The University of Wisconsin-Madison does not HAVE to do anything…not one thing – unless….
The University of Wisconsin is your largest direct and indirect employer. If you think I am joking, put your minds back to the Thanksgiving weekend. Recall how easily it was for each of us to cross town, or to secure a seat at a restaurant. Think of how this town atrophies when this university goes on recess. If the University of Wisconsin sneezes, we all catch the cold.
So the University of Wisconsin does not HAVE to do anything…unless it wants to be recognized among the premier universities by public acclaim. It is not!!
To get there, there are a number of things that must be done. I will not list them here.
Suffice it to say that your Board of Regents has taken the extraordinarily positive step of mandating, not simply identifying, four (4) goals to serve as the centerpiece of your diversity agenda. You have no idea how positive that move is from that body. The beauty of that move suggests a recognition that it is in our financial best interest to move on this agenda.
The conversation that your paper has supported/initiated/magnified must continue because this shift, that has been demanded, needs social activists. This slow bubbling must continue. Feed the conversation. Encourage the discourse. While this is occurring at one level, there must be the small group huddled around a table in a backroom somewhere, discussing the strategy of inclusive excellence.
These are two separate but related paths (financial & social).
Remember you can always remain status quo. You are a pretty good Midwestern university, doing pretty good research, with an okay football team, and a fair basketball team settled in a cold, but beautiful state.
But if you want to be “top tier” you have some work to do…and your Board of Regents seems to be demanding “top tier” right now.