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In recognition of its ongoing dedication to championing diversity, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh was named the recipient of the People, Possibilities and Progress Diversity Award, 2009 Best Practices.

The New North Inc. award, sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, recognizes companies and institutions for outstanding commitment to diversity and contributions to making northeastern Wisconsin’s New North an attractive and inviting place to live and work. The award’s criteria encompass management practices and behaviors, company values and culture, marketing practices, vendor selection practices and community leadership.

“We are excited to share our continuing efforts in the area of diversity and inclusion, and we are honored to be recognized by region for our mission to increase the number of baccalaureate degree holders in the state while responding to Wisconsin’s shifting demographics,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells.

The announcement of the People, Possibilities and Progress Diversity Award comes a month after UW Oshkosh unveiled the new UW System-wide Inclusive Excellence initiative and the first draft of the University’s Inclusive Excellence Plan, which will incorporate diversity and Inclusive Excellence into every facet of the higher education experience.

“At UW Oshkosh, Inclusive Excellence is a University-wide initiative designed to enhance student academic success by expanding diversity programs to include more than race and ethnicity,” said Pamela Lassiter, the University’s Director of Equity and Affirmative Action. “Inclusive Excellence emphasizes student success and all of the competencies necessary to ensure that all students have a positive educational experience.”

UW Oshkosh ranks diversity and inclusivity among its core values and connects the perspectives and backgrounds of diverse social and academic groups, particularly through the student affinity/heritage groups and the Center for Academic Support and Diversity.

The University continuously assesses the current state through surveys and assessments, including the Equity Scorecard, Climate Study and Self-Study for Higher Learning. In September 2008, UW Oshkosh became the first Fair Trade University in the United States, making a commitment to do its part toward ending trade injustices that result in millions of people living in poverty.

The New North Inc. is a consortium of business, economic development, chambers of commerce, workforce development, civic, nonprofit and education leaders in 18 counties of northeastern Wisconsin who are working to be recognized as competitive for job growth while maintaining superior quality of life.