Dear Campus Community:
I am sending out brief reflections each week on aspects of our new strategic plan. These reflections provide a context for the focus areas of the plan and are meant to underscore the significance of the plan and why each focus area is crucial to EWU’s success.
Reflection on the EWU Strategic Plan: 2018-2023
Goal: We Embrace Equity and Social Justice
EWU is increasingly recognized statewide as a university that successfully attracts, retains, and graduates first-generation students as well as under-represented, traditional, and non-traditional populations. We embrace the rich experiences of all our campus community members.
Our goal is to be Washington’s premier public diversity-serving institution, a university recognized for its excellent work in providing access and opportunity, strengthening students’ persistence to graduation, and ensuring that all students have the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to be successful in a changing environment.
Moreover, as we are committed to increasing the college-going rate in our region, we are reaching out to the fastest-growing college-age population in the state with the goal of establishing EWU as an Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) within the 5-year scope of the strategic plan.
Critical Issue: Eastern has been increasingly successful in recruiting a wide diversity of students. However, some academic majors remain predominantly homogenous. Also, as an institution, we’re committed to values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but faculty, staff, and administrators don’t reflect the increasing diversity of our students or the populations we serve.
The new plan stresses the need for plans within each area and department to increase the diversity of faculty and staff through our hiring processes and to work strategically to increase the diversity of students in each academic area.
Critical Issue: As a university, we take pride in transforming the lives of a wide diversity of students; however, our curricula, teaching styles, and campus practices don’t always reflect the changing needs and interests of current and prospective students. Faculty, staff, and administrators don’t necessarily have the skills and knowledge to create the campus environments that we envision, and we don’t always have the skills to lead or participate in the dialogue and conversations essential to a welcoming and inclusive campus climate.
The strategic plan emphasizes the need to review and refresh curriculum across each College to ensure that it meets the needs of students in a changing world. And it stresses the importance for EWU faculty, staff, and administrators to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to promote an inclusive environment in classrooms and throughout our campuses.
Next week I will reflect on a third goal of our plan: We Drive Innovation.