Diversity Summit Report

October 16, 2012

Introduction
Winona State held its first all-university Diversity Summit as part of the Fall 2012 University Improvement Day. Over 200 students, staff, and faculty members attended the event and participated in discussions about how to build and support a more diverse population at WSU. [Diversity Summit 2012 Agenda]

The consensus from the Summit was that building and supporting a more diverse population* at WSU is not only important, but also beneficial to WSU. A diverse educational environment challenges students to explore ideas and arguments at a deeper level, to see issues from various sides, to rethink their own premises, and to achieve the kind of understanding that comes only from testing their own hypotheses against those of people with other views. Such an environment also creates opportunities for people from different backgrounds and with different life experiences to come to know one another as more than passing acquaintances and to develop forms of tolerance and mutual respect.

Participants at the Summit were randomly assigned to tables to discuss diversity at WSU around the five topics below. Each group was asked a set of questions and notes were taken at each table. A summary of the discussions, by topic, is provided at each subpage.

    1.    Building and supporting a diverse student body
    2.    Building and supporting a diverse faculty & staff
    3.    Reflecting all voices in the curriculum and co-curriculum
    4.    Improving the experience in the Winona and Rochester communities
    5.    Engaging alumni with the WSU community