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Virtual town hall for faculty & staff

March 26, 2020

To the Asian and Asian American faculty and staff members of UW–Madison and allies:

I am writing to reaffirm our commitment to a welcoming and inclusive community and express solidarity with our Asian and Asian American members of UW–Madison. We pledge to help ensure you feel safe and supported in this difficult time.

We are aware of instances of slurs, stereotyping, profiling, and discrimination against people of Asian descent. You may have seen some of these incidents making the rounds on social media. Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and I shared our outrage and condemnation of such actions earlier this week.

I want to reiterate that racism and xenophobia have no place at UW–Madison. As a UW–Madison employee, if you experience harassment or discrimination, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of Compliance. You can also file a bias incident report if such incident involves students.

Virtual town hall for faculty & staff

I would like to invite you to participate in a virtual town hall with university leaders this Friday, March 27, at noon. The town hall is designed to support our Asian and Asian American faculty and staff community members, with all members of the UW staff and faculty invited to lend support.

During this town hall, you will have the opportunity to hear university community members, voice any concerns about our campus climate, ask questions and share your experiences.

Join the virtual town hall

Here to support you

UW–Madison is remarkable because of the talent, creativity, dedication and passion you bring in. We are more committed than ever to upholding the values of diversity and inclusion and making sure you are connected, protected, and respected as a member of UW–Madison community.

All of us are being impacted by COVID-19, personally and professionally, physically and mentally. Nobody signed up for this pandemic, but we are here for you as always.

Please continue to follow the latest updates and guidance from the university at There is a section dedicated to employees, which includes information on HR updates, working from home tips, and available resources.

If you feel like you need more help, the Employee Assistance Office offers a wide range of services to address personal or work-related concerns. EAO also expands its services to include LifeMatters, which provides more assistance with life, work, family, and wellbeing, including 24/7 telephone access to professional counselors. You can also utilize SilverCloud, a free, confidential online tool for mental health issues and stress management.

We can’t wait to see you at Asian and Asian American affinity group meetings and many other events hosted by DDEEA after we get through this pandemic together. As we wait for that time to come, please take care and stay healthy.

In community,

Patrick J. Sims
Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion
Elzie Higginbottom Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer
Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
University of Wisconsin–Madison