UW-Eau Claire Vice Chancellor responds to criticism

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -UW-Eau Claire professors and chancellors are clashing over the merging of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Blugold Beginnings.

UW-Eau Claire Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Affairs, Olga Diaz, says she found out about a letter signed by 125 UWEC professors this morning. She says the letter criticizes the direction she is taking with multicultural affairs at the university.

Vice Chancellor Diaz has just reached a year in her position at UWEC. After a few months in her new role, she says she decided to merge the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Blugold Beginnings after meeting with the directors of both programs. She says she hoped to lessen the workload on staff in both departments through the merge.

However, she says the letter criticizes her for trying to eliminate the Office of Multicultural Affairs, among other things. Diaz says this tension is a result of miscommunications.

“The letter claims that maybe people didn’t feel heard, or weren’t incorporated, " Diaz said. “I would have to push back a little and say they didn’t get everything they wanted, but there are elements of change we’ve invested and can demonstrate our timeline of the way this work has rolled out.”

Diaz says she would have liked to have the chance to speak with some of the professors who signed the letter before it was taken to a more public platform.

WEAU reached out to some of the professors who signed the letter and UWEC’s Chancellor Schmidt, but did not receive a response.

Diaz says she would like to see more communication within the institution.

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