The Milwaukee Commitment
UWM's Strategic Plan for Racial and Ethnic Diversity
1999 - 2003

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is committed to meeting the diverse needs of its constituencies: students, faculty, staff and citizens of the State of Wisconsin.  As an urban public university, UWM was established as a place of scholarly reflection, and the creation and dissemination of knowledge.  It is a place where the citizens of the state invest in and receive educational experiences that will prepare them to work with people from various cultures and to meet the increasing demand for multicultural competencies in a global economy.

As stated in the UW System Plan 2008: Educational Quality Through Racial and Ethnic Diversity, "...Quality and diversity are linked.  Failure to include race/ethnic diverse subjects in the curriculum, or to include targeted groups in greater numbers as students, faculty and staff, means all students get a partial education.  UW System institutions prepare graduates to live, work and succeed in a racially and ethnically diverse society...."  UWM recognizes that it must continually monitor the diversity of its students, faculty, staff and curriculum so that it can cultivate a campus environment that reflects the diversity already present in today's workforce, global markets and institutions.

The goals and action steps set forth in this document are designed to provide UWM with a framework to continue to meet its commitments, through diversifying campus populations and curriculum.  The responsibilities for the implementation of the Milwaukee Commitment must be shared by all members of the university community.  Its success will have impact upon the social and economic prosperity of the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin in the 21st Century and beyond.

As a major urban research university, UWM must fulfill its mission to meet the diverse needs of Wisconsin's largest metropolitan area by providing a wide array of degree programs, a balanced program of applied and basic research, and a faculty/staff who are active in public service.  Consistent with the UW-Milwaukee Strategic Plan and the UW System Plan 2008, the Milwaukee Commitment is a "strategic fit" with UWM's urban mission and its strategic plan, and the Plan 2008's goals and initiatives.  More recently, the development of The Milwaukee Idea a vision for university-community engagement in focused activities that extend UWM's research, teaching, and service through collaborative partnerships in metropolitan Milwaukee incorporates the campus' commitment to diversity at all levels of its proposed engagement.

UWM's commitment to serve the diverse needs of its students, faculty and staff, and surrounding communities is reflected in the establishment of goals that will be evaluated by an oversight committee.  The assignment of accountability for accomplishing these goals is also included in the plan.  Incentives will be provided to schools/colleges, departments and individuals that significantly contribute toward this effort.  The Milwaukee Commitment is successor to the Milwaukee Initiative I and Milwaukee Initiative II, the previous UWM plans for increasing campus diversity.
The Milwaukee Initiative I, established in May 1988, allowed UWM to make significant progress in the areas of student recruitment, second-year retention, and precollege programming.  The plan  fell short in the areas of admission into majors and graduation.  Through the Milwaukee Initiative II, established in May 1993, UWM continued to make good progress in the areas of recruitment and enrollment of targeted racial/ethnic (TRE) students, precollege programming, and increasing the number of academic staff on campus.  Although retention and graduation rates of targeted students improved some, these rates  remain consistently below those of the other students.  The lack of progress in increasing the number of targeted faculty on campus is another area of concern.  Thus, the Milwaukee Commitment is built on the progress of the previous UWM diversity plans, while at the same time addressing lack of progress in some important areas.

The Milwaukee Commitment was initially drafted by a committee comprised of members of the university community.  The specific steps taken in the strategic planning process included the:

To obtain further endorsement of the document from the university community and the governance groups, the Chancellor appointed a Milwaukee Commitment Writing Team in November 1998 to finalize the document.  The concept of the Milwaukee Commitment was approved by the Student Association, the Faculty Senate, and the Academic Staff Committee in March 1999.

The intent of the above strategic planning process is the development of a comprehensive five-year plan for enhancing diversity and improving quality at UW-Milwaukee. Its implementation will begin in fall 1999.  The long range goal is for this plan to become an integral part of the institution's strategic plan.

