Collaborating Committees

The ODEI serves the entire CALS community, which includes all departments, administrative units, research stations, and centers. In order to foster connections with all of the different units, the ODEI has regular touchpoints with the following collaborating committees.

Equity and Diversity Committee

The Equity and Diversity Committee (EDC) is a formal governance committee that advises the dean on issues of equity and diversity affecting the college. EDC operates independently of the ODEI, but they collaborate frequently and consult with one another one. Examples of issues that EDC has advised on include: recommendations regarding a grievance procedure for students, academic staff, and faculty; procedures in hiring searches to ensure greater diversity among the college’s faculty and staff; recruitment and retention of minority students; minority student programs; retention programs for at-risk students; other issues as deemed appropriate by the committee.

More information about the EDC can be found on their website.

Community of Wellness

The Community of Wellness (formerly the Wellness Committee) provides education and opportunities to support and promote the health and well-being of the CALS community. Supporting physical and emotional health positively impacts our ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships at home and work. Membership is open to faculty, academic staff, and university staff. We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and identities. Meetings are scheduled on a monthly basis. This is a volunteer-based committee consisting of members who would like to support the CALS community in pursuit of health and well-being goals through the seven dimensions of wellness.

More information about the Community of Wellness can be found on their website.

Department Diversity Representatives

The purpose of the CALS department diversity representatives meeting is to enhance communication and coordination between CALS academic departments and central administration when it comes to DEI opportunities, challenges and needs.

Department diversity representatives will focus on the following strategic goals:

  • Establish a broader sense of community that extends across CALS departments and administration
  • Share and discuss current DEI trends–both promising and challenging–within departments and CALS more broadly to identify themes and inform collective action
  • Advocate to ensure the groups learning and insights positively influence departments’ decision-making processes around DEI-related topics
  • Invest in building individual and collective awareness and capacity to move DEI initiatives forward in alignment with the CALS mission
  • Identify aspects of departmental operations in need of greater support and/or coordination from CALS administration, and vice versa

The role of a department diversity representative is to:

  • Participate in department diversity representative meetings
  • Ensure that DEI updates are standing items on department meeting agendas
  • Help identify the major challenges facing the department, using whichever mechanisms of feedback are most useful (e.g., CALS climate survey, one-on-one conversations, small group discussions, consultations with leadership)
  • Become familiar with issues relating to diversity, climate, and inclusion through professional development activities (e.g., conference/workshop attendance, LCICE Workshops, reading group)
  • Understand processes relating to equity and diversity, including whom to contact for issues such as grievances, hate and bias reporting
  • Serve as an advocate for communicating information in departments regarding upcoming programs, workshops, or activities relating to diversity, climate, and inclusion
  • Be a point of contact for programs seeking partnerships on diversity related activities (e.g., student group visits, outreach events)
Department2023-24 Representative
Agricultural and Applied EconomicsSteve Deller
Animal and Dairy SciencesBrian Kirkpatrick
BacteriologyKerri Coon
BiochemistryBrian Fox
Biological Systems EngineeringPaul Stoy
Community and Environmental SociologyRachel Gurney
EntomologySean Schoville
Food ScienceTu-Anh Huynh
Forest and Wildlife EcologyAmy Trowbridge
GeneticsBret Payseur
Life Sciences CommunicationsNan Li
Nutritional SciencesDavid Eide
Plant and Agroecosystem SciencesNatalia De Leon (fall 2023)
Amaya Atucha (spring 2024)
Plant PathologyRichard Lankau
Soil ScienceZac Freedman

Graduate Programs Coordinators

The purpose of the CALS graduate programs coordinator meeting is to enhance communication and coordination between CALS academic departments and central administration when it comes to DEI opportunities, challenges and needs. Graduate program coordinators are professional staff members who work with faculty and students, and are often tasked to relay information to different groups. The ODEI recognizes their unique role and seeks to support them in their work.

Student Groups

The ODEI meets regularly with two CALS student groups, MOSAIC (Mentoring Opportunities in Science & Agriculture for Individuals of Color) and MANNRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, UW-Madison Chapter). The purpose of the meetings is to enhance communication and coordination between students and central administration when it comes to DEI opportunities, challenges and needs. The meetings provide ODEI with insights from undergraduate and graduate students within CALS to incorporate their perspectives into DEI programs and initiatives.

Visit the MOSAIC website for more information. More information about MANNRS can be found on their website.

[DEI committees] bring together individuals from throughout the institution who have a wealth of experience, skills, and a commitment to diversity.

Raul Leon & Damon Williams

Department Committees

Each CALS department has made an effort to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and have created their own DEI committees. Each committee identifies its own goals, priorities, and initiatives to meet the needs of its people.

DepartmentCommittee NameContact(s)
Agricultural and Applied EconomicsJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeSteve Deller
Theresa Ng’andu
Animal & Dairy SciencesClimate & Diversity CommitteeSebastian Arriola Apelo
BacteriologyDiversity, Equity & Inclusion
Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB)
Graduate Leadership and Development Committee (GLDC)
Biological Systems EngineeringDiversity, Equity & Inclusion CommitteePaul Stoy
Community and Environmental SociologyJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeRandy Stoecker
EntomologyDiversity, Equity & Inclusion CommitteeClaudio Gratton
Food ScienceJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeBrad Bolling
Forest & Wildlife EcologyJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeTim Van Deelen
GeneticsDiversity CommitteeBret Payseur
Life Sciences CommunicationsDiversity CommitteeNan Li
Nutritional SciencesJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeDavid Eide
Plant & Agroecosystem SciencesEquity & Diversity CommitteeNatalia De Leon
Plant PathologyJustice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion CommitteeClaudia Solis-Lemus
Soil ScienceDiversity, Equity & Inclusion CommitteeZachary Freedman

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is distinctive in its scale and breadth, the premium we place on our relevance to society, and our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense.

Rebecca M. Blank, Chancellor Emerita