Group Photo of our 4th PDI Cohort-May 5, 2023


Presidential initiative - wmu professional development institute

Building Cultural Competencies

The office of Institutional Equity, in partnership with the Offices of Academic Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion, will hold the fifth "WMU Professional Development Institute: Building Cultural Competencies", Tuesday, April 30 to Friday, May 3, 2024.  A presidential initiative and the first of its kind in southwestern Michigan, this Professional Development Institute (PDI) features a 30-hour curriculum (3 ½ days) that utilizes intercultural communication concepts and theories to promote the development of cultural competencies central to cultivating an inclusive, diverse workplace. The focus is on providing a comprehensive professional development opportunity for WMU employees interested in gaining the necessary knowledge, skills, and motivation to facilitate culturally-relevant learning activities in and outside of the university classroom.The PDI was recognized by the University with a 2022 Excellence in Diversity Award.

Dr. Mark P. Orbe, Professor, School of Communication and Institutional Equity Faculty Fellow will be the facilitator for the PDI. Designed as a “train-the-trainers” workshop, the Institute works to empower and develop participants to effectively manage cross-cultural communication, implement diversity and inclusion programming, and facilitate different professional development opportunities in various university contexts. The curriculum includes low, moderate and high level experiential learning exercises followed by theoretically-informed facilitation processing which can be replicated and/or adapted to diverse audiences. Specific learning outcomes include:

  • Engage participants in multimodal learning activities to create a heightened awareness of how historical, social and structural dimensions affect contemporary inter-group relations;
  • Equip participants with the necessary knowledge, resources, support and internal networks to provide equity, diversity, and inclusion programming across WMU;
  • Empower participants in the co-creation of individual professional development goals related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access; and
  • Enhance existing individual and organizational resources in the building of cultural competency capacity toward the development of a campus model for future sustainability.

The application deadline for the 5th Professional Development Institute has now passed, applicants will be notified by March 11, 2024 as to their acceptance to participate in this years' PDI.

Employee recruitment and selection

 Implicit Bias Workshop for Search Committees

Biases, commonly known as intentional or unintentional prejudices and preferences, create unfair advantages or disadvantages and may result in discrimination against another individual or group. The workshops are designed to increase awareness of various forms of individual, group and institutional implicit or unconscious biases that are barriers to diversity, equity and inclusivity in hiring decisions and outcomes. Participants or members of search committees will receive information and engage in exercises and discussion focused on different forms of implicit bias and best practice strategies to mitigate bias in employee search and selection process.

The Bias-Free Hiring Quick Reference Guide is a supplemental resource for search committee members who participate in one of the Implicit Bias Workshops for Search Committees or an executive level search committee training session. The guide is not a replacement for participation in the workshop. TURNER CONSULTING GROUP INC. has granted our organization permission to share this information in support of our educational and professional development efforts for search committee members.

Bias Free Hiring Guide

Spring 2023 semester workshop dates, times and locations;
  • To be determined.

Registration for each workshop is available online through the Faculty Development Workshop website. The workshops are listed as; AA/IE - Implicit Bias Workshop for Search Committees.

Office of faculty development to register

If you do not have a Bronco Net ID or password, or need additional information, please call Institutional Equity at (269) 387-6316.

Awareness and harassment prevention training courses

Faculty, Staff and Student Employees

All faculty, staff and student employees have access to online training modules on diversity and preventing and reporting all forms of discrimination, harassment and violence.

Vector Solutions Courses

The following courses are currently available to all faculty, staff, administrators and student employees:

  • Prevention Harassment and Discrimination- With separate modules for supervisors and non-supervisors, these courses engage faculty and staff member on how to identify and report sexual and interpersonal misconduct, and cover awareness and prevention topics required by the Clery Act and Title IX. For supervisors, this course trains to identify and eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination based on protected characteristics by helping them understand the law and demonstrating how to appropriately respond to misconduct. Duration is approximately 120 minutes. For non-supervisors, this course engages employees and raises their awareness about harassment and discrimination by explaining the law and provides insight on how to appropriately respond to reports of misconduct. Duration is approximately 120 minutes. For non-supervisors, this course engages employees and raises their awareness about harassment and discrimination by explaining the law and provides insight on how to appropriately respond to reports of misconduct. Duration is approximately 60 minutes.
  • Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace-  Duration is approximately 60 minutes.

Human Resources automatically provides access to employees. To start learning now:

  1. Log into GoWMU or click here: Training Link
  2. Select "Awareness and Harassment Prevention Training Courses"
  3. Once logged into Vector Solutions, select "Extra Training" from the main menu on the left toolbar, then "Campus Prevention Network"
  4. Select the course title

For assistance, contact Human Resources at