Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Public affairs professionals and public servants work in various settings to design policies and programs that serve diverse populations. Effective public policy requires thoughtfully engaging with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds and cultural contexts and with varying needs and capacities. It is with this understanding that the La Follette School adopts the Diversity Statement of the UW–Madison College of Letters & Sciences:

“The College of Letters & Sciences endeavors to make academic excellence inclusive by sustaining a community of free inquiry in which people of diverse race, ethnicity, cultures, veteran status, marital status, socio-economic level, national origin, religious belief, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, class, political ideology and lifestyle participate in, contribute to and benefit equally from a liberal arts education based on the Wisconsin Idea — one in which we all contribute to advancing society.

“A diverse liberal arts community — reflected in the student body, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and other stakeholders — promotes effective teaching, produces greater learning outcomes and provides students with the tools and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly diverse workforce and pluralistic society in which differences are respected and appreciated.

“The College of Letters & Science is also committed to advancing and retaining students from underrepresented populations, nontraditional patterns of academic preparation, economically disadvantaged backgrounds and first-generation status.”


The tentative long-term diversity and inclusion goals of the La Follette School are to:

  1. Create diverse, inclusive, and excellent learning and work environments for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who partner with the La Follette School of Public Affairs; and,
  2. Seek and value all differences, and develop the systems and work practices that support members of every group to succeed and fully contribute.

Following a recent student-led strategic visioning process, the La Follette School has committed to continue and build upon existing efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Students, staff, and faculty will undertake a number of initiatives including:

  • Faculty emphasizing diversity and inclusion when planning research talks
  • Staff planning and promoting diversity and inclusion trainings for the La Follette community
  • Students leading discussions among faculty, staff, and students on topical diversity and inclusion issues
  • Conducting an annual La Follette School Climate Survey



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