Wichita State University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan (DEI) includes efforts to promote student success, increase sponsored research funding for diversity and inclusive excellence, and empower the campus community to create a culture and experience that meets its ever-changing needs.
The DEI Plan, which was presented during a faculty and staff townhall event on Dec. 3, is a university-wide initiative to build a culture that values transparency, accountability and communication around issues of diversity and inclusion.
“In short, this plan is about helping members of our campus community thrive,” said Dr. Marché Fleming-Randle, Wichita State’s chief diversity officer. “When everyone is empowered with opportunities and given the tools they need to flourish, we build stronger students and a stronger Shocker Nation.”
Wichita State’s DEI Plan was built through a two-year collaborative process, which included work from Fleming-Randle, the President’s Diversity Council, and members of the DEI working group. The plan includes goals and objectives around five key priorities: student centeredness, research and scholarship, campus culture, partnerships, and inclusive excellence.
The plan notes that “Diversity and equity are constantly changing to include the many voices and experiences in our ever-evolving culture.”
As the plan moves forward, Fleming-Randle said, she and her team will be soliciting input and engagement from constituencies across campus.
“It’s definitely a living document, and our work is nowhere near done,” she said. “The very nature of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan mandates that everyone’s input is included; and I’m looking forward to feedback from all of our stakeholders.”
The DEI plan is essential to ensuring that Wichita State’s vision, mission and priorities are fulfilled, Fleming-Randle said.
“Our excellence and our strength are predicated on serving our community, and the most direct way to do that is to embrace our diversity and build upon it as a way to reach our full potential as an institution,” she said.