Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Message from the President

Sabah RandhawaWestern is committed to providing a welcoming, equitable and inclusive campus community for all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, veteran status, and financial background. These dimensions of diversity deeply enrich our educational environments and strengthen our ability to reflect and serve increasingly diverse local and global communities. At the same time, Western is committed to providing an intellectual atmosphere in which diverse perspectives and viewpoints are welcome, critically examined, and engaged with civility and respect.

While Western has made meaningful progress in equity and inclusion, we continue striving to deliver on those commitments for everyone who is a part of Western today and in the future. Advancing and embracing diversity is not only an integral part of Western’s mission, it is critical to preparing our graduates to succeed in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

Sabah Randhawa

Campus Resources

Timeline of Projects to Address Student Urgent Needs

The chart below captures a list of the major projects completed, currently underway, and to be addressed in response to the needs put forth by various student groups beginning in December, 2018.  We understand that some of the issues have been discussed over the past several years.  We want to make sure these needs—some operational, others systemic—are addressed in an effective manner going forward and that we are fully transparent about the work.  This is not an exhaustive list, but represents the most pressing and actionable items that have been identified.  We invite you to check back often as projects are completed and new items added.  As always, please share your thoughts for improvement with Enrollment & Student Services Vice President, Melynda Huskey at Melynda.Huskey@wwu.edu, or with Paul Dunn in the President's office at Paul.Dunn@wwu.edu.


2017-18 Academic Year

Established Provost Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Initiative (ongoing) Item complete

Conducted HERI (Higher Education Research Institute) survey on campus climate Item complete

Created Commission on Gender Equity and Council on Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Item complete



Fall 2018

Hired LGBTQ+ Director Item complete

Hired full time Director in Disability Access Center Item complete

Added additional Accommodation Advisor position in the Disability Access Center Item complete

Revamped Disability Access Center website Item complete


Revised Discrimination Complaint Procedure Item complete

Winter 2019

Established Tribal Liaison Office/Hired Exec Director of AI/AN and First Nations Relations Item complete

Review gender-inclusive housing policies and procedures Item in progress

Assess threat and safety communications protocols and apps Item in progress

Charge Council on Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice to develop an institution-wide bias education and response program

Gain USDA eligibility to accept SNAP benefits at one of our campus convenience stores to better serve students with food insecurity (Process begun in Winter 2017) Item in progress

Hold first MLK Day breakfast; Conduct future planning for MLK Day and Black History Month (ongoing) Item in progress

Complete web page on policies, resources, etc. for undocumented students Item complete

Open first meditation room in Wilson Library room WL 564Item complete

Open second meditation room in the Viking Union (room TBD) Item in progress

Create visual impairment accessibility specialist position Item in progress

Expand number of gender neutral bathrooms (ongoing)Item in progress

Finalize Immigration Information and Protocol Policy (complete Spring 2019)Item in progress

Initiate discussion on Ethnic Studies curriculum and administrative structure Item in progress


Spring 2019

Complete Disability Access Center and Veteran's Center construction in Wilson Hall Item in progress

Hire Title IX Officer Item in progress

Hire Director of Multicultural Student Services

Coordinate compliance with SB 5166, protecting students’ rights to academic accommodations for religious and spiritual observances.Item complete

Revise gender inclusive housing policies and procedures Item in progress

Assess equity and inclusion training needs for University community

Operationalize recommendations from antisemitism task force Item in progress

Complete tribal enrollment descendancy protocol Item in progress

2019-20 Academic Year

Completion of new Multicultural Center Item in progress

Assess outcomes, adapt, and expand Provost Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Initiative (Hiring initiative newsletter article)

Assess outcomes for student access and success metrics; revise and re-prioritize action plan Item in progress

Campus Climate Survey Item in progress

Create a one-stop student support and referral services navigator position

Enrollment Statistics

All Students, Fall 2018


All Students: 16,121

Men: 6,908 (42.9%)

Women: 9,203 (57.1%)

Not Reported: 10 (<1%)

Average Age (All students): 21.6

Undergraduate Headcount

Total: 15,367

Full-time: 14,054 (91.5%)

Part-time: 1,284 (8.4%)

Average Age (undergraduates): 21.1

Graduate Headcount

Total: 754 (4.9%)

