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Ohio State University logo Diversity Action Plan

Renewing the Covenant: Diversity Objectives and Strategies for 2007 to 2012

Executive Summary

The Diversity Action Plan adopted by the University in 2001 succeeded in many of its objectives during the five-year period of its implementation.  Perhaps most notably, the concrete achievements of the efforts called for by the 2001 plan catalyzed a dialogue about diversity throughout the institution, and these achievements demonstrated that concerted efforts in support of diversity yield measurable results.

“Renewing the Covenant:  Diversity Objectives and Strategies for 2007 to 2012” opens with a statement of philosophical and legal rationale for promoting diversity at The Ohio State University.  This 2008 extension of the 2001 plan continues with a summary of the achievements accomplished by, and lessons learned from, the 2001 plan.  This summary is followed by a call for continuing dialogue.  Then the Diversity Committee of University Senate (which now incorporates the mission of the Diversity Council that was created on an ad hoc basis to implement the 2001 plan) recommends continued efforts supporting the objectives of the 2001 plan (especially in Recommendations 1 to 5) along with new efforts identified in Recommendations 6 to 16 – namely,

  1. Continue to enhance a supportive environment for diversity including the scholarly dialogue on diversity.
  2. Continue to monitor the recruitment of women and minority faculty at the senior levels, consistent with the available pool.
  3. Continue to encourage and monitor the recruitment of women and minority faculty at all levels, consistent with the available pool.
  4. Continue to recruit, retain and graduate greater numbers of ethnic minority students.
  5. Continue to work with the central Ohio community to promote understanding and effectiveness of diversity, and engage communities throughout Ohio in the dialogue.
  6. The accountability has been at the level of Deans.  The University Council on Diversity feels that if progress is to be made, the level of accountability has to involve all levels of administration, most notably the chairs.
  7. Diversity at OSU seems to be improving at a quicker pace at the lower levels than at the higher levels.  There are still many more men than women among the senior professoriate, and there are few minorities in top administrative positions.  Continue programs designed to move faculty from underrepresented groups to administrative leadership positions.
  8. The Office of Business and Finance and the colleges need to work together to develop better strategies for tracking the use of minority vendors.  Some units do not want to take extra steps in locating a minority vendor.  Other units have difficulty identifying and quantifying the use of minority vendors.
  9. There needs to be a funding initiative for research on diversity.
  10. Benchmark for diversity in ways that the University benchmarks for other areas of excellence.  Use diversity statistics from institutions with the best diversity records as a yardstick by which to measure our diversity efforts. 
  11. Ensure systematic efforts to retain women and minority faculty members at all levels.
  12. Develop permanent resources for diversity through the impending Campus Campaign, to build endowments for scholarships at all levels and for research.
  13. Incorporate diversity into the strategic planning for each academic and each support unit.
  14. Bring the diversity structure into a stronger relationship with established governance structure of the University by articulating the role of the Senate Diversity Committee so as to incorporate the Diversity Council.
  15. The one group that remains most underrepresented in all areas is the Native American population.
  16. Units need to address the paucity of staff involvement in diversity, especially since staff outnumber faculty and play a critical role in making students feel at home in the University.

Preamble

In 2001, Ohio State University adopted the Diversity Action Plan as an official set of goals for increasing diversity among students, faculty and staff, with strategies to meet those goals.  The original plan was intended to guide and monitor University efforts for five years, beginning with the 2001-02 academic year.  That initial period ended in June 2006, and the year 2006-07 served as a time of evaluation and reflection, with the expectation that a revised program for campus diversity would emerge from the experience and wisdom gained in the initial five years.  (See Appendix for 2007 Summary Report of the Diversity Council.) 

In retrospect, it can be generally agreed that most of the objectives which the plan put forward were met, and that from the discussions and efforts meant to support the principles of the plan, there also emerged many unforeseen benefits to the University related to diversity.  For example, the plan stipulated specific goals for annual hiring of minority faculty members at the level of Professor and Associate Professor—that is, at a level which implies persons of high scholarly reputation at the national and international level.  Each year through the duration of the plan, the University met or exceeded these goals. 

In addition, creativity fostered by the widespread discussions about diversity led to important new programs and services not anticipated in the original document.  These include, but are certainly not limited to, the establishment of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Todd Anthony Bell Center on the African American Male, President and Provost Leadership Institute, Staff Leadership Institute, the World Service Program of the Office of Minority Affairs, and other programs, many of them based in the colleges, all enhancing the visibility and value of diversity at Ohio State.

The success of the Diversity Action Plan should be measured, therefore, not only by the extent to which its strategies were followed and its stated goals were accomplished.  It should also be considered as the document that engendered energy in many directions in the service of diversity.  On that understanding, it seems fair to say that the Diversity Action Plan was highly successful. 

Yet it should also be widely understood that efforts in service of diversity must continue, that the University needs to continually renew its explicit objectives, and that in addition, it will need to adapt effectively to the unexpected developments sure to follow in the years 2007-08 through 2011-12.   To that end, this updated plan is intended to renew the covenants that support diversity at Ohio State and provide recommendations for goals and strategies for the next five years.

The Rationale for the University’s Commitment to Diversity

It is fitting at the outset to reiterate the commitment of The Ohio State University to creating a diverse environment, along with the rationale for such a commitment.  The document which establishes this commitment is the Academic Plan, adopted by the University in 2001.  That plan focuses on four core elements:  “Becoming a national leader in the quality of our academic programs; being universally recognized for the quality of the learning experience we offer our students; creating an environment that truly values and is enriched by diversity; and expanding the land-grant mission to address our society's most compelling needs.”  In discussing the third of these elements, the one related to diversity, the Academic Plan asserts that “a growing body of research links diversity and academic excellence. We now know that students learn better in a diverse setting. In fact, college students who experience the most racial and ethnic diversity in the classrooms and in informal interactions on campus become better learners and better citizens. As a result, students who attend a truly diverse university are better prepared to live and work in a multi-cultural society and a global economy.”

The Diversity Action Plan of 2001 develops this rationale further, arguing that “the nation's colleges and universities and various higher education organizations have endorsed the concept that racial and ethnic diversity should be one factor among the many considered in admissions and hiring in order to provide a quality education for all students. The reasons given for their positions are that diversity enriches the educational experience by providing students with the opportunity to learn from individuals who differ from them; promotes personal growth and a healthy society by challenging stereotyped preconceptions, encouraging critical thinking and helping students learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds; strengthens communities and the workplace by preparing students for citizenship in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society, and fostering mutual respect and teamwork; and enhances the country's economic competitiveness by effectively developing and using the talents of all citizens.”

