Living Our Values
Diversity in People and Ideas
As an institution focused on educating tomorrow’s leaders and solving problems of worldwide significance, an appreciation for diverse thinking and experiences is critical. In order to achieve academic excellence, the University must create a culture of mutual respect and inclusivity, and one in which each person is valued for who he or she is as a whole person, and his or her unique contributions.
This value celebrates the unique contributions and viewpoints each person offers. The rich fabric created by these viewpoints is what enables the University to conduct world-changing research, and identify new ways to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to continue those efforts.
It is important to understand the expanse of diversity in order to truly embrace it, and reap its benefits. Diversity is more than race and national origin; it includes all the aspects that make up a person’s identity, including socioeconomic background, education, behavior style, family structure, and life experiences. Someone who spent their childhood in an urban setting has a different experience than someone who grew up on a rural farm, even if both were raised in Ohio. Understanding the many facets of diversity helps one identify myriad of people from which to seek out new viewpoints.
Here are some tips to seek out diversity in people and ideas:
- Seek out different opinions. When you encounter a problem, begin a new project, or are looking for a new approach to a current project, seek out suggestions from people with different backgrounds. Apply the collective wisdom you gather to identify an innovative approach.
- Expose yourself to different cultures. Learning about different cultures expands your world view and experience. This helps you incorporate different thinking, and understand where to seek out different viewpoints. Read, travel, and meet people of different backgrounds.
- Understand your unique contributions. Understand how your experience shapes your views, and creates filters. This awareness will help you think of how to take different viewpoints into consideration, and from whom to seek out different opinions. It also identifies times when you can offer valuable input to others.
- Remain curious. When you hear a new idea, encounter resistance, or disagree with someone, think about how their experience shapes their viewpoints. Understanding different perspectives and listening to other’s viewpoints can help you see things in a new light, as well as expanding your appreciation for diverse thinking.