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 fourth "WMU Professional Development Institute: Building Cultural Competencies", May 2 - 5, 2023.  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.

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.

2023's Professional Development Institute applicants have been selected and contacted. Come back in January of 2024 for next year's application.


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.


Faculty and Staff responsible employee training


How to Respond to a Disclosure of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment or Violence

You have undoubtedly heard about cases of sexual harassment and assault on college campuses across the nation. How are these issues being addressed at WMU? How do you support a student or colleague who reaches out to you for help? What about privacy and confidentiality concerns? This program answers these questions and covers steps faculty, staff and graduate assistants can take to improve safety at all WMU locations. Though open to all WMU employees, anyone designated as a Responsible Employee or Campus Security Authority is strongly encouraged to attend (see Responsible Employee List).

Training dates for the 2021/2022 academic year;
  • Yet to be determined.

All sessions are scheduled to be held in 1231 Trimpe.

Registration for the How to Respond to a Disclosure program is available online through the Faculty Development Workshop website.

Office of Faculty Development to Register