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After 20-Year Career At UWM, Joan Prince Reflects On Diversity And Inclusion In Higher Ed

Courtesy UWM
UWM Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion and Engagement Joan Prince is retiring after 20 years at the school.

One of UW-Milwaukee’s top administrators is retiring after 20 years at the university. Joan Prince, Vice Chancellor of Global Inclusion and Engagement, has overseen diversity and equity efforts at the university.

Prince is also a four-time graduate of UWM, earning two bachelors’ degrees, a master’s degree and a doctorate.

During her time at UWM, Prince worked to increase diversity in the school’s study abroad programs.

“I took a look at our study abroad opportunities and said, ‘You know what? We don’t have enough diversity in who is signing up, who even understands the benefit of study abroad,'” Prince says. “To see a person who is historically underserved, many of whom had never left Milwaukee or Wisconsin — we were able to provide scholarships and opportunities for them.”

On her way out, Prince has helped to institute a mandatory anti-racist, anti-bias training for all UWM faculty and staff.

UWM is also embarking on an initiative to close racial and income-based graduation gaps within the next 10 years. Prince says that work will involve reevaluating how the university supports students of color and low-income students.

“What have we done to change our programming, our support system, our student success focus around making sure we are able to support all students?” she says.

Prince hopes the legacy she leaves at UWM comes down to two words: she cared.

“I tried to do that – I tried to care about every individual that crossed my path, each and every issue that crossed my path, and tried to have a positive impact on change,” she says. “I hope that’s my legacy that I was able to bring a smile to faces and opportunities to everyone who crossed my path – students faculty, and staff.”

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Emily is WUWM's education reporter and a news editor.