University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Oct. 30, 2003


UW-RF Receives Diversity Award

UW-River Falls has been recognized for its innovative practices to promote diversity on campus in a new award presented by the State of Wisconsin.

Chancellor Ann Lydecker led a delegation on Thursday, Oct. 30 to receive the Educational Diversity Award from Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton in a ceremony in the State Capitol in Madison. UW-RF was selected for the award by the State Council on Affirmative Action and the Office of State Employment Relations.

Joining Lydecker at the ceremony was Phil George, director of the UW-RF Academic Success Center; Terrence Galbreath, a recent graduate who has taught in the Pre-College program, been a McNair Scholar, and now serves as UW-RF Multicultural Student Advisor; and Professor Suzanne Hagen, faculty member and our affirmative action officer.

Also participating was UW System Regent Gerard Randall and two Milwaukee Vincent high school students, Ted Cannady and Amanda Johnson with teach John Howard. Randall, head of the Milwaukee Private Industry Council, was key in establishing a link between UW-RF and Vincent.

In accepting the award, Chancellor Lydecker told the assembly, "I firmly believe that our higher education institutions can and must play a significant role in preparing people of color, women, and persons with disabilities for career and life success in our 21st century world. And, very importantly, through these diversity efforts we also prepare all students for that diverse and global new century."

In a written statement, Gov. Jim Doyle conveyed his congratulations to UW-RF and other state agencies that received recognition, observing that "our employees are the state government's greatest asset, and by expanding the diversity of our workforce we gain new strength and a broader vision that enables state government to better serve the people of Wisconsin."

During the ceremony Lawton noted that, "Creating a diverse workforce pays dividends to both the individual workplaces involved and to the state as a whole. I encourage other employers, in both the private and public sectors, to learn from their experience."

UW-RF was cited for a comprehensive package of initiatives designed to encourage students of color to enroll at UW-RF, to support them academically and personally while enrolled, and to prepare them for success upon graduation. Among those key initiatives are:

Faculty and Academic Staff Development Board programs focus on diversity issues through workshops for faculty and staff as well as orienting new faculty to techniques of introducing diversity topics into their classroom instruction.

Also recognized at the diversity awards ceremony were the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

Lydecker noted, "I know that this honor bestowed upon UW-River Falls today could well be shared among many other Wisconsin colleges and universities who work daily to expand opportunities for students. But I must also confess that I'm extremely pleased to have our work at River Falls noted and I commend the faculty, staff and students on our campus whose dedication and hard work are the reason for the award."

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