To reach these goals and maintain consistency with UWM's urban mission, and the UW System Plan 2008 (see Appendix A), the Milwaukee Commitment is targeted toward the experiences, history, and inclusion of historically targeted racial/ethnic and disadvantaged (TRE/D) groups, i.e., African American, American Indian/Native American, Chicano/Hispanic/Latino(a), Asian American, and metropolitan Milwaukee residents who are from low income and first-generation college families.  UWM remains committed to the inclusion of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or country of origin. The focus on these groups is intended to enhance UWM's ability to serve all constituencies.

A summary table of goals, action steps, budget requests, and completion dates is included in Appendix B.  Some relevant data on the URE students, faculty, and staff at UWM is presented in Appendix C.

The Milwaukee Commitment includes four goals:

1) Increase the scope of UWM's precollege programs to reach TRE/D students in fourth grade and above who are residents of metropolitan Milwaukee, while doubling the number of students served in 1997-98 by 2003.

2) Increase the percentage of TRE faculty and the percentage of TRE staff to reflect either the U.S. Department of Labor accepted availability and utilization data or the TRE/D composition of UWM students, whichever is greater, and achieve parity in the promotion rate with non-TRE faculty and staff by 2003.

3) Increase the proportion of TRE/D students to reflect their numbers in the metropolitan Milwaukee population and, through curricular and academic support, achieve parity in the retention and graduation rates with non-TRE/D students by 2003.

4) Increase institutional accountability for achieving diversity and improving the campus climate.


TRE - Historically targeted racial/ethnic groups (African American, American Indian/Native American, Chicano/Hispanic/Latino(a), and Asian American).
D - Disadvantaged groups include metropolitan Milwaukee residents who are from low income and first-generation college families. Low income equals 150% of the poverty level, and first-generation college means neither parent has received a baccalaureate degree.


Action Step 1: UWM will create a coordinated, unified precollege program building on existing UWM precollege programs.  The program will identify TRE/D 4th graders in metropolitan Milwaukee schools (and in other school districts in Southeastern Wisconsin that have substantial TRE/D student enrollment).  This precollege program will work with these students consistently through their completion of high school. This precollege program will have clearly defined admissions policies and curriculum activities. Program activities will be implemented both at UWM and at cooperating school sites. New funds for this coordinated effort will be obtained from external fundraising, MPS, DPI, MATC, UWS and UWM base budget.  Precollege programs will submit annual performance evaluations to the Milwaukee Commitment Advisory Panel. Programs wishing to receive expanded funding will submit a proposal for funding to the Advisory Panel.  Proposals for matching funds for new initiatives may also be submitted and funded.  The Advisory Panel and Office of the Chancellor must both approve the expenditure of these funds.  Students who successfully complete the precollege program and meet specific criteria will be guaranteed admission to UWM upon graduation from high school.
Completion date: June 2003.

Action Step 2: UWM will develop a strategic plan and marketing plan to attract a diverse population to participate in the precollege program. This plan will include brochures in Spanish, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese; parent workshops; an annual UWM precollege fair; meetings with UWM staff, K-12 school counselors and other appropriate school personnel; the Student Association Peer Outreach program; and other activities as deemed appropriate.
Completion date: January 2000.

Action Step 3: UWM will evaluate the success of this program by measuring: 1) the proportion of participants graduating from high school; 2) the proportion of participants accepted to a two- or four-year institution of higher learning; 3) the proportion of participants who attend UWM; and 4) the proportion of participants who receive a two- and/or four-year degree.  Participants will be tracked through the implementation of focus group sessions and surveys, and evaluated on persistence and grade improvements on an annual basis as they proceed through the precollege program and through age 24 by he Office for Multicultural Affairs.
Completion date: Ongoing from start of program.

Action Step 4: The Office for Multicultural Affairs will provide an Annual Report on the number of TRE/D students involved in precollege programs and evaluate their progress for the Milwaukee Commitment Advisory Panel, the Chancellor, the University Committee, the Academic Staff Committee, and the Student Association.
Completion date: Ongoing after the funding of Action Step 3.


