23-01 Establishment of the WSU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council for Wayne State University.
2.0 Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
2.1 At Wayne State University, we are committed to creating an anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We recognize that systemic racism and discrimination exist in society, and we are committed to taking action to eradicate these inequalities in all aspects of our work. Anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion are a shared responsibility of the entire university and its members and constituent bodies.
2.2 For the purposes of this policy, anti-racism means the active and intentional effort to identify, challenge, and dismantle systemic racism and discrimination.
2.3 For the purposes of this policy, diversity means the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, disability, and socioeconomic status.
2.4 For the purposes of this policy, equity means practices of fostering fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all members of the campus community, particularly historically marginalized groups.
2.5 For the purposes of this policy, inclusion means the active and intentional effort to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all individuals.
2.6 Anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical components of our educational and research mission. Creating an anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive community enhances the quality of education and research, helps us attract and retain talented and motivated students, faculty, and staff, and strengthens our relationships with alumni, donors, and the broader community. We also believe that promoting anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion is the right thing to do, as it fosters a climate of respect, tolerance, and understanding, and contributes to a more just, equitable, and prosperous society.
2.7 At Wayne State University, we are proud of our commitment to promoting anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe that by actively challenging systemic racism and discrimination, and valuing and celebrating the richness of human diversity, we can create a more just, equitable, and prosperous society. We are committed to continuing our efforts to promote anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of campus life and to create a community that is welcoming and supportive for all.
3.0 The role of the Chief Diversity Officer
3.1 The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) shall be charged by the resident with responsibilities relating to the university’s mission of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The CDO shall serve as the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and guide its actions as described in this policy.
4.0 Establishment of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council
4.1 The University shall establish and maintain a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (“the DEIC”).
4.2 Purpose Of The DEIC
4.2.1 The purpose of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is to foster anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion at Wayne State University by assessing and reporting on the institution's progress in these domains and by offering strategic advice to the CDO and others on campus.
4.3 Role of the DEIC
4.3.1 Upon request of the CDO, the DEIC may support the CDO in assessing and reporting on the state of the university’s performance with respect to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DEIC may assess the campus climate and monitor institutional outcomes related to a comprehensive understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, encompassing but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, ability, sexual orientation, economic status, and/or religious and spiritual practices. The DEIC supports the CDO and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by providing insights and recommendations to enhance the university's commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.
4.3.2 The DEIC may advise the CDO and others on strategies and actions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion while reducing racism and other forms of structural bias at Wayne State University. The DEIC may be consulted in matters related to university strategic planning, master planning, budget planning, and other activities with a significant impact on anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, while recognizing the CDO's primary responsibility in driving these initiatives.
4.3.3 The DEIC may educate faculty, staff, students, and other members of campus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide tools and other supports to promote more inclusive and equitable practices.
4.3.4 The DEIC may present recommendations to the CDO that include strategies, individuals responsible for specific actions, timelines for implementation, and measurable outcomes that reflect the continuing improvement of campus diversity, equity and inclusion.
4.3.5 This policy does not supersede or reduce authority or responsibilities provided for elsewhere, such as those granted to the Academic Senate under Board of Governor statutes and bylaws and to the various university unions under collective bargaining agreements.
4.3.6 Wayne State University is committed to complying with all applicable federal and state laws that govern diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The DEIC reflects our commitment to complying with all relevant legal requirements and promoting an inclusive campus culture that respects and values all members of our community. This policy is not intended to violate any federal or state laws or other regulations, and nothing in this policy should be construed as conflicting with any such laws or regulations.
4.4 Composition of the DEIC
4.4.1 The DEIC shall be chaired by the university’s CDO. Two vice-chairs shall be selected by the CDO from the DEIC appointed members to assist in coordinating DEIC work.
4.4.2 The DEIC shall be comprised of 1) one faculty and one staff member from each school/college and one member from each division or other unit, appointed by the academic dean or executive lead of such unit; 2) two members chosen by the Academic Senate; 3) two members chosen by the WSU AAUP-AFT Local 6075; 4) two members chosen by the Student Senate; 5) up to two at-large members chosen by the CDO; and 6) up to two non-voting ex officio members chosen by the CDO.
4.4.3 Terms shall be for two years, with members eligible for renewal appointments with the approval of the CDO and the dean or other executive lead of the member’s school, college, division or other unit. Terms of members will be staggered, with half appointed at the beginning of each academic year. To achieve this, in the first year of this policy, half will be appointed for one-year terms and half will be appointed for two-year terms. Thereafter, all appointments will be for two-year terms.
4.5 DEIC Procedures and Conduct of Business
4.5.1 Upon request of the CDO, the DEIC may consider matters referred to it by the president, the provost, by other bodies and may make recommendations with reference thereto to the CDO, and with the approval of the CDO, to the provost, the president, and/or other bodies. The DEIC shall invite the president and the provost to meet with the DEIC at least once per year.
4.5.2 The CDO and vice-chairs shall work with the DEIC to establish operational guidelines, including priorities, subcommittees and work groups as appropriate, a schedule of meetings, approaches to collaboration and communication mechanisms.
5.1 This university policy is revocable by the president at any time and without notice.
6.0 Effective date
6.1 This university policy is effective upon issuance.
Signed by President M. Roy Wilson, July 27, 2023.