Nearly 92 percent of the 5,615 survey participants positively endorsed the statement that "overall, diversity and inclusion are respected and appreciated at WMU." More than 80 percent agreed that campus leadership supports diversity and inclusion.
The response rate to the survey invitation was nearly 20 percent, double the rate typical for such surveys. The respondents included 4,072 students, 493 faculty members, 924 staff members and 126 administrators. In addition to the survey participants, 81 people took part in campus focus groups.
Despite the positive results in defining the general or overall climate on campus, the research uncovered areas that need attention to make the University a place that is not simply focused on compliance with nondiscrimination guidelines, but one that is truly multicultural. The most serious of the issues uncovered related to experiencing and reporting unfair and inequitable treatment. The study found a reluctance to report such treatment and dissatisfaction with the way incidents reported were handled.
Of the people who participated in the survey, 6.5 percent reported that sometime during their time at WMU, they had experienced unfair or inequitable treatment. Of those individuals, fewer than a third made an official report of that treatment, and only 20 percent of those who did report such problems said they thought their report was handled with fairness.
"As we look at those percentages and the individual feelings of disappointment they represent, we have a clear imperative to move forward and reach out to our campus community in ways that reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our determination to hear and treat each person with fairness and respect," says Dunn.
The WMU study, which was the product of a multiyear effort, employed both a survey instrument and focus groups. It was commissioned by the University to take an in-depth look at diversity and inclusion issues on campus and identify those areas where improvement is needed. Campus officials say they're pleased at the overall views detailed in study results, and gratified that the work uncovered specific issues that need to be addressed and corrected.
"We asked Dr. Worthington to really dive deeply into the campus culture and uncover those areas in which we can and should make improvements to ensure that ours is a welcoming and inclusive environment in which every individual feels valued and included," says WMU President John M. Dunn.
Video from 2nd Annual
Excellence in Diversity Awards
is available on our Resources page.
Office of Diversity & Inclusion Vision
WMU recognizes that diversity and multiculturalism are essential for university administrators, faculty, staff members, students, alumni, and community partners to reach their unique potential in the areas of intellectual, personal, social, and cultural development in a fully engaged, enlightened community. Therefore, the University has a responsibility to encourage the exploration of the cultures and life experiences that are available on campus and in communities near and far, for cultural diversity makes sense only within a framework that enables equitable treatment of all in a community.
Office of Diversity & Inclusion Mission
WMU will be a leader in the area of diversity and multiculturalism by fostering an environment where diversity in all of its forms is investigated, explained, practiced, celebrated, affirmed, and vigorously pursued. WMU envisions an academic community that affirms the dignity, value, and uniqueness of each person. We intent to aggressively pursue the recruitment, retention, and/or promotion of a more diverse administration, staff, faculty and student body. Moreover, WMU aims to ensure that the campus climate is welcoming and affirming for all persons by addressing the causes and sources of structural inequalities and changing the decision-making processes that prevent “genuine participation” of all university constituents.