Accessibility, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Message from the President

Sabah Randhawa

So much has happened in our world since the murder of George Floyd and countless other Black lives at the hands of the police, combined with a global pandemic that has put a disproportionate health and financial security burden on communities of color. Together with everyone in the Western Washington University community, I stand with you in proclaiming that Black Lives Matter.

These recent events are a stark reminder that race determines profoundly unjust outcomes not only in our systems of policing and incarceration, but in every part of our society, including education.

WWU’s Black student organizations, along with student groups representing other oppressed and marginalized identities, have long called on this institution to focus first on making lasting change that will significantly impact the lives of Western’s current and future students. While we have made progress since Winter 2019 in our efforts to increase equity and inclusion, it has not been fast or ambitious enough. The most significant way we can acknowledge and correct the past and ongoing injustices is by accelerating the rate and scope of our own systemic change.

Below are a set of both short-term and longer-term policy, program, learning and infrastructure initiatives, along with timelines and accountability targets, to guide our collective work in making Western Washington University a place where all community members feel truly safe, supported and included.

Sabah Randhawa

Academic Year 2020-2021 Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) Timeline

Action Implementation/Next Steps

Hire Director of Multicultural Student Services

Search in progress, appointment of Director expected prior to the start of fall 2021.

Hire Retention Counselor for African American and Black students

Search in progress, appointment of Director expected prior to the start of fall 2021.

Structural Equity and Bias Response Team (SET)

Launched fall 2020. SET report on University Budgeting Through a DEI lens expected by end of spring quarter 2021.

ADEI leadership education/training

ADEI training for executive and academic leadership, based on Kathy Obear’s Creating Inclusive Organizations framework started in August 2020 and culminated in May 2021.

Mandatory ADEI training for students (in addition to sexual assault prevention training)

Launched spring 2021.

ADEI training for new and existing employees including senior leadership

Planned for 2021-22.


Research existing campus building namesakes, and appoint a legacy review committee for Huxley College of the Environment

Legacy Review Task Force charged in late fall 2020 to review names associated with buildings and colleges, including Huxley College of the Environment, and recommend to the President and Board of Trustees whether any names should be considered for removal. Task Force report and recommendations due by end of spring quarter 2021.

Name new residence hall after one of Western’s first notable Black graduates

Board of Trustees approved naming of new residence hall after Alma Clark Glass, the first Black student to attend Western in 1906, in December 2020.  New residence hall will include Black affinity housing, and be ready for occupancy fall 2021.

Climate survey conducted by USC Center for Urban Education

Launch Fall 2021.

Sign on to the Okanagan Charter and make a commitment to become a health promoting institution.

Complete review process summer 2021.

Ethnic Studies curriculum

Ethnic studies funding request funded by the legislature for $1.2 million per biennium during the 2021 legislative session. Ethnic Studies faculty working on development of content and curriculum for the program ongoing.

Add a General University Requirement focused on African American studies and structural anti-Black racism

The Faculty Senate has initiated a process, led by the Committee on Undergraduate Education, on reframing and updating the General University Requirements to include a set of courses to help students understand and grapple with issues of power, equity, and justice in the U.S. and in the broader world.

Expand Viking Launch for first generation, Pell Grant eligible and scholarship students

Fall 2021 and ongoing.

Annual institution-wide recognition and celebration of Black History Month, MLK Day and Juneteenth

On January 18, 2021, WWU, in partnership with Whatcom Community College, Northwest Indian College, and Bellingham Technical College, hosted a virtual MLK Day ceremony, attended by nearly 1,000 people, featuring New York Times bestselling author and WWU alumna Ijeoma Oluo (’07), as the keynote speaker. We’re pleased to have secured Ibram X. Kendi, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book How to be an Antiracist for our 2022 event.  Work on enhancing and expanding recognitions is ongoing.

Campus Resources

Framework for
Accessibility Diversity Equity Inclusion


Advancing Inclusive Success

Increasing Washington Impact

Enhancing Academic Excellence




2024-25 Targets

Overall First-year Retention Rate

87 - 90%

  • Students of Color: 87 - 90%
  • Pell Grant Eligible: 87 - 90%
Overall six-year graduation rate

75 -  80%

  • Students of Color: 75 - 80%
  • Pell Grant Eligible: 75 - 80%
Overall transfer four-year graduation rate

75 - 80%

  • Students of Color: 75 - 80%
  • Pell Grant Eligible: 75 - 80%
Percent Students of color

30 - 35%

Percent Faculty of color

18 - 23%

Climate Metrics


Timeline of Projects to Advance Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Western

The chart below captures a list of the major projects completed, currently underway, and to be addressed at the institutional level with respect to accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is not an exhaustive list, but represents the most pressing and actionable items that have been identified.  In addition there are initiatives being implemented within academic colleges and at the department level that are not reflected here.  We invite you to check back often as projects are completed and new items are added.

