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UW-L creates new department with diversity as top priority



Dept. was created before Charlottesville incident 

The decision came before Charlottesville, but adding a new department became more resolute afterward.

That’s what University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chancellor Joe Gow said, as the school announced the creation of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion.

“In the aftermath of (Charlottesville), that made us feel very,” Gow said, “all the more truer that this is the right thing to do in terms of prioritizing our diversity and inclusion activities, because we would never want to see something like that white supremacist march take place on our campus.”

Barbara Stewart will lead the new department. Currently, she is the UW-L interim vice chancellor for student affairs. The new department is an important symbolic measure, according to Gow.

“We have a rich tradition of diversity and inclusion activities,” he said. “This is a way to put those even more out front than they have been. This is something that involves faculty, staff, alumni, the community.”

Gow says Stewart earned the trust and admiration of everyone on campus with the work she does for diversity and inclusion already.

Stewart will be reporting directly to Gow with ideas and thoughts in keeping diversity a high priority at UW-L

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.