In September 2019, Dean Karl Martin announced some staffing and structural changes affecting the area of Diversity and Inclusion. We are happy to announce the formation of the Office of Access, Inclusion, and Compliance (OAIC) under the leadership of Interim Director Dominic Ledesma. Other staff members are Teresa Curtis, Jay Lema, Rick Mills, Carlos Miranda, Ariana Thao and Kate Wodyn.

Vision: OAIC is charged with shaping and implementing an organizational strategy for promoting inclusive excellence within Extension as a workplace and in all spaces where Extension carries out its public service mission.

Mission: The office will help guide and lead an organizational strategy for Extension, with a focus on three core areas:

  1. Support colleagues with Expanding Access efforts in programs and services
  2. Developing and delivering resources that build staff capacity and promote Extension as an inclusive workplace
  3. Providing organizational leadership for federal compliance in accordance with our USDA/NIFA funding partners

Organizational Priorities Related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Fulfill our public-service mission to Wisconsin residents in connection to UW-Madison’s designation as a land-grant university
  • Provide high-quality, culturally responsive, community-based educational programming and research activities that address state and local needs
  • Ensure that our activities are equitable, accessible, and compliant with federal non-discrimination laws and policies (Title VI/VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADA, and Section 504)
  • Promote values of diversity, equity, and inclusion across our organizational structure and activities

What do we mean by “Access,” “Inclusion,” and “Compliance?”

“Expanding Access” refers to our public service mission and the programs and services we provide. It is outward-facing, intentional, and involves varied approaches to serve persons from historically under-represented and marginalized communities.

“Inclusion” refers to Extension’s inward-facing culture as a workplace, including the spaces where our work is carried out. Inclusive excellence aims to foster an organizational ethos of respect, collaboration, and accountability among our colleagues, community stakeholders, and members of the public.

“Compliance” refers to the alignment of organizational structures, practices, and policies that are anchored by, but extend beyond, the established minimum legal standards for providing equitable access to programs and services in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other sources of federal law and policy.