Creating a positive community for all

The following is a message from Dean Kate VandenBosch and Ahna Skop, associate professor of genetics and chair of the CALS Committee on Equity and Diversity: 

Greetings CALS Community,

Following up on Chancellor Blank’s recent open letter to campus, we want to reiterate our commitment to creating a safe environment for all students, faculty and staff. Our vision is for UW-Madison to be a national leader in advancing a positive campus climate through social justice, cultural competency and respect for the rights of all individuals on campus to pursue their chosen endeavors without fear or discrimination.

But this ideal cannot be served if some experience privilege and entitlement, while discrimination and microaggressions are allowed to persist. We are more than just academic credentials, research, test scores, and rankings. All members of our campus community are here because they bring a rich and diverse set of skills, experiences and talents that form the fabric of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all members of this vibrant community are included and welcomed. Any form of hostility, bias, or outward display of discrimination is not tolerated in CALS or on the campus as a whole. Any person who feels they have been the victim of hate or bias, or witness to an incident, is encouraged to report such instances.

We also encourage dialogue and participation in programs designed to provide training, exposure, and information centered on issues of diversity and inclusion. Please visit the Creating Community website to review different programs you might consider, or to review documents relating to diversity, such as the campus diversity framework Forward Together. We encourage you to promote activities organized by the CALS Equity and Diversity committee in the coming weeks. You are also encouraged to submit your own idea for improving climate at UW-Madison.

Many UW-Madison resources are available (UHS, Dean of Students, 116 Agricultural Hall Dean on Call) to assist faculty, staff, and students. Our sincere hope is that every person on the UW-Madison campus feels comfortable and welcome to pursue their personal, academic and professional dreams without the hindrance of discrimination and bias. We expect the CALS community to be leaders of change.


Kate VandenBosch, Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Ahna Skop, Chair, CALS Committee on Equity and Diversity and associate professor, Genetics

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