Foster Community Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Update, July 2021

Dear Foster Community,

With the 2020-21 academic year behind us, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our efforts in the three areas of focus that we outlined at the beginning of the school year.

Expanding Thought Leadership: We are working to ensure that every Foster student is exposed to a greater diversity of leaders, authorities and experts that showcase a variety of identities and role models of success.

  • This spring, Stacia Jones joined us as the inaugural Dean’s Impact Scholar. Stacia will teach an undergraduate course in the Fall (MGMT 490: Corporate DEI) and we encourage all interested undergraduates to register for her course.
  • Faculty search committee members from all four departments who engaged in faculty hiring participated in trainings about diversity and implicit bias. These search committees re-examined job postings, outreach efforts, and evaluation criteria for job candidates to reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Creating Belonging so that every Foster student, faculty and staff member sees the Foster School as a place where they can learn, thrive, and succeed.

  • This year, we created several structures that enhanced our ongoing efforts to amplify voices, inform our strategic planning, and create spaces of belonging. We are thankful to the students, faculty, alumni and staff who have generously shared their ideas, time, and energy with us in the following committees:
    • The Task Force for strengthening Foster’s Black community
    • Faculty Diversity Committee
    • Dean’s Diversity Committee Undergraduate and Graduate subcommittees
    • DEI Community of Practice
    • MBA Mentoring Circles for students of color
    • Foster Community Listening Hours
  • Faculty are continuing to hone their teaching practices for nurturing inclusive learning spaces. More than 50 Foster faculty have participated in Inclusive Teaching Workshops this year to learn more about inclusive teaching practices, microaggressions, and supporting all our students.
  • The Foster ID framework for inclusive leadership has been introduced in 8 out of the 13 Foster degree programs. This framework helps students to think through how they are building their skills to leverage diversity and serve as informed allies and inclusive leaders.

Increasing Outreach and Access to amplify the impact of the Foster School by inviting a greater diversity of individuals into our communities and intentionally using our resources to better the academic and business community beyond Foster.

  • We continue to build upon the success of our pipeline programs such as Young Executives of Color and Building Networks. This year, the largest number of YEOC students were admitted into the Foster Freshman Direct class ever!
  • At the graduate level, we continue to invest in partnerships with Management Leadership for Tomorrow,The Consortium,and Reaching Out (ROMBA). The number of Consortium fellows entering the MBA class of 2023 is on track to almost triple in comparison to last year’s cohort.
  • The Consulting and Business Development Center has received a number of gifts and grants to help expand their impact in helping minority owned businesses. We are grateful to the support and recognition provided by the Seattle Marinersthe Black Future Co-op, and JPMorgan Chase, among others.

We will end our recap of the year by recognizing leaders within our community whose commitment and impact in the DEI space has been celebrated within our communities. Associate Director Andy Marzano was awarded the Pacific Coast Banking School Dean’s Leadership Awards for his work in Undergraduate Diversity Services and in leading the school’s DEI efforts. Senior Associate Director of the Consulting and Business Development Center Wil Tutol also won a Dean’s Leadership Award for his leadership and commitment to the CBDC. Michael Verchot was awarded the University of Washington David L. Thorud Leadership Award and Ronda Rutherford won a University of Washington Together We Will Award in recognition of her efforts in leading and creating Foster’s DEI Community of Practice. These four individuals exemplify our commitment to DEI, and the ‘better together, better tomorrow’ spirit.

While we are proud of what we have accomplished in the last year, we are also committed to building on this momentum moving forward. We look forward to working together with all of you and wish everyone a restful, re-energizing summer.

Kind regards,

Frank Hodge
Orin and Janet Smith Dean
UW Foster School of Business

Christina Fong
Associate Dean, Diversity & Inclusion
Foster School of Business