These statements make two essential points:  that diversity is philosophically essential to the nature and well being of any university; and that as a practical matter, diversity is an essential condition for excellence in higher education.  These assertions have roots in the intellectual development of the nature of a university and of the freedom of inquiry  essential within it.  They are prefigured by arguments in John Milton’s treatise Areopagitica (1644) and its direct intellectual descendant, John Stuart Mill’s essay On Liberty (1859).  The test of direct adversarial confrontation between ideas yields ideas that are strong because their weaknesses are discovered in the process of discussion.  Mill states this as follows: “There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right.”  Free and open discussion and inquiry are the defining conditions of the discovery of truth, and only by diversity of opinion—and by extension, of culture and background, can free and open discussion be effective in achieving this goal. 

This rationale for a diverse university has legal consequences.  The Supreme Court of the United States confirmed this argument for diversity in its majority opinion in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger et al., decided on June 23, 2003—fully two years after the initial adoption by Ohio State of the Diversity Action Plan.  That opinion in Grutter reasserts in part the Court’s judgment in The Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), in which Justice Lewis Powell emphasized that “nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation.”  He held further that universities have a right “to select those students who will contribute the most to the ‘robust exchange of ideas,’” and that this right supports “a goal that is of paramount importance in the fulfillment of its mission…. [Both] tradition and experience lend support to the view that the contribution of diversity is substantial.”

Writing for the majority in Grutter, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor reaffirmed the essential role of diversity, which includes but is not limited to racial and ethnic diversity, in enabling “cross-racial understanding,” which helps to break down racial stereotypes, and “enables [students] to better understand persons of different races.” These benefits are “important and laudable,” because “classroom discussion is livelier, more spirited, and simply more enlightening and interesting” when the students have “the greatest possible variety of backgrounds.” In short, diversity promotes the “robust exchange of ideas” that Milton, Mill, Powell and O’Connor call for in a free society.  Like all universities, Ohio State has, to paraphrase Justice Powell, an essential relationship to the Freedom of Speech protected by the First Amendment:  this relationship is the basis for the idea and the ideal of Academic Freedom, and it is realized in part by our inclusive commitment to diversity.  It should be noted the Court explicitly rejected diversity achieved by quotas or by reliance on race or ethnicity as a sole criterion of admission, and in a related case applied a test of inclusiveness, which further supports the need for diversity.

Some Achievements of the Diversity Action Plan

The leadership of Ohio State has consistently and strongly supported and defended the value of diversity in promoting excellence in education, from the adoption of the Diversity Action Plan in 2001 through today.  Academic departments and colleges, as well as non-academic units have advocated for diversity and sought to implement it thoughtfully in their programs.  The major accomplishments related to the Diversity Action Plan make up an impressive list and include:

  • Recruitment of women and minority faculty at senior levels.  The objective of the original plan was to increase the number of women and minority faculty in five years by the following:

Female 25% N=197                                   
African-American 30% N=28                       
Asian-American 10% N=21
Hispanic American 30% N=13
Native-American 100% N=3

At the beginning of the 2006-07 academic year, the figures for these groups were as follows:

Female up 22.6%; increase of N=196           
African-American up 25.7%; increase of N=27           
Asian-American up 57.9%; increase of N=140
Hispanic American up 70.6%; increase of N=36
Native-American down 25%; decrease of N=1

These results show substantial increases in all but the Native American faculty population.  Some exceed the numbers set in the Diversity Action Plan; others are very close to them. 

  • Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Retention.  Minority undergraduate student enrollments stood at 1,081 NFQF in 2000 and at 976 in 2006.  The subtotals by category grew for Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, with a small drop for Native Americans.  The major drop occurred for African Americans and followed the Supreme Court decisions of June 2003.  A similar drop was experienced for this population by all but one of the CIC schools and by other similar institutions.  However, African American retention rose substantially from 2000 to 2006:  the most recent data show a first-year retention rate for African American males of 90.8%, and for all African Americans of 89.3%.  For all Hispanic American students, retention is up significantly, from 76.9% in 2000 to 89.3% in 2006.  For Native American students, retention is up from 75.0% in 2000 to 82.8% in 2006.  Similarly for Asian American students, retention is up from 89.3% in 2000 to 94.3% in 2006.
  • Graduate and Professional Student Recruitment and Retention.  Among the professional programs, the number of minority students varies significantly.  For example, the Fisher College of Business, the Moritz College of Law and more recently the College of Medicine have strong records of effective recruitment and enrollment of minority students.  The Colleges of Optometry, and Pharmacy have also recently had substantial increases for minorities.

Within the Graduate School African American enrollments have declined, with a concomitant dramatic rise in the number of this group enrolled in, and receiving advanced degrees from, national online institutions such as Walden, Capella, Nova, and Argosy.

  • Appointment of Women and Minority Administrators.  The period from 2001 to 2006 included the appointment of many high visibility women administrators, including several deans, the provost, and the first woman president of Ohio State.
  • Development of Special Centers and Programs.  The Diversity Action Plan specifically called for the creation of a Multicultural Center and for the continued support of The Women’s Place.   The Multicultural Center is now a unit within the Office of Student Affairs.  The Women’s Place remains within the Office of Academic Affairs, with a growing program of activities.
  • Extension of health benefits to domestic partners.  This has been accomplished.
  • Guarantee that sexual orientation is not a consideration in any employment  decisions.  This is official policy of the University.
  • Reduce the disparity in graduation rates between white and minority undergraduate students.  Graduation rates for all categories are rising, and the gap between majority and minority students is closing.
  • Enlarge the Minority Scholars program.  Shortly after the adoption of the Diversity Action Plan, an increase in the number of awards – by 50, from 385 to 435 – was approved.  This new number was exceeded in several years of the plan, and funding was made available when the number of qualified students grew.  Moreover, after the Supreme Court decisions of 2003, these awards became more inclusive and additional funding was provided by the Provost.
  • Promote the visibility of diversity efforts with appropriate communications to designated audiences.  Numerous publications resulted from this objective, including the Diversity Update and the annual Diversity Report.
  • Establish a Council on Diversity with wide ranging representation.  The Council was established on 2001 and continues to function, giving leadership to the oversight of diversity efforts.
  • Require the development of college plans for diversity, as well as analogous plans for nonacademic units.  These are updated annually, with reports of accomplishments, in correspondence with the Diversity Council.
  • Report regularly on campus diversity objectives and initiatives.  The campus, the community and interested alumni and friends receive a quarterly publication, the Diversity Update, which has appeared regularly since Winter 2002.