Western is committed to making continuous progress on these issues—some operational, others systemic—and to acknowledging and addressing them in a way that is fully transparent about where we are with the work. 

If you have any suggestions or comments about the timeline, please share your thoughts with Enrollment & Student Services Vice President, Melynda Huskey at or Paul Dunn in the President's office at


Timeline Legend

Complete indicated by checkmark

In progress  indicated by three dots

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 Council for Gender Equity and the Council for Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice. Item complete

WWU Strategic Plan



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 complete

Assess threat and safety communications protocols and apps Item complete

Investigate USDA eligibility to accept SNAP benefits to better serve students with food insecurity (Unfortunately WWU does not qualify – basic needs task force will be established in Fall 2019 to address food and housing insecurity among students)Item complete

Hold first MLK Day breakfast (on 1/21/19); 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/prayer room in Wilson Library room WL 564 (a second room has been added in the Multicultural Center as of Fall 2019)Item complete

Opened meditation room/reflection room in the Viking Union Item complete

Create hearing impairment accessibility specialist position Item complete

Expand number of gender neutral bathrooms (ongoing — currently at 70+ gender neutral facilities)Item complete

Finalize Policy on Access to Campus or Student Records for Immigration Enforcement PurposesItem complete

Develop Ethnic Studies curriculum and delivery structure Item in progress


Spring 2019

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

Hire Executive Director of Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator(national search is underway)Item in progress

Hire Director of Multicultural Student Services (Impacted by COVID-19 but ongoing)Item in progress

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 complete

Assess equity and inclusion training needs for University community Item complete

Operationalize recommendations from Task Force on Preventing and Responding to AntisemitismItem in progress

Complete tribal enrollment descendancy protocol Item in progress

2019-20 Academic Year

Completion of new Multicultural Center Item complete

Assess outcomes, adapt, and expand Provost Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Hiring InitiativeItem complete

Implemented the ability for students and employees to indicate and update their pronouns and gender identity. via Web4U. Item complete

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

Campus Climate Survey (implementation for Fall 2020) Item in progress

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

Implement Government to Government Training through the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs (ongoing)Item complete

Establish a Basic Needs Taskforce to coordinate efforts to address housing and food insecurity among students Item complete

Update Western Alert system protocols to better reflect Clery Act requirementsItem complete

Implement new safety apps – final internal review to be completed Fall 2019, with testing and rollout scheduled for Winter 2020Item in progress

Charge Council on Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice to develop institution-wide bias response program and recommendation on holistic student wellness. Completed recommendations include Recommendation to Create a Structural Equity and Bias Response Team and Holistic Wellness Recommendations.Item complete

Establish Enrollment and Student Services Student Advisory Council Item complete

Enrollment Statistics

All Students, Fall 2020


All Students: 15,197

Men: 6,414 (42.2%)

Women: 8,783 (57.8%)

Full-time: 13,390 (88.1%)

Part-time: 1807 (11.9%)

Average Age (All students): 21.7

Undergraduate Headcount

Total: 14,402

Full-time: 12,792 (88.8%)

Part-time: 1,610 (11.2%)

Average Age (undergraduates): 21.3

Graduate Headcount

Total: 787

Full-time: 595 (75.6%)

Part-time: 192 (24.4%)

Fall 2020 Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity

All Students Fall 2020 % of Total
Hispanic 1575 10.4%
Hispanic Ethnicity 649  
Hispanic & White 717  
Hispanic & non-White 209  
American Indian or Alaska Native 288 1.9%
American Indian or Alaska Native Single Race 68  
American Indian & White 220  
Asian 1,711 11.3%
Asian Single Race 966  
Asian & White 745  
Black or African American 432 2.8%
Black or African American Single Race 260  
Black & White 172  
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 66 0.4%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Island Single Race 20  
Native Hawaiian & White 46  
International 128 0.8%
Race and ethnicity unknown 343 2.3%
Two or more races: Other 191 1.3%
White 10,463 68.8%
Total 15,197  
Students of Color 4,263 28.1%

Student enrollment by place of origin

Inclusive Success

First-to-second Year Retention

Overall: 79%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 77%

Pell Grant eligible: 74%

Six-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 67%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 61%

Pell Grant eligible: 61%

Transfer Four-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 76%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 69%

Pell grant eligible: 74%

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
Employee type 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.