IAS Definition of Diversity
In IAS, diversity is defined as individual and institutional actions taken to counteract relations of power and difference historically characterized by the social exclusion, marginalization, and oppression of one group and the unearned privilege and overvaluation of another. Diversity is fluid in that the status and representation of groups shifts over time and context. In our current moment, this definition includes, but is not limited to, race, indigeneity, sex, gender identity, linguistic difference, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, visa/documentation status, religion, beliefs & values, and military status.
When the terms “diverse” or “diversity” are used below, this definition is what we mean in IAS. Here we mean to extend anti-bias frameworks and recognize that identities are intersectional, complex, and multiply determined. We seek to redistribute opportunities and resources to foster equity and social justice in our hiring practices, student services, pedagogy, curriculum, scholarship, intra- and cross-unit relations, as well as our community partnerships.
In order to focus our school-level work, however, the IASDP 2.0 does not speak to structural issues that are controlled beyond the Unit, like those that require collective bargaining or changes in the Faculty Code. In order to make the best use of our school’s “in-house” resources and labor, IASDP 2.0 focuses on changes we have the ability to make at the unit-level. That said, IAS will continue to advocate “up” both campus and tri-campus reporting structures for the authority and/or the resources to address issues that have been identified as critical to areas noted below in the IASDP 2.0.
Current IAS Institutional Language
(Diversity-related language in bold.)
The School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences provides a rigorous liberal arts education that draws connections across academic disciplines and links classroom learning to practical experience across diverse fields and sectors. As a faculty and staff, we inspire our students to engage creatively and ethically with the concerns of the region and the world. We dedicate ourselves to integrative research and creative practice, innovative and effective pedagogy, and dynamic curricula that prepare students to live and work in environments that are diverse and complex. We recognize, reflect on, and challenge unequal relations of power and privilege in our curriculum, scholarship and community partnerships. As part of a public university, we seek to build an inclusive and just community of students, faculty, and staff.
- Interdisciplinary and Engaged Scholarship
- Integrative and Inquiry-Based Curriculum
- Student-Centered and Transformative Pedagogy
- Social Justice, Equity, and Diversity
- Institutional Access and Responsiveness
- Local and Global Engagement
- Be a leading center for interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship and pedagogy with a research and creative culture that fosters the best work and values the overall well-being of its faculty, staff, and students.
- Provide a student- and learning-centered education that attends to difference and power, and hones students’ abilities to think critically and creatively, seek knowledge in and across disciplines, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively and ethically.
- Foster an inclusive educational environment that enhances the capacities of students, staff, and faculty members to work together across differences, to reflect on their practices, and to recognize and challenge unequal relations of power.
- Build and sustain partnerships with individuals, communities, and organizations that seek the socially-just and environmentally sustainable development of the region and can help students link classroom learning to their career and life ambitions.
- Enhance our ability to build an institution that is responsive to the needs, demands, and capacities of diverse student populations and community groups, both locally and globally.
Approach of IAS Diversity Plan 2.0 (IASDP 2.0)
One of the central challenges of organizing and coordinating the implementation of the IASDP for first the 2015 Diversity Plan Coordinator and then 2017 ADDE was the ever-changing circumstances in which the IASDP was operating, the first being the 2016 Presidential election and the heightening of anxieties that ensued which greatly impacted climate across campus and within IAS classroom and work environments. There have been on-going, and at times, increasing pressures to attend to both emerging and long-standing injustices and inequities all at the same time. Some of these can be addressed by a unit-level Diversity Plan and some of these cannot. As such, the IASDP 2.0 is designed to more clearly articulate the boundaries of this unit-level work. Such boundaries are vital to ensuring we have the collective capacity to achieve anything listed, especially since IAS faculty — especially minoritized IAS faculty–are repeatedly called upon to perform informal and/or emotional labor related to emerging diversity initiatives and crises. We must be clear: IAS faculty and staff cannot make up for diversity deficits that exist campus wide.
In terms of design, this revised Plan names and defines nine goals below. These goals are aspirational; that is, none of these goals have been achieved in their entirety. Instead, they are unit-level aspirations for IAS to use and help guide governance, policy development and changes, and other unit-level decisions. We believe they are achievable over a period of time we cannot fully determine yet, but only provided that all involved–faculty, staff, administrators and students — understand that institutional diversity work contains both limits and possibilities since we continue to operate in a state-funded institution filled with bureaucracy that has more than once prevented IAS from achieving more. The goals listed below can be seen as the abstract diversity aspirations of our school; more precise, immediate, and actionable implementation strategies for these aspirations will be determined annually by the standing ADDE and the IAS Diversity Committee. This approach is critical as the elected diversity leadership needs to consider the unit’s annual approaches in consideration of only the most current, relevant, societal and institutional contexts and concerns.
