Action Plan

Call to Action

Racism, inequality, injustice. These issues have plagued society for centuries. Dismantling a broken system and righting injustice is a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” if there ever was one. As daunting as it may seem, society can change. Our country must change. And in the Walker College of Business, we commit that we will be change makers. 

While we don’t have all the answers to these complex issues, and we may make mistakes, we are committed to action that both moves us forward now and guides our course for the future. The Walker College’s Inclusive Excellence Team is working to set this course, and we want your input. Please join us in developing the action plan that the college will take toward ending systemic racism and injustice, both embedded within our institution and society at large. Make note of these dates as you join us in this process. 

As we train business leaders for success in their field, we aspire to also empower them to be a positive force for change. Working together in our communities, we will build a better world. Let’s get moving!

Action Plan: Working Draft 2.0

Goal 1: Increase awareness among students, faculty, and staff of our hidden/implicit prejudices and biases, and how they, often unconsciously, shape our behaviors and workplace cultures. Encourage engagement by our stakeholders in eradicating racism, discrimination and injustice.

  • Action Item 1A: Create an annual Walker College of Business “Shared” Reading Program. The initiative would bring students, faculty and staff together to read and discuss a work on social and/or environmental justice highlighting ways business can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Action Item 1B:  Rework first year class to cover the role of business in addressing social & environmental issues.
  • Action Item 1C: Fund an Inclusive Excellence Fellow who would be a resource for faculty/staff in the classroom and via workshops.
  • Action Item 1D: Sponsor activities such as The Defamation Experience and Courageous Conversations each semester to proactively address issues of race and gender discrimination.

Goal 2: Foster a culture of inclusion within the College.

  • Action Item 2A: Use the Educational Benchmarking (EBI) survey, an assessment given to all senior business majors, to determine areas of weakness in achieving our goals of inclusivity and diversity within the college.
  • Action Item 2B: Develop signage identifying faculty and staff allies for our underrepresented students. Inclusivity and anti-bias training would be part of participation in the program. 
  • Action Item 2C: Create a WCOB welcome video where emphasis is given to the importance of inclusivity, sustainability, diversity and a global mindset - to set the tone for our college culture. 
  • Action Item 2D: Hold a Town Hall each semester to hear from students, faculty and staff on the “state of inclusion” in the college.

Goal 3: Institutionalize diversity and inclusion in the college.

  • Action Item 3A: Make support for Diversity and Inclusion a specific criterion for the “Spirit of Walker” annual award given to a Walker College of Business faculty or staff member and include diversity & inclusion efforts in the criteria for the WCOB research, service and teaching awards.
  • Action Item 3B: Highlight all Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Research on the Walker College of Business webpage.
  • Action Item 3C:  Establish a premier faculty-led study abroad program to a non-white majority country.  
  • Action Item 3D: Make PhD Project participation a requirement for every tenure track faculty search, with the goal of increasing the number of diverse faculty hires.
  • Action Item 3E: Provide innovation grant support to faculty for developing diversity and inclusion content for their course.
  • Action Item 3F: Provide college-level grant funding for research in diversity and inclusion.
  • Aspirational Action Item 1:  Increase diversity in membership of Business Advisory Council (BAC).
  • Aspirational Action Item 2: Increase diversity in our Walker College of Business staff, particularly in the areas of high student contact.

Goal 4: Support and promote success for underrepresented groups in the college and the community.

  • Action Item 4A: The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) will conduct a Customer Discovery Process to understand the needs of, and identify engagement opportunities within, our black and brown communities on and off campus.
  • Action Item 4B: The CFE will execute programs to support communities of color based on Customer Discovery results. These activities may or may not include the following:
    • Bi-directional Mentorship
    • Business and Opportunity Advising
    • Professional Service Connections
    • Panel Participation
    • Social Entrepreneurship focused Entrepreneur Summit
    • Custom and Public Workshops 
  • Action Item 4C: Assess student interest in a formal student group focused on Inclusion and Diversity, as modeled by the former Equity Peers program at the university level.
  • Action Item 4D: Increase mentoring and networking opportunities for students of color and other underrepresented groups.
  • Action Item 4E: Work with Development to establish an Opportunity in Business Scholarship fund geared toward students from underserved and underrepresented identities, with the hope of later also establishing a Study Abroad Scholarship specifically for students of color and other underserved groups. 

Action Plan Timeline

Create 

  • August 14: Review the first draft of the college’s action plan and submit feedback.

  • August 20, 5:30 PM: Attend a Town Hall Zoom to discuss feedback (or offer additional feedback) on the draft action plan. This date was chosen to allow all students and faculty to return to campus and provide feedback before the final plan is posted. VIEW A RECORDING OF THE  AUGUST 2020 TOWN HALL

  • September 11: Official Action Plan posted.

Implement 

  • September 2020  - Implement action plan.

Assess Impact

  • TBD - Town Hall Meetings to discuss plan impact and related issues (1x per semester).

  • May 2021: IE team assesses IE Action Plan Impact .

  • June 2021: Annual Inclusive Excellence Impact Report posted for review.

Submit Input

Email your suggestions and input to wcob@appstate.edu with the subject line "'Matter' is not enough".

Or, to remain anonymous, complete this anonymous input webform

Input received before July 15 will inform our first draft. Later input will be considered for the final draft or for future iterations of the action plan.