(The objectives of the 2001 Diversity Action Plan are listed in Appendix B, along with the supporting expectations called for in the 2001 plan.  The University’s actions relating to the objectives and the specific mandates then follow.  For more detailed information, consult the annual analysis of the unit reports prepared in response to the Diversity Council’s requests; these are available on line at www.osu.edu/diversity/reports.php.)

Unanticipated Diversity Efforts, 2001 to 2006.  In addition to the advances called for in the Diversity Action Plan, several important programs and projects related to diversity were realized in the years that the plan was in effect.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.  The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established at The Ohio State University in May of 2003.  The focus of the Institute is national and global. A preliminary mission, rationale and a basic structure for the Institute were articulated in a March 2002 proposal authored by an Ad Hoc Committee representing the College of Humanities, the Moritz College of Law and The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This group envisioned an Institute that would establish the University as a national leader in an emerging interdisciplinary field with significant opportunities for both academic recognition and external funding.  An extensive program of conferences, lectures, publications and similar events is already underway, with multiple websites focused at http://kirwaninstitute.org/.
  • The Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male.  Noting that African American males were as a group statistically those least likely to be retained and to graduate, Ohio State approved the establishment of a center for the study of the status of African American men in 2004.  Todd Bell, a former Ohio State and professional football player, worked actively to develop the initial plans for the center.  Upon news of his untimely death, his colleagues determined to name the center in his honor, his widow was consulted and approved the memorial, and the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male was opened in September 2005.  An endowment, supported in part with funding derived from an annual luncheon and lecture on Ethics in American Sports, has been established to assist with the work of the center. Further information is available at www.oma.osu.edu/brc.
  • The President and Provost’s Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series.  Created about the time of the establishment of the Academic Plan and the Diversity Action Plan, this annual series brings notable speakers and artists to campus, to enrich the academic dialogue about diversity.  Notable presenters have included John Hope Franklin, I. King Jordan, Denyce Graves, Charles Olgetree, Kenji Yoshino, and many others.  The series is now in its seventh year.  Current year events are listed at www.osu/diversity/lecture/php.
  • Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global ContextsRace/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts is a peer-reviewed journal jointly produced through The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Office of Minority Affairs at The Ohio State University. Using a “classic” text as a point of departure in each issue, the journal offers investigations of sustained and emergent themes in the global field of race and ethnic studies. By promoting research that works across the traditional boundaries of discipline, geography, and the theory/practice divide, Race/Ethnicity makes a vital contribution to the expanding discourse on race and ethnicity in the United States and throughout the world.  The first issue of this journal appeared in October 2007.  Co-editors in chief are john a. powell, Director of the Kirwan Institute, and Mac A. Stewart, Vice Provost for Minority Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer.  Further information is available at www.raceethnicity.org/.
  • Assistant Vice Provost for Minority Affairs.  The number and variety of campus diversity efforts led to the creation of a new position which is in part intended to provide coordination among the many units with diversity offices and programs.  This position was created in 2005, and the incumbent, Dr. Georgina Dodge, has had responsibility for preparing an annual diversity report. Two issues (Spring 2006 and Spring 2007) have been published and distributed.
  • The World Service Project.  Noting that minority students historically have not participated in international educational opportunities at the same degree as non-minority students, in 2004 the Office of Minority Affairs established a competition through which interested student can apply to funding to support travel to third world cultures where they are required to spend some of their time as volunteers in significant service projects.  Although a relatively small number of students have participated, the recipients have traveled to Brazil, Ghana, and Malaysia.  Each recipient is required to report in writing on his or her experience.  Funding for additional students is being sought.
  • The CAMP program.  The Office of Minority Affairs received a $1.5 million grant in 2002 to participate in the national College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) which was created to assist students who are migratory or seasonal farm workers, or the children of such workers, who meet Ohio State’s admission’s criteria.  The program targeted assistance for the first year of undergraduate studies, but resources of the CAMP staff remain available to students even after their formal participation is complete. The Office of Minority Affairs (OMA) provides financial and continuity services for the succeeding years, until the completion of their undergraduate degree.  Most of these students are of Latino heritage.  The grant, now complete, ran for five years. 
  • The Access Collaborative.  The Access Collaborative is an academic and social support program that assists low-income minority single parent students who are pursuing a college education at Ohio State.  The program coordinates University and community support services to meet the participants’ needs as students and heads of household.  For more information, see www.osu.edu/aas/access.htm.
  • The Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART).  The Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) is a partnership of the Offices of Minority Affairs and Student Affairs. The team receives, monitors, refers, and, as necessary, coordinates university responses to hate and bias-related incidents that affect the university community. Incidents may involve bias or hate grounded in race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. Established in 2006, BART serves an important long-term role in documenting patterns of incidents and informing appropriate academic and academic support leaders so that policies, practices, and programs may be reviewed and modified to improve response and to reduce or eliminate hate-based behaviors.
  • Graduate Student Recruitment.  Through its Office of Graduate Student Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives, the Graduate School is partnering with colleges, graduate programs, and other offices across campus to increase the visibility of Ohio State’s doctoral programs, to identify high-quality prospective students, and to create recruitment plans that bring those talented students to Ohio State and retain them through graduation.  The Office of Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives participated in 22 recruitment events over the past year, consulted with numerous graduate programs to create recruitment plans that address their unique circumstances, and hosted the Graduate School’s first summit on Graduate Recruitment.  The second summit will be held in 2008 and will focus on best practices and results from last year.
  • The Social Justice Cohort.  The Social Justice Cohort based in the Multicultural Center is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students interested in social change and social justice.  Students meet for monthly coffee discussions based on creating social justice.  As part of the Diversity Leadership Transcript Program requirements, students apply for a Social Justice mini-grant to create change in their communities.  Past student projects awarded the mini-grant include a body image workshop, a Darfur student awareness project and several community service based initiatives.

In summary, the years since 2001 have seen substantial improvements in many aspects of the status of diversity at Ohio State.  These improvements have the continuing potential to serve the University well and serve as a strong base for the next five years of development.  One overarching goal of the 2001 plan was to become “a leader within the higher education community with regard to diversity and the creation of a campus culture of inclusion that creates a learning environment essential for educating students who will work and live in an increasingly diverse culture.”  The diversity gains since 2001 have brought national prominence to Ohio State as just such a leader, as evidenced by numerous awards, surveys, and data—namely,

  • For the second consecutive year, Ohio State has graduated more African American baccalaureates than any other CIC institution;
  • In 2006 Ohio State was designated a National Model Institution for diversity by Minority Access, Inc.
  • Ohio State has recently been listed among the nation’s top fifty colleges for its welcoming environment for African Americans by the magazine Black Enterprise.
  • Ohio State has been designated a University sponsor for “support and commitment to the advancement of Hispanic education in the Tri-State Area,” according to the Greater Cincinnati Hispanic Scholarship Committee.

These achievements, taken together, confirm the existence of a solid base for establishing additional programs and directions.

Renewing the Covenant:  Directions for the Future

Under new leadership that is now in place, the commitment to diversity programs and services continues strong, along with added opportunities for new creativity and vision.  In the words of President Gee, the University will assure continued access “to a diverse population, including low-income and first generation students who historically have not had an opportunity to experience the American dream.”  To that end, in 2006-07, the members of the Diversity Council reviewed the unit reports from 2001 to 2006 and met with individual reporting units during 2006-07.  (See Appendix, the Summary Report of the Diversity Council.)  The objectives identified below as new initiatives are largely derived from the Council’s analysis of those meetings and reports.

It is important to note that the recommendations in the remainder of this plan represent only part of the intended actions for diversity enhancement, since initiatives at the college level are being developed and will be included in the strategic plans each college has been assigned to prepare and present to the Office of the Provost in September 2008.  This assignment is consistent with the attempt (noted previously in this plan relative to the realignment of the reporting structure for the Diversity Council) to bring the ad hoc structures of the initial Diversity Action Plan into closer conformity with the standard governance patterns of the University.  Detailed action plans by each college will therefore be made available for study in Autumn 2008.  In reviewing the college plans, attention should be paid to appropriate reward structures for positive steps related to diversity.

a) Selected recommendations from the 2001 plan which remain priorities:

  • Continue to enhance a supportive environment for diversity, including the scholarly dialogue on diversity.
  • Continue to monitor the recruitment of women and minority faculty at the senior levels, consistent with the available pool.
  • Continue to encourage and monitor the recruitment of women and minority faculty at all levels, consistent with the available pool.
  • Continue to work with the central Ohio community to promote understanding and effectiveness of diversity, and engage communities throughout Ohio in the dialogue.
  • Continue to work with the central Ohio community to promote understanding and effectiveness of diversity, and engage communities throughout Ohio in the dialogue.

Measures similar to those in the 2001 Plan shall be used to monitor progress on these continuing recommendations.

b) Next Steps
 The term "diversity" means difference, variance and heterogeneity. Its opposite is sameness, similarity and homogeneity. Because the meaning is broad, it has come to mean many things to different people. The term is used to refer to different religions, different social class or political philosophies, different capabilities or accomplishments, different sexual orientations, or different races, ethnic groups and gender. The work of this committee and the recommendations focus on gender, and racial and ethnic differences -- the core interests of the civil and women's rights movements of the 1960s and at the heart of the subsequent social change in this country -- and on persons with same sex orientation. This plan is, however, just the first step in a longer-term commitment to increasing diversity, in its broadest meaning, on the campus. --Diversity Action Plan, 2000

The 2000 Diversity Action Plan focused specifically on three groups:  race, gender, and sexual orientation.  The rationale for defining the goals narrowly was to focus efforts on three groups that have suffered historically from overt discrimination.  However, the 2000 Diversity Action Plan acknowledged the importance of eventually broadening the definition of diversity with the last sentence in the excerpt that appears above:  “This plan is, however, just the first step in a longer-term commitment to increasing diversity, in its broadest meaning, on the campus.”

The current debate on defining diversity, as the Diversity Council saw during the conferences it held during the 2006-07 academic year with units throughout the university, is should the definition be expanded beyond the three groups that were the focus of the 2000 plan.

This same debate is occurring throughout higher education as is illustrated by the following quote from Making a Real Difference with Diversity:  A Guide to Institutional Change by Alma R. Clayton-Pederson, et al. (2007):

A … dilemma facing those involved in diversity work in higher education today relates to questions of definition and practice.  In some cases, diversity has multiple and seemingly endless definitions, and many college and university leaders bypass serious engagement with the meanings held by various campus constituents.  In other cases, diversity is equated with the composition of the student body, typically racial/ethnic or gender composition.  This important but narrow focus excludes concerns about how different constituents perceive and interact with the institutional environment.  This narrow focus also excludes questions about how diversity plays out in the curriculum and scholarship, the status of equity in access to educational opportunities and achievement of important learning outcomes, and many other areas.

We believe it is time to now take the second step, per the 2000 Diversity Action Plan, and begin addressing diversity at The Ohio State University in broader terms.

However, we also believe it is important not to lose the focus of the 2000 Diversity Action Plan on the continuing struggle to eliminate the impact of overt discrimination against groups that have historically suffered from discrimination.

Thus, we recommend that the next phase for our diversity action at Ohio State University have two foci:  eliminating discrimination and achieving diversity.  Both are equally important and both need to be pursued with equal vigor.

Eliminating Discrimination

We acknowledge that prejudices and discrimination exist in our community. The university community needs to re-commit to efforts to combat prejudices in our midst.  Likewise, we need to re-commit to eliminating illegal discrimination that still afflicts students, faculty, and staff in our society and at our university.  Federal and state law, as well as university policy, define the specific groups that are protected from discrimination as:

age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

The first step in re-committing to the goal of eliminating illegal discrimination is to foster the development of a broad understanding of the nature of that discrimination, which currently is much less overt and much less conscious than in previous decades, and which continues to be bound up with negative stereotypes.  Once we as a community have this understanding, the next step is to develop and implement strategies to address the conditions that allow discrimination to exist.

Achieving Diversity

As a significant aspect of work to maintain and to elevate our university’s stature, we must strive to foster the inclusion necessary to build an exemplary scholarly community.  Toward that end, a sentence from the Sonoma State University Diversity Vision Statement resonates with us on this aim (http://www.sonoma.edu/diversity/):

We stand committed to fostering and sustaining a pluralistic, inclusive environment that empowers all members of the campus community to achieve their highest potential without fear of prejudice or discrimination.

Quite naturally, all of the groups that are protected by law and policy from discrimination would be included also in the focus on achieving diversity.  We believe, however, that the focus on achieving diversity should be expanded to include deliberation on whether and how to broaden our working definition of diversity beyond these groups. 