Goal 1: Recruit and Retain a DIVERSE and REPRESENTATIVE FACULTY
IAS commits to recruiting and retaining both full-time and part-time faculty who are 1) under-represented among the professoriate; 2) reflective of our diverse student population (see above for current demographics); and 3) can best serve and enhance IAS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching, service, research, scholarship and creative practice. Toward these goals, IAS will continue to prioritize the allocation of material support for faculty to enable them to meaningfully advance their work across all categories, in recognition that such support is inextricably intertwined with the goal of recruitment and retention. In all matters related to recruitment and retention, IAS commits to not only ”honor differences,” but to also name and seek to counteract historical patterns of exclusion, marginalization, exploitation and oppression of some groups and unearned privileges and overvaluation of others, including attention to the ways minoritized faculty are often called upon, formally and informally, to perform invisible labor to make up for a lack of resources at both the campus and unit levels. IAS commits to regularly training and engaging in anti-bias practices to guide searches and hiring, reappointment, and promotion discussions, where anti-bias norms should be reviewed at each meeting. In addition, IAS will continue to assess and reassess its recruitment and hiring practices as well as its ability (and lack of ability) to support, retain, and protect minoritized faculty.
Goal 2: Recruit and Retain a DIVERSE and REPRESENTATIVE STAFF
IAS commits to recruiting and retaining staff that are reflective of our student population (see above for current demographics). Staff roles in IAS share a common purpose in facilitating a professional and educational environment in which all faculty, staff, and students may thrive. In student-facing roles, IAS commits to recruiting and retaining individuals whose own backgrounds and experiences match and serve the needs of the diverse student populations at the University of Washington Bothell. Such staff are uniquely positioned to assist students in their navigation of the IAS curriculum, influence their willingness to try out new learning opportunities, and graduate from the University of Washington. In faculty-facing roles, IAS commits to recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals whose backgrounds and experiences can best serve and enhance IAS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in research, teaching and service. IAS also commits to prioritizing the dedication of material support to enable staff to meaningfully advance their work, in recognition that such support is inextricably intertwined with the goal of recruitment and retention. Finally, IAS will continue to assess and reassess its recruitment and hiring practices as well as its ability (and lack of ability) to support, retain, and protect minoritized staff.
Goal 3: Recruit, Retain, and Build Relationships within a DIVERSE AND REPRESENTATIVE IAS STUDENT POPULATION
IAS commits to designing transparent and responsive student recruitment and retention tools in order to diversify and increase representation of (1) populations under-represented within academia, and (2) vulnerable student populations, including those who may be targeted because of their visa and/or documentation status. Recruiting a diverse student body helps IAS further equity and inclusion while mirroring the shifting demographics of our region and preparing students for personal, professional, and community advancement and wellbeing. Towards this goal, the School will invest time and resources to deepen understanding among faculty and staff of the systems and structures leading to equity gaps in institutions of higher education, with specific awareness of the impacts on vulnerable student populations, including QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. IAS will advocate for increased student access to and engagement in transformative educational experiences as well as affinity networks, mentoring, and other forms of community-building, with the express purpose of helping students overcome barriers.
Goal 4: Provide INCLUSIVE, RESPONSIVE, and IDENTITY-CONSCIOUS ACADEMIC SERVICES for IAS Students
IAS Academic Services is a functional area that supports the planning, quality, and delivery of education provided to IAS undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty and staff facilitate academic services (e.g., admissions, enrollment management, student programming, academic advising, course scheduling, curriculum development, and hiring plans) in alignment with IAS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in research, teaching and service.
Articulated in Goal 4 is IAS’s commitment to respond to student needs and offer academic services where students feel welcomed, supported and valued, that can also be accessed in an equitable manner. IAS commits to recruiting and retaining students who are (1) under-represented within Academia, (2) reflective of our overall campus demographics (see above for current demographics) and diversity values; and (3) especially vulnerable and politically targeted at and impacted by the changing and uncertain policies due to certain visa/ documentation status. In addition, IAS commits to implementing strategies that are explicitly aimed at expanding access to communities who have been and continue to be excluded by university structures through interventions that generally support the retention, academic achievement, and graduation of first-generation college students, students with financial need, international students, multilingual students, students with disabilities, and students from marginalized communities.
