A circle of celebrating people perch on the edge of red square fountain celebrating ADEI: Accessibility, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Accessibility Diversity Equity & Inclusion


At Western Washington University we see equity, justice, and inclusion as fundamental principles integral to our success.  We value diverse experiences and perspectives, and strive to create learning, living, and working environments that promote respect, access, opportunity, and equity for all.

Three banners line the walkway leading to Old Main reading People, Planet, Place.

Okanagan Charter

As part of a comprehensive plan to improve student and employee health and wellbeing, Western Washington University has adopted the Okanagan Charter and joined the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network, an initial cohort of eight U.S. universities committed to becoming health-promoting institutions.  

Framework for
Accessibility Diversity Equity Inclusion


Advancing Inclusive Success

Increasing Washington Impact

Enhancing Academic Excellence



Resources & Support



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%


Updates on Current ADEI Initiatives

Action Implementation/Next Steps

Hire Director of Multicultural Student Services

Hired in September 2021.

Hire Retention Counselor for African American and Black students

The search process is in progress.

Structural Equity and Bias Response Team (SET)

Launched fall 2020. SET report on University Budgeting Through a DEI lens. The 2020-21 Bias Response Team report was shared in Spring 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. The Board of Trustees made the decision to remove the Huxley name from the College of the Environment.

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

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

Western Washington University is one of seven universities — and the first in the Northwest — to have adopted the Okanagan Charter and joined the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network, which calls on higher-education institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health-promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.

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 the 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.

On January 17th, 2021, WWU in partnership with several community sponsors hosted a virtual MLK Day event with 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 recognition is ongoing.

Western Resources

Enrollment Statistics

All Students, Fall 2022


All Students: 14,748

Men: 6,266 (42.5%)

Women: 8,482 (57.5%)

Full-time: 12,938 (87.7%)

Part-time: 1,810 (12.3%)

Undergraduate Headcount

Total: 13,946

Full-time: 12,347 (88.5%)

Part-time: 1,599 (11.5%)

Graduate Headcount

Total: 802

Full-time: 591 (73.7%)

Part-time: 211 (26.3%)

Fall 2021 Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity

All Students Fall 2021 % of Total for 2021 Fall 2022 % of Total for 2022
Hispanic 1596 10.6% 1,566 10.6%
Hispanic Ethnicity 578   441  
Hispanic & White 782   887  
Hispanic & non-White 236   238  
American Indian or Alaska Native 270 1.8% 232 1.6%
American Indian or Alaska Native Single Race 68   58  
American Indian & White 202   174  
Asian 1,725 11.4% 1620 11.0%
Asian Single Race 963   869  
Asian & White 762   751  
Black or African American 491 3.2% 500 3.4%
Black or African American Single Race 281   292  
Black & White 210   208  
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 72 0.5% 72 0.5%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Island Single Race 20   27  
Native Hawaiian & White 52   45  
International 148 1.0% 189 1.3%
Race and ethnicity unknown 322 2.1% 291 2.0%
Two or more races: Other 188 1.2% 181 1.2%
White 10,313 68.2% 10,097 68.5%
Total 15,125   14,748  
Students of Color 4,812 31.8% 4,812 28.3%

Student enrollment by place of origin

More detailed metrics can be found at the Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Inclusive Success

First-to-second Year Retention

Overall: 77.1%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 70.1%

Pell Grant eligible: 72.5%

Six-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 65.1%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 58.9%

Pell Grant eligible: 54.8%

Transfer Four-year Graduation Rate

Overall: 72.5%

Underrepresented Minority Students: 74.3%

Pell grant eligible: 69.1%

Faculty Retention Rates

The following are three year retention statistics, showing how many faculty employed in a given year remained employed three years later.

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

TN and TT mean tenure and tenure Track. NT means non-tenure track.

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. 

Three-Year Faculty Retention Rates

Summary of Faculty & Staff Demographics

Employee demographics contained in the 2021 Affirmative Action Program (AAP) for Women and Minorities 
Employee type Total WWU Employees Women Racial/Ethnic Minority
Faculty 916 461 50.33% 188 20.52%
Staff 1279 738 57.70% 210 16.42%
Total 2195 1199 54.62% 398 18.13%

Source of Data: Banner HR; WWU 2021 AAP for Women and Minorities (as of October 31, 2020), prepared by the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance. Data includes persons employed at any FTE.

Employees who self-identify as women and belonging to a racial/ethnic minority 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.

A circle of celebrating people perch on the edge of red square fountain celebrating ADEI: Accessibility, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion