibility for participating in the university's efforts and for creating a community that promotes a safe and supportive learning environment for the diverse individuals who make up Western -- falls squarely on each of its members.” This Newsletter provides an opportunity to highlight some of the ways the Equal Opportunity (EO) Office and our innovative colleagues across campus enthusiastically engage with this crucial responsibility.
Working more closely than ever with search committees, the EO Office has provided equal opportunity guidance and recommendations on obtaining diverse applicant pools to over 40 search committees this year. To provide additional assistance to search committees, we are in the process of creating an EO best practices handbook that will serve as a useful guide from start to finish of future searches.
In addition to briefing search committees and providing State-mandated Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, we continue responding to requests for guidance and training from supervisors regarding equal opportunity concerns in specific departments. We recently provided EO trainings covering skills for communicating across differences and particular programs’ obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EO Office’s partnership with the Faculty Senate to revise the Faculty Code of Ethics’ section on intimate consensual relationships between faculty and students, work with Student Affairs colleagues to review interfacing protocols in response to Office for Civil Rights guidance regarding bullying and sexual harassment, and release of the 2012 Affirmative Action Plan, also promote safe and supportive educational and work environments that embrace our differences.
Beyond the EO Office, numerous individuals and organizations across the University are engaged in powerful efforts to foster diversity at Western. Dr. Kunle Ojikutu and I appreciate the thoughtful applications for 2012-2013 President’s Diversity Initiative funding and congratulate the funding recipients: the College of Business and Economics; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Fairhaven College; the Human Resources Department (Business and Financial Affairs); Western Libraries; and Woodring College of Education. In the following pages, you can read about excellent work the Libraries are undertaking with their Diversity Initiative funding, and about a few of the other recent opportunities the EO Office has had to partner with or provide guidance to faculty, staff and students who are fulfilling their responsibility for creating an inclusive Western.
Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity