Official Reports on Ohio State Diversity Issues
The Ohio State University Diversity Updates
Diversity Update - Autumn 2002
Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention
1. Jose Villa has been named assistant vice provost for minority affairs, having recently served as an expert on migrant education for the U.S. Department of Education. Villa’s priorities for his position are to develop a mentoring program for undergraduate students, to help position Ohio State as a leading institution for enrollment of Hispanic and minority students, to create academic programs that focus on ethnic studies of the Hispanic population, and to increase the number of Hispanic faculty and students. He also plans to work closely with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to improve networking and recruitment opportunities for the university. Villa holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio State.
2. Georgina Dodge has been appointed the new director of the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center in Columbus. As director, Dodge plans to enhance programming by meeting with community leaders to see what kinds of programs are most needed. Dodge’s focus will be to make the center a bridge between Ohio State and the community. Dodge plans to work more closely with nearby facilities like the King Arts Complex, the Urban League, and the Neighborhood House. She believes there is a real need to develop creative writing programs for teenagers who are learning how to express their adolescence experiences, and she would also like to establish book clubs for adults. Dodge previously served as an English professor for the university.
3. The Department of Psychology has hired Madonna Constantine as an associate professor with tenure. Constantine most recently served as chair of counseling and clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She cites multicultural counseling competence as one of her current areas of research, as well as vocational and psychological issues of underserved populations. Constantine will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in the department’s counseling program. Her educational credentials include bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xavier University in New Orleans, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Memphis. In addition to her research and teaching duties, Constantine will also chair the department’s diversity committee.
4. University leadership approved the hiring of a program director for its work/life initiative in the Office of Human Resources, and selected Gabrielle Reinicke to serve in this role. She will be responsible for ensuring that university policies, practices and services provide a supportive environment for productive work, for diverse personal needs and ambitions, and for community involvement. Reinicke will coordinate, implement and manage work/life projects, ensure coordinated communication on work/life issues, and establish tools and learning opportunities. The creation of the program director position was one of the key recommendations in an action plan designed to address work/life concerns of faculty and staff. Employers who provide resources and tools to assist employees in their search for work/life balance are increasingly more successful in the recruitment and retention of women, who are often primary caregivers in a family.
5. Melissa Ross has been selected director of the Center for Learning Excellence’s newest project, the Partnerships for Success (PfS) Academy, whose focus is helping Ohio’s at-risk children succeed in life and in school. The PfS Academy is working with 15 Ohio counties selected by the Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council to participate in the Ohio Partnership for Success Initiative. Ross received her doctorate of psychology from Wright State University in 1996. Since that time, she has worked in the Ohio Department of Youth Services with juvenile sexual offenders.
Student Recruitment and Retention
1. A recently approved competitive admissions process has created renewed focus on an articulation agreement with Columbus State. The agreement admits students to Ohio State who have met transfer admission requirements, and who have also earned associates degrees in arts or sciences. The university has found that students who have done well and transfer from community colleges perform at a rate nearly equal to Ohio State students. The agreement may also help the university with regard to its goal to increase diversity. Community colleges are usually more ethnically diverse than four-year universities, which make them an important resource in attracting a diverse student body. Of added benefit to the students is scholarship assistance that is available for those with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In order to facilitate the transfer process, the Office of Minority Affairs will foster a closer relationship with Columbus State and will also monitor students’ participation in this process.
2. The College of Medicine and Public Health welcomed its most diverse class ever this year. Forty-three percent of the class of 2002 were women and 13 percent were minorities. African-Americans comprise the largest percentage of minorities at 11 percent, with smaller percentages reported for Mexican-American, American Indian, and Puerto Rican students.
3. Senior accounting major Beth Blue and 10 other business majors recognized a need for an undergraduate women’s association in the Fisher College of Business and decided to create one themselves. The group formed the nation’s first collegiate chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in spring 2001 at Ohio State. Under Blue’s guidance as president, the association holds bimonthly meetings, hosts professional women as speakers and teaches women stress-reduction and career/family management skills. The group has been so successful that the national association is using the Ohio State chapter as a model for other colleges.
4. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Alumni Society at Ohio State raised $25,000 for a scholarship endowment for gay and lesbian students. The scholarship will be designated as the Eric Kohring – PFLAG Scholarship in honor of Kohring, who died in 1998 and left grant funds for this purpose. It also was established in recognition of PFLAG, which stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The funds raised represent the largest and first endowed scholarship for gay and lesbian students in Ohio.
1. The Multicultural Center has received grant money to develop a minor in Native American Studies, with the goal of teaching the first class in spring 2003. Housed in Comparative Studies, the introductory class will be Powwow 101, which will focus on the historical, social, and cultural components of a powwow, as well as the appropriate etiquette for this ceremony. Students who complete the class will then have the opportunity to participate in a powwow that is held on campus every spring. The state of Ohio’s rich Native American heritage, coupled with the university’s wish to attract and serve more Native American students, are the motivating forces behind the minor. Ohio State will distinguish the program from those of its benchmark peers by focusing on a curriculum with global and comparative aspects, taking advantage of the wide variety of tribal backgrounds represented in Ohio and the expertise many faculty have regarding indigenous tribes in Latin America. In related news, a new CIC American Indian Studies Consortium began offering workshops, seminars, fellowships, and conferences to faculty and graduate students in autumn 2002.
1. F. Abiola Irele, professor of African American and African Studies and French and Italian, was honored as one of two University Distinguished Lecturers for the 2002-03 academic year. He presented his talk, entitled What is Africa to Me? Africa in the Black Diaspora Imagination in October at the Wexner Center. The University Distinguished Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1996 as one of the university’s highest honors for a senior faculty member. The lectureship is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, particularly, but not exclusively, in research, scholarship, or creative activity. The President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee reviews nominations and recommends candidates to the president and provost for final selection. The Office of Academic Affairs presents an award of $5,000 to the University Distinguished Lecturer to designate for a purpose that promotes the academic goals of the individual’s college and/or of the university.
2. The Fisher College of Business honored six alumni for their professional distinction at the annual Dean’s Dinner and Alumni Awards Presentation. More than 50 alumni have been honored since the college’s Alumni Society began the awards program in 1993. Lawrence D. Funderburke, former Ohio State basketball player and forward with the Sacramento Kings and founder, and executive director of the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization, Inc., received one of two Community Service Alumni Awards.
3. Umit Ozkan, associate dean for research and professor of chemical engineering, received the 2002 Society of Women Engineers Award in October, the highest award presented by the society. The award is given annually to a woman who has made an outstanding contribution over a significant period of time in a field of engineering. Ozkan was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments as an internationally recognized and highly respected researcher in heterogeneous catalysis, as an excellent engineering educator, and as a dedicated leader in higher education and in professional societies.
4. Susan L. Koletar, professor of clinical internal medicine, received the 2002 Master Teacher Award from the Ohio chapter of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine. At Ohio State, Koletar has twice received the College of Medicine and Public Health Faculty Teaching Award and has been named Professor of the Year. Currently director of the infectious diseases fellowship training program, Koletar is also the author of numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and a member of the editorial board of two medical journals.
1. The President and Provost’s Diversity Lecture Series began its third year with nine speakers slated for 2002-2003. The series opened with a lecture by Dr. Nancy Hopkins, professor of molecular biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose talk was titled, “Breaking Through MIT’s Glass Ceiling.” Hopkins presented results on the marginalized status of women faculty in the sciences at MIT, which when published, prompted a number of research universities to conduct similar studies. The second lecture featured Morris Dees, civil rights lawyer and founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who spoke on the topic, “With Justice for All.” Dees’ experiences litigating against hate groups have prompted him to write and lecture on this topic.
2. Pat Enciso, associate professor of teaching and learning, served as a consultant to the Story of the Latino Immigration Project, which collected the works of Latino artists and memories from families who migrated to Ohio. The project was developed by several community and educational organizations, and resulted in a multimedia exhibit installed in the Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus. Any Latino who had personally migrated to Ohio, or whose family had migrated to the state, was able to participate in the exhibit.3. October marked the 13th year of operation for the Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center. Since its opening, the center has grown and now receives about 3,000 visitors a week. The visitors come for the social, cultural, and educational programs, as well as for the museum-quality art collection. However, it is the academic programming that center director Larry Williamson credits as having the most positive impact. Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, English, and other departments routinely offer classes at the Hale Center, which have broadened the scope of diversity and defined the center as a place for all visitors.
Access for the Disabled
1. The U.S. Department of Education awarded an $865,000 grant to the Nisonger Center at Ohio State for the ultimate purpose of improving the quality of education that students with disabilities receive in college settings. The three-year grant will be used to develop training modules for faculty and administrators at both two and four-year institutions of higher education. These Faculty and Administrator Modules in Education, or FAME, will reflect state-of-the-art technologies and principles of universal design for learning. The content of the modules will include topics such as “How to Conduct a Climate Assessment,” “Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty, Students and Service Providers,” and “Web Accessibility and Assistive Technology.”
1. The Diversity Council officially adopted language in its Diversity Action Plan Template designed to increase awareness about minority suppliers, as well as to increase university purchases from them. New to this year’s template are questions that ask which minority vendors colleges use, and what internal mechanisms exist to track purchases from these vendors. The new template also offers background information on minority business development that confirms a decrease in the percentage of goods and services procured from minority suppliers. This decrease is attributed to a 1999 U.S. District Court ruling, which deemed “set-aside” laws unconstitutional. Before the district court ruling, Ohio State purchases from minority suppliers had risen to an all-time high of 15 percent. The Supreme Court has since reversed this decision, and the university’s purchasing department has focused its efforts on re-building relationships with minority suppliers.
The Ohio State University Diversity Updates