Notes on the University of Wisconsin-Madison School Climate

Jackson Walker:

There has been no improvement in the UW-Madison campus climate over the last six years despite the public university pouring millions of dollars into programs and staff positions to support diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Students of color, students with disabilities, nonbinary students, transgender students, and other LGBTQ+ students responded less positively than their counterparts” when rating whether they feel welcome, safe and respected, according to the results of a recently released campus climate survey.

“The gap in reported perceptions between these students and other students did not change between 2016 and 2021,” the survey found.

Outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the survey results were disappointing and she hopes her replacement can do a better job on diversity.

“It’s clear that there do remain gaps between more marginalized groups and their degree of satisfaction and their sense of belonging and comfort on this campus,” Blank said during her final press conference on campus May 11.

“I think we’ve done a number of things that have helped move the university forward, but as others have noted, we are a predominantly white institution in a predominantly white state and this is work that is going to be ongoing for a long time.”