Greater Retention and Achievement through Diversity
As a nationally recognized urban, public research university, the diversity of our community is one of our greatest assets. In a rapidly changing world, Wayne State University is well-prepared to educate citizens and leaders. Educational environments rich in diversity promote increased learning and diverse teams to create solutions to humanity’s challenges. WSU’s diversity fosters and sustains our core academic mission: to create and transmit knowledge.
Despite our strengths, achievement gaps between students of underrepresented minority groups and other students present significant challenges both nationally and at WSU. However, gaps in outcomes are not inevitable. Institutions similar to WSU have narrowed or closed these differences through focused, determined efforts. We must commit to success for each admitted student. By doing so, WSU will be closer to becoming the nation’s pre-eminent urban research university.
To meet these challenges, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has endorsed the Greater Retention and Achievement through Diversity (GRAD) Initiative. This initiative stems from a report issued earlier this year by a committee lead by then-Deputy President Phyllis I. Vroom. It builds upon our Student Success Initiative, which commits WSU to a strategy of inclusive excellence.
The first task of the GRAD initiative is to bring on an associate provost as chief diversity officer. This position will work closely with the provost’s senior staff, deans and the entire campus to promote student success, faculty and staff diversity, and a culture of inclusive excellence.
The GRAD report makes several other recommendations, which we will roll out in the coming months. There is much work ahead and everyone is critical to the success of this effort.
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Aim Higher — and make excellence inclusive!