We find the delineation of four dimensions of diversity outlined in Assessing Campus Diversity Initiatives: A guide for Campus Practitioners by Mildred Garcia, et.al. (2001) to be compelling.  We believe the dimensions could be helpful for organizing our diversity definition and provide a framework for a focus on supporting diversity.  They are 1) access and success, 2) campus climate and intergroup relations, 3) education and scholarship, and 4) institutional viability and vitality.  This sort of framework could allow for continuing attention to representation, to discrimination, and to scholarly excellence.  In addition, it seems to fit well with the themes that President Gee has outlined as priorities.  The framework might be used as a means of structuring the diversity focus and the dialogue process we recommend.

Consideration of each aspect of the framework would require deliberation on significant related questions.  For instance, regarding access and success, should our definition include learning styles or economic status?  Should international students be part of our diversity plan?   Who else should be included?  How do we embrace multiple axes of diversity and identity and promote the visibility of cross-category identity? 

Focus on achieving diversity through consideration of this proposed framework would require a university wide dialogue.  Outcomes of such a dialogue would be an enhanced understanding of campus climate and an engaged campus community.  In addition to defining diversity, the community dialogue should lead to defining diversity goals attached to each aspect of the framework and the development of strategies to achieve those goals. 

The university community should engage in a meaningful dialogue during the 2008-09 academic year on the two foci raised above.  Such a course of action will utilize resources that exist here for increasing understanding and mobilize expertise on campus for meaningful participation in every aspect of the process.  The dialogue could take many forms including the typical vetting process we use when we explore any major policy change.  It could also include presentations and workshops organized by academic and support units that provide intellectual and practical perspectives on diversity (e.g., Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Public Health, Genetics, OMA, the MCC, The Women’s Place, the Offices of Disability Services, the Office on International Education, the Kirwan Institute, and others).  Perhaps the Diversity Lecture Series and other already existing forums could be used for this dialogue as well.

The remainder of this academic year could be used to plan the year-long dialogue.

Other topics are listed below that arose from the individual meetings the Diversity Council had with vice presidents and deans during the 2006-07 academic year, and that could be included in the university-wide dialogue:

  • The accountability has been at the level of Deans.  The University Council on Diversity feels that if progress is to be made, the level of accountability has to involve all levels of administration, most notably the chairs.
  • Diversity at OSU seems to be improving at a quicker pace at the lower levels than at the higher levels.  There are still many more men than women among the senior professoriate, and there are few minorities in top administrative positions.  Continue programs designed to move faculty from underrepresented groups to administrative leadership positions.
  • The Office of Business and Finance and the colleges need to work together to develop better strategies for tracking the use of minority vendors.  Some units do not want to take extra steps in locating a minority vendor.  Other units have difficulty identifying and quantifying the use of minority vendors.
  • There needs to be a funding initiative for research on diversity.
  • Benchmark for diversity in ways that the University benchmarks for other areas of excellence.  Use diversity statistics from institutions with the best diversity records as a yardstick by which to measure our diversity efforts. 
  • Ensure systematic efforts to retain women and minority faculty members at all levels.
  • Develop permanent resources for diversity through the impending Campus Campaign, to build endowments for scholarships at all levels and for research.
  • Incorporate diversity into the strategic planning for each academic and each support unit.
  • Bring the diversity structure into a stronger relationship with established governance structure of the University by articulating the role of the Senate Diversity Committee so as to incorporate the Diversity Council.
  • The one group that remains most underrepresented in all areas is the Native American population.
  • Units need to address the paucity of staff involvement in diversity, especially since staff outnumber faculty and play a critical role in making students feel at home in the University.

The Council also recommends that these recurring lessons about diversity should be incorporated in the implementation of the objectives in this plan:

  • There is a disconnect between institutional emphasis on diversity and grass-roots emphasis on diversity.
  • The message that excellence and diversity are mutually constitutive needs to be reiterated as frequently as possible and in ways that are persuasive and concrete.
  • Even while the University is engaging in diversity activities and making some actual gains, women, minorities, members of the GLBT population, and faculty and   students with disabilities remain skeptical that there is a “real” commitment to diversity at OSU.
  • Most units do not operate as if they know why it is in their best interest to be diverse.
  • The message of diversity needs to be more clearly articulated by senior level University administrators at every opportunity.
  • There needs to be more of a recognition that changes in programming do not always lead to deep structural changes.
  • Achieving diversity needs to become a criterion in the reward structure.  The consequences of not achieving diversity are not always clear.
  • There is unevenness in commitment across units.
  • The achievement of a goal of a truly diverse University community will require substantial investments of capital, labor, and trust.

Appendix:  The 2007 Summary Report of the Diversity Council

Background
In October 2000 The Ohio State University adopted “The Academic Plan,” a plan designed to serve as a blueprint for building academic excellence.  One strategy that The Academic Plan detailed as a building block to achieve its goal was to “create a diverse university community.” To integrate diversity as part of it academic mission, the University adopted a complementary plan, The Diversity Action Plan, at the same time that it adopted The Academic Plan. To implement the Diversity Action Plan, OSU appointed its first University-wide Council on Diversity.  The Council’s charge was to:

  • Advise the President and Provost on the implementation of the University’s Diversity Action Plan;
  • Make recommendations that will enable the University to foster a campus climate of inclusion;
  • Solicit views of the University community on all aspects of diversity;
  • Examine specific concerns advanced by minority advocates;
  • Identify potential new initiatives that will advance our diversity goals; and
  • Report annually to the President and Provost on progress in achieving measurably greater diversity in institutional composition and the richness of the educational environment.

Since its inception, the University Council on Diversity has written six reports, dating from February 5, 2002 through June 8, 2006 and covering the academic years  FY01 – FY06.  For this, the seventh report, rather than an institutional unit-by-unit audit based on written reports received in response to a uniform assessment template, this report responds foremost to site visits that the University Council on Diversity had with nearly all of the colleges and professional offices on campus. Council members centered the site visit discussions around the following questions:

The Present: The Unit’s Climate

  • How are diversity efforts defined and perceived within your unit?
  • What barriers impede your diversity efforts, both within the unit and the University at large?


The Past: The Unit’s Reports

  • What underlying philosophy determines the type of diversity programming that your unit has engaged in over the years?
  • What was your most satisfying diversity effort and what made it so?

The Future: Diversity Action Plan II

  • In what directions should OSU take its future diversity efforts?
  • How should we measure our success?

