Equity Assessment

What is an Equity Assessment?

The WOU Equity Assessment is a multi-year four phase partnership that will allow us to assess the university’s climate and inform our decisions as we continue to prioritize taking an inclusive, innovative, and equity-focused approach to serving our university community. Focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are imperative to us creating a learning, living, and working environment in which all members of our community can thrive.

What will happen during this assessment?

There are a few stages including meetings with administration, focus groups, reviewing university policies and procedures, and facilitating a university climate survey.

The WOU Equity Assessment includes four phases:

  • Phase I: Qualitative Assessment of University Climate
    • Conduct focus groups and one-to-one interviews
    • Develop a summary of observations and recommendations for WOU
    • Present findings to university community
    • University community develops action items based on recommendations to implement beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year

Equity Assessment Phase 1 Materials

  • Phase II: Review of student-related policies, practices, procedures, and programming
    • Develop summary of review and recommendations
    • University community updates policies, practices, procedures, and programming based on recommendations
  • Phase III: Review of employee-related policies, practices, procedures, and programming
    • Develop summary of review and recommendations
    • University community updates policies, practices, procedures, and programming based on recommendations
  • Phase IV: University-wide Survey
    • Develop survey, informed by three previous phases
    • Implement survey for university community in fall 2024
    • Present findings and recommendations to university community
    • University community develops actions items based on recommendations to implement beginning in the 2025-2026 academic year
Why is WOU engaging in an equity assessment?
WOU is engaging in an equity assessment because both the state and our own Board of Trustees recommend that we engage in this work as a way to strengthen how we serve students and support employees. More importantly, this is a long term strategy that will help us become a stronger institution, one that openly embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. WOU should be recognized as a place where all students feel welcomed and supported as they choose their educational pathways. 


The Equity Assessment process will move us towards systemic accountability and continuous improvement, making us a stronger institution better equipped to serve all students and employees.
How is WOU funding the equity assessment?

The Board of Trustees dedicated resources to engage in this process.

About our partner and facilitator - Jordan S. West Ph.D

Jordan S. West, PhD (she, her, and hers) is the Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at The George Washington University in the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement in the Office of the Provost.  Prior to serving in this capacity, Dr. West was the Inaugural Director of University Diversity & Inclusion Programs at GW.  In her capacity, Dr. West is responsible for creating and implementing educational opportunities across the institution that inform people, policies, and practices, in order to continue shifting the campus towards a more positive and just climate.  Dr. West also has a faculty appointment in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at GW, and teaches courses on Black Feminist Theory.

Dr. West identifies as a scholar activist and is a formally trained social justice educator and facilitator. Prior to joining GW, Dr. West was the Inaugural Senior Diversity & Inclusion Training Specialist at Princeton University where she created an 18-month Certificate Program called the Inclusion & Diversity Certificate Program (I&DCP) for cohorts of staff and faculty, in addition to leading, designing, and facilitating several opportunities for various departments across the campus. Before joining Princeton, Dr. West worked in the Division of Student Affairs at Syracuse University and directed a dialogue program entitled Conversations About Race & Ethnicity (C.A.R.E.).  Dr. West’s professional experience in higher education also includes working at institutions such as the University of California Berkeley and The Pennsylvania State University, and in areas such as Residence Life, Greek Life, Multicultural Affairs, Admissions, Athletics, and more. 

On a national level, Dr. West serves as a consultant to institutions of higher education and organizations to develop and facilitate pedagogy that engages students, faculty, staff, members, and senior administrators in meaningful, critical, and urgent conversations about identity, systems of power, privilege, and oppression, and our individual and collective roles in taking action to disrupt inequitable structures. Dr. West is also a Research Associate and Qualitative Specialist with Rankin & Associates Consulting, where she works with institutions of higher education across the United States to conduct campus climate assessments, and has been with the company since 2010. Dr. West is actively involved with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), where she serve as an Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board member, Past Chair for the Pan African Network (PAN), and the former Assembly Coordinator for Coalitions & Networks for the Association’s Governing Board.

Dr. West completed her PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education and received her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women and Gender Studies, both at Syracuse University. Dr. West earned her Master’s degree in College Student Affairs – with an emphasis on social justice in higher education at The Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park. 

Dr. West’s experience and continued research interests focus on campus climate, narrative and storytelling as a method, and how People of Color and individuals from historically marginalized identities work towards liberation while in higher education through the lens of Black Feminist Theory and Critical Race Theory.