Action Step 1: The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor will identify five vacant faculty and five vacant academic staff position lines.  These lines will be loaned for periods of up to three years to assist in the hiring of TRE faculty and TRE academic staff. At the completion of each three-year period, the relevant school, college or division would be responsible for funding the line, and the line would become available for new hiring of TRE faculty and TRE academic staff.  A fund, located in the Office of the Provost, will be made available to Departments that have low percentages of TRE faculty and academic staff for purposes of recruiting TRE faculty and academic staff.
Completion date: December 1999.

Action Step 2: The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor will create, through increased base budget, ten new faculty positions to acknowledge schools, colleges and divisions that have moved furthest toward meeting goals 2 and 3 of the Milwaukee Commitment during the years 1999-2002.
Completion date: July 2002.

Action Step 3: The Provost and Vice Chancellor will provide the opportunity for tenured TRE faculty and academic staff members to attend the UW System leadership institute, a program to be created by Plan 2008.
Completion date: Following establishment of the institute.

Action Step 4: In conjunction with the existing Faculty Mentoring program, and with new funding for the Academic Staff Mentoring program, each academic department hiring probationary TRE faculty and academic staff will be requested by the mentoring programs to provide a mentor from inside the Department (or outside if necessary) for the new faculty or academic staff member, with training provided to mentors by the Faculty Mentoring program and the Academic Staff Mentoring program. The Academic Staff Mentoring program will foster and nurture successful academic staff careers through the coordination of a support network with mentors and mentees, and will require new base budget funding in the office of the Faculty Mentoring program to permit expansion to cover Academic Staff.  The Academic Staff Mentoring program will be coordinated and evaluated by the Academic Staff Committee, in conjunction with the Assistant Vice Chancellor-Personnel and the Assistant Chancellor for Diversity/Compliance.  All faculty/academic staff mentoring programs will be fully staffed and supported by the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor.
Completion date: September 1999.

Action Step 5: Office of Diversity/Compliance, the Assistant Vice Chancellor-Personnel, and the Department of Human Resources will continue to expand and solidify procedures for facilitating successful TRE recruitments and hiring, including recruitment waivers where appropriate.  Expanded training will be provided to search committees to enhance applicant flow diversity.  Existing training and career tracking (retention) initiatives will continue and provide for identification of climate issues requiring interventions.
Completion date: Ongoing.


Action Step 1: In conjunction with the UWM Foundation, the Chancellor will raise $20,000,000 in endowment to provide yearly undergraduate scholarships (tuition, fees, books, room and board) for a maximum of five years for TRE/D students who are residents of the State of Wisconsin.
Completion date: June 2003.

Action Step 2: In conjunction with the UWM Foundation, the Chancellor will raise $5,000,000 in endowment to provide yearly scholarships for TRE/D part- or full-time graduate students who are residents of Wisconsin.
Completion date: June 2003.

Action Step 3: UWM will target resources to provide technical assistance to support faculty members' efforts to infuse appropriate information about TRE groups into the curriculum.  Such resources can include, but are not limited to, the Institute on Race and Ethnicity, experts from the faculty, staff and community, the Office for Multicultural Affairs Resource Center, and the Center for Instruction and Professional Development.  The Office of the Chancellor will, through the Multicultural Affairs Administrative Committee, establish a yearly grant program providing up to $2,500 for individual faculty and academic staff to infuse diversity into new or existing courses.
Completion date: January 2000.

Action Step 4: The Golda Meir Library will establish a Multicultural Studies Librarian position and enhance relevant materials which the Librarian will manage.  The Librarian will ensure that course content material regarding and for TRE groups is available for public use at the Archive.  The Librarian will also function as a resource for faculty and academic staff to identify and make materials available for infusing diversity into the curriculum and for research on diversity issues.
Completion date: January 2000.