Procedures for Site Visits
The members of the University Council on Diversity collaborated with the Diversity Leadership Group and with past members of the University Council on Diversity to form approximately forty teams of three persons each. These teams visited the academic departments, the OAA units, the Professional units, the Vice Presidential units, and the regional campuses. Units were given the discussion questions ahead of time and could elect to have present at the meeting any representatives of their choosing. For the academic units, the Deans were present with their Diversity Committees, Executive Committees, and/or programmatic leaders.  Other units convened their top administrators, and anyone charged with monitoring diversity initiatives.

All units expressed appreciation for these face-to-face dialogues and were assured that this report would not single out individual unit shortcomings, allowing for a more honest exchange of ideas. 

What The Council Learned from the 2007 Site Visits:
On the definition of diversity:
There was no across-the-board definition of diversity.  As a term, “diversity” is highly contextual. Some units argued that any “richness of experience” should count as diversity, while other units argued that the emphasis should be on targeted groups that have not had access to certain types of opportunities. Discussions thereby ranged from those who wanted to include any “diversity of thought” to those who wanted diversity to be tied to issues of social justice.  In addition to the underrepresented groups already defined in the current Diversity Action Plan, the two additional groups that received the most support for inclusion in a new Diversity Plan are international students and faculty and students and faculty with disabilities. Many recommend a rethinking and public discussion of both the meaning of diversity and its value to OSU.  Since we can not do everything at once both central policy  and individual unit  practices will have to focus on subgroups, from setting the benchmarks necessary to evaluate progress  to planning "street level" programming. The institution should reformulate a core meaning of diversity and work on maintaining a dual focus on the practical and the ideal. 

Site Visit Responses from the Units
OSU needs to:

  • Articulate more convincingly that diversity matters and then act like it matters at all levels, including the highest level of the University. 
  • Provide more centralized funding of diversity initiatives.
  • Build diversity initiatives across units.
  • Integrate the concept of diversity into multiple messages.
  • Build pathways and pipelines for diversity.
  • Hire Deans who believe in the diversity efforts put forth by the University and who are willing to implement and support change.
  • Encourage diversity in recruitment and re-appointment of key personnel.
  • Make department chairs and faculty responsible for carrying out the goals and mission of the college’s diversity action plan.
  • Support Program Directors who have direct power and control over faculty reward systems.
  • Incorporate diversity as part of scholarly activities and compensation.
  • Develop a climate amongst faculty that they are invested in the success of all students.
  • Address entrenched attitudes that negatively affect recruitment and retention of women and faculty of color.
  • Restructure the SEI evaluation forms. Currently, no question measures diversity curricular or climate efforts (except, the broader question that asks whether the instructor treats the students fairly).
  • Provide fellowships for minority students that offer more than one year’s funding.  The Graduate Enrichment Scholarship is only one year and sometimes colleges and departments are unable to provide additional years of funding for PhD students.  
  • Increase the incentive for hiring underrepresented groups. Different incentives may work for different colleges. The current FHAP program is insufficient for the needs of STEM fields. 
  • Establish from central funding a post-doctoral fellowship program for scholars from underrepresented groups who then might become candidates for permanent faculty positions.
  • Recognize that minority students, staff and faculty members vary in their needs.

Note that the aforementioned action steps do not always specify how to accomplish the initiative or recommendation.  This has been the challenge: What is the best way to implement a particular goal?

The following overarching observations gleaned by the University Council on Diversity from the 2000-2006 cumulative reports were fully supported by the discussions in the site visits:

What the Council Learned from Reports from 2000-2007:

  • The accountability has been at the level of Deans.  The University Council on Diversity feels that if progress is to be made, the level of accountability has to involve all levels of administration, most notably the chairs.
  • There is a disconnect between institutional emphasis on diversity and grass-roots emphasis on diversity.
  • The message that excellence and diversity are mutually constitutive needs to be reiterated as frequently as possible and in ways that are persuasive and concrete.
  • Even as the University is engaging in diversity activities and making some actual gains, women, minorities, members of the GLBT population, and faculty and students with disabilities remain skeptical that there is a “real” commitment to diversity at OSU.
  • Diversity at OSU seems to be improving at a quicker pace at the lower levels than at the higher levels. There are still many more men than women among the senior professoriate, and there are few minorities in top administrative positions. Continue programs designed to move faculty from underrepresented groups to administrative leadership positions.
  • The Office of Business and Finance and the colleges need to work together to develop better strategies for tracking the use of minority vendors.  Some units do not want to take extra steps in locating a minority vendor. Other units have difficulty identifying and quantifying the use of minority vendors.
  • Most units still do not operate as if they know why it is in their best interest to be diverse.
  • The one group that remains most underrepresented in all areas is the Native American population.  
  • The message of diversity needs to be more clearly articulated by senior level University administrators at every opportunity.
  • There needs to be a funding initiative for research on diversity.
  • There needs to be more of a recognition that changes in programming do not always lead to deep structural changes.
  • Achieving diversity needs to become a criterion in the award structure.  The consequences of not achieving diversity are not always clear.
  • Units need to address the paucity of staff involvement in diversity, especially since staff outnumber faculty and play a critical role in making students feel at home in the University.
  • There is unevenness in commitment across units.
  • Benchmark for diversity in ways that the University benchmarks for other areas of excellence.  Use diversity statistics from institutions with the best diversity records as a yardstick by which to measure our diversity efforts.
  • The achievement of a goal of a truly diverse University community will require substantial investments of capital, labor, and trust.

At the end of seven years, 2000-2007, nearly all units of the University now have a Diversity Council at the college and/or departmental level.  While these diversity committees have done much to increase programming about diversity, they also have created a need for better communication and organization.  

Units have come to expect accountability in terms of diversity efforts.  Over time, most units progressed from perfunctory reporting to substantive, honest reporting.  A critical step in the process has been the participation of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the President. These top administrators received reports from the Council that they had on hand when meeting annually with each Dean.  There have been cases where Deans have had to change their posture or unit activities, given reports from the Council. Some units have made remarkable progress in terms of their demographics.
In sum, as E. Gordon Gee has remarked, The Ohio State University is well positioned to move from “excellence to eminence.”  If it plans to do so within the context and demands of a multicultural society, it will have to move from the mere programming of diversity and the casual rhetoric of diversity to embracing diversity as a core value—deeply rooted in the University’s culture, community, and character.

