WMU News

Evaluating campus diversity is subject of talk

March 11, 2005

KALAMAZOO--The role assessment and evaluation play in diversity on higher education campuses will be explored in a free presentation for the Western Michigan University community at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in the Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium.

The talk, "Learning to Do Better: Improving the Campus Climate for Diversity through Collaborative Inquiry," will be presented by Dr. Victor M. H. Borden, an administrator and assessment expert from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. It is being sponsored by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Division of Multicultural Affairs.

Dr. Martha Warfield, assistant vice president for student affairs and DMA director, says while on campus Borden also will meet with the University-wide Diversity Council, the General Education Assessment and the University Assessment committees, and Provost Linda Delene and Vice Provost Eileen Evans.

"As implementation of WMU's Diversity Multicultural Action Plan moves forward, the campus is eager to learn from other institutions that have launched diversity assessment initiatives," Warfield says. "Their experiences can help to inform ours."

According to Borden, diversifying college and university environments contributes to student learning, faculty productivity and institutional vitality. But he adds that those tenets are closely tied to an institution's ability to develop and continuously improve its effective diversity initiatives.

"Whether we're expanding multiculturalism in the curriculum; engaging students in a campus community that embraces their culture; or removing obstacles that prevent students, faculty and staff from achieving their potential, it's essential that we gather, reflect and act upon evidence regarding program effectiveness," he says.

Borden is associate vice chancellor for information management and institutional research at IUPUI, as well as an associate professor of psychology with several adjunct appointments. He also has held posts at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and George Mason University. His primary research interests are in the areas of student progress and performance and institutional and program performance indicators. He has developed his skills and experiences in institutional research and assessment in four areas--student affairs, academic affairs, finance and planning, and planning and institutional improvement.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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