The University of Wyoming has released a draft strategic plan designed to better meet the needs of Native American students and their communities.
A subgroup of the UW Native American Affairs Advisory Committee crafted the plan over the last year which involved considerable outreach to Native American and Indigenous people at UW and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The group conducted 15 listening sessions on UW's campus and the Wind River Indian Reservation and also drew inspiration from policies and initiatives at other universities.
UW Law Professor Jason Robison, Chair of the Native American Affairs Strategic Plan Subcommittee, said the hope with this plan is to make lasting and permanent change.
"An intended function of the plan is to build some aspects of UW Native American affairs that withstand the test of time," said Robison.
UW has struggled in the past to sustain initiatives to support Native American and indigenous students and faculty.
"The plan is intended to put into place measures that will institutionalize top priorities," Robison said, "in a manner that hopefully will make them intact irrespective of changes in personnel, leadership, and so forth."
Robison said the plan does that in several ways, for example, prioritizing stronger engagement with the UW Foundation in an effort to generate the financial resources needed to sustain Native American initiatives. The plan also sets a goal to increase representation of Native American and Indigenous people on UW advisory boards.
The Native American Affairs Strategic Plan Subcommittee is taking public input on the draft until January 11.