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Fostering Diversity

Welcome to our Foster Community!

Foster Dean Frank Hodge and Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Michelle Purnell-Hepburn

Whether you are a prospective or current student, faculty member or staff member, an alumni, or a corporate or community partner, we hope that you will find the Foster School a welcoming place where you are challenged to learn and grow as a part of an inclusive and diverse community.

A community where all members feel seen, heard and supported and everyone experiences a sense of belonging. A community that strives to incorporate inclusion, diversity, and equity perspectives into every decision we make.

On this page, you’ll find information on our DEI journey — our history, what we are currently doing, and what we are challenging ourselves to achieve in the future. We hope that you will join us on our journey.

Dean Frank Hodge & Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Michelle Purnell-Hepburn

Find Your Community

Explore the various clubs and organizations at Foster working to help us grow and learn together

The Foster School is committed to building a diverse community of students, faculty and staff. Explore the various clubs and organizations that exist within our community to help us grow and learn together.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources 

Explore our DEI glossary and our dynamic resources lists

Fostering Inclusion and Diversity Fund

Supporting DEI initiatives for Foster students, staff, and faculty, and beyond

A powerful signal to our community about our commitment to diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority for the school, this new fund supports Foster DEI efforts including diversifying faculty, creating belonging within our community, and increasing access. Learn more.


Diversity, equity, and inclusion stories from the Foster Blog

Learn more about events, news, and the people who work together to contribute to our community.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion History

A timeline of progress at the Foster School of Business

Thaddeus Spratlen, Foster professor emeritus of marketing, in a conference room

Thaddeus Spratlen, Foster Professor Emeritus of Marketing. Professor Spratlen was the first African American professor at the UW Foster School of Business.

The Michael G. Foster School of Business, founded 1917, shares with the University of Washington its roots grounded in land of the Coast Salish peoples, residing along the shared waters of the tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot nations.

This timeline is a series of snapshots in our history, marking milestones and achievements — many long due — in our work toward fostering an inclusive and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  Learn more.

DEI Events

Learn, connect, and celebrate at Foster

Get in Touch with the Foster DEI Team

We are eager to meet you and hear about how we can work together to Foster a diverse and inclusive future. Please reach out to say hello, ask a question, or share your experience with us.

Michelle Purnell-Hepburn

Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity
[email protected] | 206-221-1974

Photo at top of page: Graduates and staff at the 2019 Undergraduate Diversity Services Graduation Celebration