Appendix B:  2001 Diversity Action Plan Recommendations

A. Create a supportive environment that is welcoming for all individuals.
1. The provost and executive vice president will:  
(a) Reinvest in and reinvigorate the Office of Faculty and TA Development to make available a wide range of services and curriculum materials to assist faculty in creating a classroom climate in which all students have the opportunity to succeed. This especially includes materials aimed directly at positively incorporating women and minority students into the classroom dynamic. 
(b) Develop, in collaboration with the vice president for student affairs, a plan to establish a multicultural center on campus. The Hale Center will remain a freestanding black cultural center because of its history and the special place it occupies at Ohio State. However, it will be expected to contribute to the life of the multicultural center in meaningful and appropriate ways. 
(c) Continue to support The Women's Place. 
(d) Ensure that the WOSU stations' programming fully reflects the interests and tastes of a culturally diverse population. 
(e) Using all available management tools, hold deans and vice presidents accountable for creating and maintaining a climate inclusive of diversity within their colleges/offices.
(f) Propose to the Board of Trustees a plan to extend university health benefits to domestic partners.
(g) Ensure that sexual orientation is not a consideration in any employment decisions.

2. The vice president for student affairs will:
(a) Develop a diversity training workshop for student leaders of all registered organizations as part of a leadership training program. The plan for the workshop should be developed for implementation in the summer of 2000.
(b) Award challenge grants, with funds provided by the provost, to student organizations to provide inter-organizational, culturally diverse, student programs.
(c) Plan with the Alumni Association to create an Alumni Advisory Board for Diversity.
(d) Develop policies and practices to ensure that the Living Learning communities foster a greater understanding of diversity and that each has populations, which are, themselves, diverse.
(e) Sponsor bi-annual workshops for all students, beginning in Academic Year 2000- 2001 to foster greater respect for and understanding, and valuing of individuals with different sexual orientations.
(f) Eliminate housing policies, including employment opportunities in campus residences, that discriminate against same sex partners.
(g) Institute "Theme Quarters" with multiple events and organizations to provide dialogues on diversity. An annual plan featuring campus wide themes would be developed each year. New funding will be provided to ensure successful and meaningful programming.
(h) Require constituency offices within the Office of Student Affairs to develop collaborative programming aimed at exploring diversity issues and promoting dialogue among people of all backgrounds.
(i) Create mechanisms to support and protect students who bring allegations of gender, sexual and racial discrimination in order to lessen their vulnerability, fears of reprisals and harassment.

3. The vice president for university relations will:
(a) Develop a comprehensive communications and marketing program to advance diversity interests both internally and externally.
(b) Initiate proactive, ongoing media campaigns to support efforts to create a welcoming campus climate.
(c) Develop new and review existing materials describing the university's diversity initiatives for dissemination both on and off campus.

4. The vice president for research will:
(a) Establish seed grants for the purpose of promoting the interdisciplinary study of diversity issues.
(b) Create opportunities for inter-college research programs focused on multicultural issues.

B. Recruit and retain greater numbers of women and minorities into faculty, staff and administrative positions (including deans, chairs, and vice presidents).
The goals for the total university over the next five years should be to increase the number of women and minority faculty by the following:
Female 25% N=197
African-American 30% N=28
Asian-American 10% N=21
Hispanic American 30% N=13
Native-American 100% N=3
1. The provost and executive vice president will:
(a) Hold deans and academic department chairs accountable for increasing the representation of women and minority faculty through the development of college- specific plans based on the disciplines' minority and gender demographics and pools. Some plans may focus on aggressive recruitment from existing pools and others on building pools where none exists.
(b) Ensure that funds are available to assist units in hiring minority faculty at all ranks but particularly at senior ranks to enable the provision of mentors for junior hires.
(c) Modify the faculty hiring and assistance program in Fiscal Year 2001 to focus those funds in two ways: 1. For departments with small pools of women and minority candidates who are successful in recruiting them, and 2. For units that have been successful in increasing diversity to be able to hire at the senior rank.
(d) Ensure that the university conducts aggressive national searches with emphasis on developing pools that include qualified women and minority candidates for faculty and administrative positions.
(e) Require faculty search committee chairs to submit a report regarding the process used to enhance the pool of qualified women and minorities and the rationale for inclusion or exclusion of them in the final pool.
(f) Initiate workshops for faculty and department chairs to enhance their ability to increase the representation of women and minorities in faculty hiring pools.
(g) Provide incentives to units that develop collaborative arrangements for faculty recruitment with institutions who produce significant numbers of women and minority Ph.D. graduates.
(h) Initiate a faculty exchange program with historically black institutions.
(i) Refine and develop new "family friendly" personnel policies for the benefit of all faculty and staff. These policies are particularly important for women and minorities and demand immediate attention.
(j) Appoint a coordinator/analyst in the Office of Human Resources to produce and analyze data to support the university's Diversity Plan and the federal affirmative action requirements. Data will include analysis of recruiting pools, benchmarking comparisons and tracking of internal progress.
(k) Ensure that there is an effective and well-understood university mechanism to deal with faculty and staff allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
2. College deans and department chairs will:
(a) Ensure that faculty search committees aggressively pursue women and minority candidates.
(b) Develop a plan to increase the pool of women and minority candidates in those fields that have small pools.
(c) Ensure that the climate within the unit is welcoming to women and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Accomplishing this may necessitate formal diversity training for faculty and staff.
(d) Implement family-friendly personnel policies for the benefit of all faculty and staff. These policies are particularly important for women and minorities. Maintain a climate in which women and minorities feel free to access these benefits.
(e) Encourage staff to attend workshops offered by Office of Human Resources and credit-bearing university classes to enhance their skills for advancement.
3. All vice presidents and their units will develop a comprehensive plan to:
Increase the numbers of women and minorities in administrative and professional positions (A&P).