Goal 5: Provide on-going professional development in both student-centered and transformative PEDAGOGIES
In alignment with our stated value of Student-Centered and Transformative Pedagogy, IAS commits to developing and implementing best practices of culturally competent teaching and learning that take place within and beyond the classroom, and transform the lives and knowledge of students, teachers, and communities. The school will continue to expand opportunities and offer resources to help faculty and staff develop pedagogical strategies that both meet our diverse student population where they are and empower them to “examine critically their beliefs, values, and knowledge with the goal of developing a reflective knowledge base, an appreciation for multiple perspectives, and a sense of critical consciousness and agency.” For one example, we can encourage the development of alternative assessment strategies that work to uncouple grading from unintentional bias and that give students a voice in their own assessment. Essential to this effort will be either the advocacy for, or the creation and maintenance of, space for sharing expertise, exchanging practices, and providing feedback through training sessions, workshops, and collaborations between campus units, and between IAS faculty and staff, especially when pedagogic needs shift due to emerging social and political contexts.
Goal 6: Support and expand faculty capacity to develop and sustain CURRICULUM, CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMMING, SCHOLARSHIP and CREATIVE PRACTICE that attends to the diverse lived experiences, creative productions and expressions, and/or intellectual contributions of and by minoritized peoples.
While this may seem like an odd grouping of activities, here we understand Curriculum, Co-Curricular Programming, Scholarship, and Creative Practice to include a wide range of allied, overlapping, and often fused intellectual and creative labor undertaken by faculty. However, we recognize students as the primary audience for curricular and co-curricular activities, and the broader public, including other scholars, artists and activists, as the audience for other scholarly and creative work. We also understand that this work can be differently distributed across our two full-time tracks. For the sake of this plan, which focuses on “diversity” as defined above, this goal highlights faculty production in all its forms. As a school, we value these scholarly and creative efforts that name, interrupt, challenge and/or counteract unequal relations of power and generally align with our Diversity and Equity Learning Objective. In order to evince this valuation, IAS commits to prioritize the dedication of material support for these modes of work so that IAS can continue to be a regional leader in modeling diversity-oriented higher education.
Goal 7: Foster an INCLUSIVE and RESPONSIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE
IAS commits to working towards an overall school climate where students, staff and faculty feel welcomed, supported, valued and treated in equitable manners, especially those who hold diverse, minoritized identities. IAS faculty, staff and administrators commit to developing and maintaining more open and transparent communication channels and spaces for collegial interactions and engagement that explicitly recognizes the diversity and power dynamics with the unit. In addition, school leadership will respond when internal climate issues arise that prevent such working relations, calling upon resources external to the unit if necessary (e.g. UW Ombud). School leadership will regularly assess and respond to faculty, staff and administrator concerns about school climate.
Goal 8: Develop capacity for a DIVERSE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP committed to enabling DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION in all areas of university life.
Here “School Leadership” means the IAS Dean and Associate Deans; staff managers responsible for different working units (Administrative Operations, Student Services & Advising, Strategic Initiatives, and Academic Services); and the Chairs of IAS Standing Committees: Faculty Council, Personnel, Curriculum and Diversity. IAS commits to recruiting and retaining a diverse leadership team that can best serve and enhance IAS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching, service, research, scholarship and creative practice. In doing so, IAS will consider the ways power differences related to staff reporting lines and faculty rank or track may help or hinder one’s ability to best perform in leadership positions. IAS also commits to ensuring that school leadership positions retain the structural support required to allow occupants of those positions to be most effective, recognizing that to meaningfully infuse these roles with a commitment to diversity requires forms of invisible labor.
Goal 9: Cultivate and maintain RESPECTFUL and RESPONSIVE CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS to further IAS and Campus Diversity Goals
By “Campus Partnerships” we mean collaboration with other UWB schools and/or with other campus and university units such as the Diversity Center, Student Engagement and Activities, Global Initiatives, the Community-based Learning and Research (CBLR), the Library, Center for International Education, Counseling, Office of Disability Resources for Students, the Veteran Resource Center, Organizational Excellence and Human Resources; the UW Office of Academic Personnel (OAP) and International Scholars Operations (ISO), the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and the Office of Faculty Advancement (OFA).