Action Step 5: The Provost and Vice Chancellor will establish three new positions to provide expanded advising and tutoring services to TRE/D students.
Completion date: June 2003.

Action Step 6: The Provost and Vice Chancellor will establish a competitive recruitment initiatives fund to award monies to schools, colleges and divisions that submit innovative proposals for the recruitment of TRE/D students.
Completion date: September 2000.

Action Step 7: The Student Association Peer Mentoring and Outreach Program and the Office of the Chancellor, in collaboration with the Tutoring and Academic Resource Center, the Academic Opportunity Center, the Department of Recruitment and Outreach, the Office of Adult and Returning Student Services, American Indian Student Services, Southeast Asian Student Academic Services, Roberto Hernandez Center, African American Student Academic Services, the Graduate School, and all of the schools, colleges and divisions, will coordinate the development of a recruitment/mentoring/tutoring plan utilizing student peer interns and alumni, especially TRE students and alumni, to aggressively recruit and retain and increase the number of TRE/D students for and at UWM.
Completion date: January 2000.

Action Step 8: UWM will create a board for Student Cultural Programming (SCP), consisting of the director of the Student Union, the coordinator of Sociocultural Programming, and eight students.  This board shall be provided with at least $1,500 each month to put on a monthly TRE cultural event in the Student Union in association with a registered TRE student organization.  The funding can be allocated towards speakers, dances, late-night events, informational events, etc., depending upon the decision made by the SCP.  The UWM and the Student Union staff will assist the student organizations in planning and carrying out the events.
Completion date: October 1999 and ongoing.


Action Step 1: The Chancellor, in consultation with the Campus M/D Coordinator, the Office of Diversity/Compliance, the University Committee, the Academic Staff Committee, the Student Association, the Classified Staff Unions, and the African American Faculty and Staff Council, the Latino Council, and other URE faculty and staff, will appoint a 24-member Milwaukee Commitment Advisory Panel consisting of four administrators, four faculty members, four academic staff, four classified staff, four students, and four community leaders to monitor and evaluate the progress of the Milwaukee Commitment.  The Chancellor and Campus M/D Coordinator will be ex-officio members of the Panel.
Completion date: September 1999.

Action Step 2: The Milwaukee Commitment Advisory Panel will appoint a subcommittee, reporting to the Panel, to develop and recommend an evaluation process during the 1999-2000 academic year which must be approved by the Student Senate, Faculty Senate, and Academic Staff Senate.  The evaluation process will then be administered annually, with an Annual Report on the evaluation being provided by the Advisory Panel to the Chancellor, the Provost, the University Committee, the Academic Staff Committee, the Student Association, and the Campus M/D Coordinator.  These evaluations will be used by the Provost and Vice Chancellor to allocate the ten faculty positions in 2003 according to the success of each school, college and division in meeting the goals of the Milwaukee Commitment.  If the Cultures and Communities proposal in The Milwaukee Idea is approved, its development and implementation will be included in the evaluation process.  The process will also be used as one of the factors in determining budget allocations for the schools, colleges and divisions.  The evaluation will determine annually whether restricted resources are necessary to achieve the goals of the Milwaukee Commitment.
Completion date for evaluation process: June 2000.

Action Step 3: As part of the evaluation process, it is expected that the deans and division heads will submit to the Milwaukee Commitment Advisory Panel an annual update on progress made toward accomplishing the goals of the Milwaukee Commitment.  Such reporting should be integrated with the annual resource planning process.  Schools, colleges and divisions with consistently low outcomes will provide a plan for reversing these trends.
Completion date: following specification of evaluation process.

The Milwaukee Commitment Implementation Plan

Appendix A:    Relationship between Plan 2008 and the Milwaukee Commitment
Appendix B:    Summary table of goals, action steps, and completion dates
Appendix C:    Relevant data on underrepresented racial/ethnic students, faculty, and staff