Five-year Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan put in place to help diversify campus

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The university has developed a plan that includes prioritizing diversity hires, implicit bias training and focusing on student centeredness to create a culture that meets the needs of students, faculty and staff.

WSU launched the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan on Dec. 8, 2021. This plan was put in place to help diversify WSU’s campus. 

The plan helps the university know how many students and faculty of color they have. It also meets the guidelines for sexual harrassment and workplace bullying. 

“It’s all wrapped up into one big plan,” Marche Fleming-Randle, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer said. “We’re just trying to make sure that everyone is on the same sheet of music about it.”

Fleming-Randle said she feels the university is moving in the right direction, after taking a while to get to this point.

“I’ve been here since 2007 and we are just now moving that needle,” she said. “It’s moving slow but it’s moving.” 

She has also mentioned that the change in leadership, the pandemic  and the shortage of teachers put a delay on the bill.

“With the new leadership that we have, we’re in the right direction,” she said  “Previous leadership was not supportive and [the] pandemic came that took away a lot of trying to recruit and retain [teachers] and do some things.”

The plan is set up as a five year plan, but Fleming-Randle said it would be expanded  in the future. 

“Once you do the five-year plan we get everything order and [is] lined with the pillars of strategic planning, lined with the pillar of the university’s mission and vision, then you’ll want to continue to have that for years to come so all you’ll want to do is add to the document,” she said. “If we don’t have a plan in place, we can look for self-destruction down the line.” 

 Before the university looks into expanding the bill, Fleming-Randle said they need to work with what they have and focus on what the university needs.

Fleming-Randle wants students and faculty to know that the university is trying to make a change.

“Diversity is everybody’s business,” she said. “The reason why it’s important is because it wasn’t billed overnight but it sure was destroyed in one day.”

Fleming-Randle mentioned that the bill is on the WSU website for the public to see.

“I need everybody to get on that website and take a look,” she said. “Your voice matters.” 

The bill also received input from the Student Government Association. 

 “SGA was very instrumental in us making sure that there was mandatory sexual harrassment training,” She said. “They helped push that wagon to get it to where we needed it to be.” 

For more information on the DEI plan, go to   https://www.wichita.edu/administration/dei/index.php