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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1725 State St
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
(608) 785-8000
Email address
School Information
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse shares in the mission of the University of Wisconsin System which is to develop human resources; to discover and disseminate knowledge; to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses; and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural, and human sensitivities as well as scientific, professional, and technological expertise and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended education and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.
General Information
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has launched numerous initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Its retitled “Center for Transformative Justice” which addresses campus climate issues, aims to advance “intersectional social justice and equity.” The University offers an optional discussion group to promote “anti-racism” and “acknowledge systems of white supremacy and racial oppression.” It also attempts to combat the “white savior complex.” The Equity Liaison Initiative was created by faculty to study and report on “equity gaps” in each college. This conception of “equity gaps” is defined by the University as a “systemic disparity in access, retention, or achievement.” Faculty and staff are required to attend a diversity and inclusion training session. There is no evidence students are required to complete a similar task.

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Starting Fall 2019, all UWL faculty and staff [are] provided the online course "Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace." This training advances UWL's "strategic priorities, Investing in our People and Achieving Excellence Through Equity and Diversity."
  • UWL launched the "Equity Liaison Initiative" as a "strategic, cooperative, campus-wide effort to identify and close equity gaps affecting students and employees." "The equity liaison is a faculty or staff member designated within each unit who analyzes and interprets equity data, gathers relevant resources, and advocates for evidence-based strategies to help their unit better anticipate and address these equity gaps."
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers professional development training through its "Inclusive Excellence" initiative. Faculty will "[l]earn to diagnose barriers to equity and to student learning and develop strategies to address them."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • UWL has adopted "Inclusive Excellence." In doing so, it is "designing course assignments that engage diversity," and "infusing diversity throughout the content of courses and campus events."
Disciplinary Measures
  • The Bias Support & Education Team at UW La Crosse "seeks to collect information on any bias incidents motivated by a person's actual or perceived identity, including, but not limited to race, ethnic background, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religious affiliation."
Program and Research Funding
  • UWL's "Campus Culture Center" was renamed the "Center for Transformative Justice" to "center historically marginalized communities, liberate the learner, and disrupt inequitable systems to advance intersectional social justice and equity in our collective spheres of influence."
  • UW La Crosse's Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies (interdisciplinary) program "helps students understand the enormous diversity of the U.S. and a globalizing world, and the structures of inequality on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and social class that shape this world." Students who take this program will "uncover hidden histories that include experiences of discrimination and marginalization, as well as of resilience, resistance, and coalition building."
  • The Center for Transformative Justice at UW La Crosse aims to "provide programming and spaces that address inequities and barriers students experience."
  • The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs offers programs, services, and resources which focus on the "personal/social development of African American, Indigenous/American Indian, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American, Hmoob, and biracial or multi-ethnic students at UWL." 
  • The Eagle Mentoring Program at UWL is a "program that benefits second-year under-represented students by providing a variety of collaborative opportunities to ensure success in academic settings." The mission of the program is to "close the achievement gap between historically under-represented students and their peers."
  • UWL created the "Partners in Movement" group. "This experiential meeting of the minds, shaped by principles of anti-racism, is designed for students who acknowledge systems of white supremacy and racial oppression, and desire to further explore their personal and collective responsibility within a racialized society. Our conversations will be informed by 4 main components (awareness, connection, responsibility and solidarity) through the exploration of concepts such as systemic racism, white savior complex, white fragility, and anti-racist action."
  • UWL is "improving access and equity for historically under-served populations."
  • On December 8, 2023, Inside Higher Ed reported that after six months of funding negotiations, UW system leaders and the Republican-lead legislature had finally reached a deal which was eventually voted down by the UW Board of Regents. The board had "agreed to vote on a deal between system leaders and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos that would freeze and cap DEI hiring in exchange for funding held up by the Legislature." However, "the board rejected the proposal 9 to 8 leaving over $800 million on the table and the future of the system’s DEI offices in limbo." In response to the boards vote, Speaker Vos and Assembly republicans issued the following statement: "'It’s a shame they’ve denied employees their raises and the almost $1 billion investment that would have been made across the UW system, all so they could continue their ideological campaign to force students to believe only one viewpoint is acceptable on campus'."
  • UW La Crosse provides an "Instructor's Guide to Inclusive Excellence" which aims to "understand what research on teaching and learning tells us about systematic inequities," and "explore the theory and practice of pedagogies aimed at inclusion, equity, and social justice."
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at UWL is hosting a "Social Justice Week" from April 2-4, 2024. The theme of the event is titled "Building, Belonging, Identities Shaping Communities."
Symbolic Actions
  • UWL defines "equity gap" as a "systemic disparity in access, retention, or achievement that adversely affects students and/or employees of under-represented or under-served populations at UWL..."
  • The University of Wisconsin system renamed its annual reports on diversity from "Design For Diversity" to "Design for Racial Equity."
  • The UWL Counseling Center issued that following statement on racism: "We know that for our statement to have meaning, we have to fully commit to use our power and privilege to be agents of change in our campus and community. This commitment means conscientious work to understand racism and white supremacy's entrenchment in our social and educational systems, to understand our role in these systems, and to learn how to transform these systems in our work."
Last updated February 5th, 2024
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