Full-time: 565

Part-time: 189

Fall 2018 Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity

All Students Fall 2018 % of Total
Hispanic 1,495 9.3%
Hispanic Ethnicity 570  
Hispanic & White 724  
Hispanic & non-White 201  
American Indian or Alaska Native 317 2.0%
American Indian or Alaska Native Single Race 55  
American Indian & White 262  
Asian 1,697 10.5%
Asian Single Race 996  
Asian & White 701  
Black or African American 418 2.6%
Black or African American Single Race 260  
Black & White 158  
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 70 0.4%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Island Single Race 32  
Native Hawaiian & White 38  
International 183 1.1%
Race and ethnicity unknown 314 1.9%
Two or more races: Other 198 1.2%
White 11,429 70.9%
Total 16,121 100.0%
Students of Color 4,195 26.0%

Student enrollment by place of origin

Inclusive Success

First-to-second Year Retention

Overall: 81%

Students of color, underrepresented: 78%

Pell Grant eligible: 74%

Six-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 69%

Students of color, underrepresented: 64%

Pell Grant eligible: 65%

Transfer Four-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 75%

Students of color, underrepresented: 77%

Pell grant eligible: 72%

Faculty Retention Rates

The following are three year retention statistics, showing how many faculty employed in a given year remained employed three years later. For example, in the All Faculty table, the first column for 2010 has a value of 69%. This means that 69% of all faculty employed in fall 2010 were also employed in fall 2013.

These data are broken down by Tenure Status*, gender, and Faculty of Color Status**.

Faculty retirements lower measured retention rates. To account for this, we also present the retention rates of faculty who are under the age of 59 on the hypothesis that faculty who leave WWU before 59 are not retiring. 59 has been used because it coincides with when people can start drawing from tax-deferred retirement accounts. This second table is potentially better at demonstrating the mobility of faculty for reasons other than retirements.

*Tenure status reported is the tenure status of the faculty member at the start of the three-year period.
**Faculty of Color are reported per IPEDS guidelines. Race categories include: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Hispanic; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; or two or more races. 

Retention rates for all faculty

All Faculty
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
  69% 71% 75% 73% 73% 72%
Non-Tenure Track Faculty
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
All   49% 53% 62% 59% 58% 57%
Female 48% 52% 62% 61% 58% 56%
Male 52% 55% 61% 56% 58% 58%
Faculty of Color 44% 39% 68% 74% 57% 56%
Non Faculty of Color 50% 54% 61% 58% 58% 57%
Tenured  and Tenure Track Faculty
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
All 86% 87% 86% 86% 86% 85%
Female 87% 88% 86% 86% 86% 85%
Male 85% 87% 86% 85% 86% 85%
Faculty of Color 91% 93% 94% 93% 87% 88%
Non Faculty of Color 85% 86% 85% 84% 86% 85%

Retention rates for faculty under 59

All Faculty under 59
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
  73% 75% 80% 79% 79% 79%
Non-Tenure Track Faculty under 59
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
All 49% 53% 64% 63% 62% 61%
Female 48% 50% 59% 63% 63% 60%
Male 51% 58% 71% 63% 60% 61%
Faculty of Color 41% 35% 73% 75% 56% 50%
Non Faculty of Color 50% 54% 63% 62% 62% 62%
Tenured  and Tenure Track Faculty under 59
3 Year Rate 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
All   93% 93% 92% 92% 91% 94%
Female 94% 93% 92% 93% 90% 93%
Male 92% 94% 93% 91% 91% 94%
Faculty of Color 93% 94% 94% 96% 90% 94%
Non Faculty of Color 93% 93% 92% 91% 91% 94%

Summary of Faculty & Staff Demographics

Employee demographics contained in the 2018 AAP for Women and Minorities
  Total WWU Employees Women Racial/Ethnic Minority
Faculty 965 487 50.47% 170 17.62%
Staff 1437 817 56.85% 241 16.77%
Total 2402 1304 54.29% 411 17.11%

Source of Data: Banner HR; WWU 2018 AAP for Women and Minorities. Data includes persons employed at any FTE.

Minority women are included in numbers for both women and minorities. Racial/ethnic minority includes individuals who self-identified as: Hispanic or Latino; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; or Two or more races. Providing demographic information is voluntary. The totals and percentages in the above table do not include individuals whose demographic information is not available.

Faculty numbers include tenure track and non-tenure track faculty.