C. Recruit, retain, and graduate greater numbers of ethnic minority students.
1. The provost and executive vice president will:
(a) Evaluate all existing minority recruitment programs to determine their effectiveness in recruiting minority students to OSU and elsewhere. If it is determined that the program is not meeting its goals and if it is also deemed not amenable to correction, the funding for that program should be redirected to other initiatives with the same goal.
(b) Encourage academic deans and department chairs to facilitate faculty involvement with undergraduate recruitment.
(c) Enhance academic support services for students who, based on experience, are at risk for non-retention and graduation.
(d) In Academic Year 2001, develop a plan to reduce the disparity in graduation rates between white and minority students.
(e) Initiate a Leadership Development Outreach Program for deans and chairs to visit targeted institutions (e.g. high schools, churches, military) with a high concentration of minorities to introduce them to OSU and its array of programs and opportunities.
(f) Create merit based scholarships for out-of-state minority students who possess the potential to succeed.
(g) Enlarge the Minority Scholars program scholarships beginning in FY 01 and work with colleges to offer scholars direct enrollment in the various colleges.
(h) Continue to support ongoing initiatives that link faculty with high school advisers, cultivate relationships with elementary and middle school children, work with university area feeder schools.
2. The college deans will:
(a) Evaluate the potential of direct admission to the college for increasing the enrollment of freshmen women and minorities, especially scholarship recipients.
(b) Identify academic support strategies that can be undertaken in the college to assist students to succeed and graduate.
(c) Work with faculty and departments to examine the curriculum, course content and methods, classroom climate and teaching styles to eliminate gender and racial bias to enhance the education of all students. Provide appropriate incentives and rewards for faculty who are successful.
(d) Work with the office of TA development to assist faculty in assessing their classroom climate to create a learning environment that is comfortable for all students.
(e) Add an item on the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) that allows the assessment of progress made toward making course content, methods and climate more inclusive.
3. The vice president for student affairs will:
(a) Develop a Peer Partners Program that matches minority students with other students enrolled in the same program.
(b) Strengthen programming in the dormitories to create environments of inclusion and respecting and valuing differences.
4. The Dean of University College will:
(a) In partnership with the vice president for student affairs and the Office of Academic Affairs develop a summer-long "bridge" program for at-risk new or potential new freshmen. The goal of this program would be to enhance their potential for success in the university.
(b) Enlarge the Term I program.
(c) Revise UVC 100 (freshman survey course) so that it includes more content on living in diverse communities. Such content should include, but not be limited to, an examination of preconceptions, an appreciation and valuing of differences, and the economic, social and psychological costs to society as a whole of discrimination and exclusion.
5. The vice president for development will:
(a) Implement a strategic plan for aggressively pursuing funding for increasing scholarship support to be used primarily to increase diversity.
(b) Identify a directory of sources of external financial support for the various programs identified in this plan and disseminate that to the appropriate units.

D. Provide incentives to academic and academic support units for developing models of excellence for increasing diversity.
Substantial progress in increasing diversity within the university will be achieved, in part, by providing positive incentives for change. This has already been demonstrated in other areas such as teaching, research, and interdisciplinary cooperation. To this end, the president and provost will:
(a) Establish a Models of Excellence for Diversity initiative that provides funding for competitive awards that will enhance diversity within the college. These proposals should include:

  • A critical assessment of diversity within the unit.
  • A plan and timetable for addressing the issues.
  • Commitment of matching funds.
  • Benchmarking indicators for judging progress.
  • A formal evaluation of success.

The proposals will be reviewed by a select committee appointed by the president and provost and evaluated on the basis of their potential as a "best practice" to be used by other units.
(b) Enhance the prestige and visibility of diversity-related awards both on and off- campus.
(c) Sponsor a Best Practices for Achieving Diversity conference annually that will include a nationally prominent keynote speaker.
(d) Collect and distribute to all units those strategies and practices already in place that have proven to be effective mechanisms to recruit and retain women and minorities.
(e) For Academic Year 2000-2001, instruct each academic department or college and each vice presidential unit to undertake a diversity project chosen from the diversity plan for the year or other designated time. The unit will choose this project to best fit a demonstrable need or opportunity for improvement of that unit, and it should be a new undertaking. Regular reports on this initiative will be made to the Diversity Council, which will, in turn, disseminate lessons learned and best practices from these experiences

E. Collect and organize data to systematically and effectively assess progress and to align/realign programs intended to enhance diversity.
Accurate data that is organized in ways that allow various questions to be answered is essential to the success of this plan. Historically, the university has been handicapped by the lack of good data that are easily analyzed. The creation of these databases is essential in order to mark progress over time in achieving greater diversity. A commitment must be made to provide funding for the necessary staff to collect and maintain essential data. The beginning point is to use existing data to create a historical record and then to continue to collect relevant data on an ongoing basis. The president and provost will:
(a) Collect the following data to document progress:

  • Recruitment, retention and promotion rates of women and minority faculty and administrators as contrasted with overall rates.
  • Recruitment, retention and graduation rates of women and minority students as contrasted with overall rates.
  • Campus climate survey results.

(b) Periodically assess the progress/success of women and minority faculty and administrators.
(c) Issue an annual status report documenting progress made toward meeting the university's diversity goals using the above data.
(d) Publish an inventory of diversity-related events, offices, programs and groups within the university.
(e) Sponsor an open campus forum each year at which the progress that has been made and continuing issues can be discussed.
(f) Develop a diversity Web site that provides the current demographic profile of students, faculty, staff and administrators, and update the Web site annually.

F. Assign accountability to achieve the progress envisioned in this action plan.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the president and provost to hold vice presidents and deans responsible for making progress toward the achievement of the university's diversity goals. This action plan calls for the establishment of incentives and rewards for individuals who make progress toward achieving these goals. Success, as evidenced by annual reports, should be a factor considered in annual evaluations of key administrators.
However, it is recognized that the university has established similar goals in the past based on various reports and studies, and progress has not been made. Therefore, it is the strong recommendation of this committee that the president appoint a university wide Council on Diversity to be established by the beginning of the 2000-2001 academic year. The overall purpose of this council would be to:

  • Set annual goals and priorities based on this Diversity Plan.
  • Be informed by data from previous reports and commissions, including the recently released SRI Report.
  • Monitor the collection of data to chart progress made on the meeting of diversity goals.
  • Foster collaboration and coordination between the various initiatives (e.g., The Women's Place, Office of Minority Affairs and Faculty Senate Diversity Committee).
  • Be responsible for updating and keeping this Diversity Action Plan current.
  • Be responsible for adequate planning to develop alternatives to affirmative action if legal opinion strikes down the use of affirmative action in making admissions, hiring and financial aid decisions.
  • Issue an annual report to the university community.

The council should be comprised of individuals who represent diversity and who are in positions that provide them with influence and credibility. The chair of the council will be appointed by the president and serve a two-year term. Members will be appointed for staggered terms of one to three years with the opportunity for reappointment. The members should be drawn from the:

  • Academic units
  • Vice presidential units
  • Chair of the Senate Diversity Committee
  • Staff Advisory Committee
  • Student leaders
  • The Graduate School
  • Faculty Council

It is essential that this council be as diverse as possible to ensure its credibility with the populations of interest.

It is recommended that during the first year, the council appoint a subcommittee to examine the specific concerns of gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff. The concerns of this group have not been systematically addressed, and they are considerable. This should be of the highest priority since the issues that have been identified during the public sessions devoted to discussing the diversity plan and in other contexts indicate that the academic and work life of these individuals is being negatively affected by the campus climate as well as some policies and practices.

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