Official Reports on Ohio State Diversity Issues
The Ohio State University Diversity Updates
Diversity Update - Spring 2002
Faculty and Staff Recruitment
1. john a. powell has been appointed director of the new Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in the Americas and also the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Moritz College of Law. john currently serves as executive director of the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota and as Earl R. Larson Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the university's law school. Ohio State's new institute is a key component of the university's Academic Plan and is being established to position Ohio State as an international research leader in the interdisciplinary field of race and ethnicity studies. powell was a post-graduate Human Rights Fellow at Minnesota, and holds a J.D. from Berkeley and a B.A. in psychology from Stanford.
2. Karen A. Bell has been appointed dean of the College of the Arts. A well-known choreographer and performer, she has served as interim dean since August 2001. Bell joined the faculty of Ohio State in 1980 and has served as chair of the dance department since 1995. As interim dean, Bell has made an effort to enhance diversity within the college with initiatives that include creating a college grants program to foster a global understanding in the arts, forming a multicultural dance alliance, and inviting visiting artists who represent diversity. Prior to coming to Ohio State, she taught at Cornell, Wells College, Elmira College, and the State University of New York at Potsdam. She holds a master's of fine arts in dance from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., and a B.A. in sociology from S.U.N.Y., Potsdam.
3. An Ohio State University graduate has returned to campus to lead a new program that helps faculty better understand cultural sensitivities. Dwight Varnum, who earned his Ph.D. at Ohio State, coordinates the Commitment to Success program, which focuses on teachers' classroom styles to create a more welcoming environment for minority students. The program complements ongoing efforts to bring more minority students to Ohio State. Helping students succeed in each of the university's 120 academic units is the goal of the program, with the focus on improving the climate rather than the curriculum.
Student Recruitment and Retention
1. Todd Bell, a graduate from Ohio State, a former Ohio State football player, and National Football League player, and Mac Stewart, vice provost for minority affairs, are developing a mentoring program to increase retention rates for African-American males. According to statistics from the Department of Education, African-American male students are outnumbered 2 to 1 by African-American female students. In addition, African-American female students graduate at a higher rate than males. The mentoring program is described as an intervention program that hopes to offset many of the causes students cite for leaving the university, such as the need for financial assistance, the lack of time-management skills, and the difficulties of budgeting personal finances. Bell, who returned to the university to finish his education when his professional career ended, thinks his athletic background and efforts to finish his degree can be inspirational to students. He is currently a coordinator in the Office of Minority Affairs.
2. The Moritz College of Law sponsored a Minority Outreach Program, which was designed to increase understanding of career opportunities in the legal profession and requirements for admission to law school among members of the minority community. The program was geared to high school seniors through juniors in college.
3. A Hispanic/Latino Student Needs Assessment Survey was conducted to collect information regarding students' experiences with recruitment, retention, and cultural/academic enrichment activities and services. Victor Mora, associate director of enrollment management, is overseeing the effort and plans to compare these results with what was learned eight years ago in a similar study. Survey results will also be used to initiate a dialogue on issues about the social, cultural, and intellectual development of the growing Latino/Hispanic community. According to Mora, the purpose of the study is to provide some continuity to issues that have been in existence since the original needs assessment.
4. A Diversity Student Fellowship in Library and Information Science was made available through a cooperative venture between the Ohio State Libraries and the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science. The fellowship supports graduate study leading to the Master of Library and Information Science degree, and includes a full tuition scholarship and stipend. The initiative was created to provide African-American students skills and experience in library science.
1. The colleges of Education, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences have proposed a collaborative four-course sequence in American Sign Language (ASL), for the general education curriculum. With input from several other colleges, these three colleges are also assuming a lead role in the development of an undergraduate minor in Disabilities Studies. The university hopes to implement both programs as early as autumn 2002.
2. In addition to the ASL courses, plans are under way for two additional disability-related courses for the next academic year. The College of Humanities will offer Introduction to Disability Studies during autumn quarter, and the Moritz College of Law will offer Conducting ADA Accessibility Audits during spring quarter.
1. Mac Stewart received the Maude A. Stewart Award, which honors outstanding graduates of the College of Education's School of Educational Policy and Leadership. Mac Stewart earned his doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio State in 1973. The Maude Stewart Award is presented annually to alumni nationwide of the Student Personnel Assistantship Program (SPA) at Ohio State. Recipients have demonstrated exceptional leadership, service, or innovation in the profession of higher education and student affairs. The award was created to recognize the accomplishments of Maude Stewart, former director of the SPA program, who is credited with creating a national reputation for the program.
2. Ruth Colker, Moritz College of Law, Leslie M. Fine, Fisher College of Business, Linda S. Houston, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Jacqueline Royster, College of Humanities and Department of English, and the Department of Sociology, Undergraduate Student Services, received the 2002 University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Awards, which honor individuals, offices, departments, or organizations that have developed and implemented programs, policies, and/or procedures that have demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity at Ohio State.
3. Barbara Jones Warren, associate professor of nursing-clinical, was named recipient of the nursing excellence award from the Columbus Black Nurses Association. The annual award is presented to a chapter member who demonstrates excellence in his or her field, and has been recognized by his or her peers, employer, and the community. Warren has been on the faculty since 1995. Her research focuses on depression among African Americans.
4. The Fisher College of Business has created the Diversity Business Award, which recognizes members of the corporate community who have made significant efforts to further diversity goals in the college. The Fisher College plans to present one corporate and one individual award on an annual basis.
5. The Moritz College of Law School's Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team of Martine Jean and Terrance Prather distinguished themselves at the Midwest Regional Moot Court Competition of the National Black Law Students Association. Jean and Prather finished the competition in first place as champions of the Midwest region. At the national competition in Detroit, the team won the Best Brief award and won the semifinal round, defeating a team from Georgetown University Law School, but narrowly missed the top prize against a University of Texas team in the final round.
1. The university celebrated United Black World Month in February, Women's History Month in March, Hispanic Awareness and Disability Awareness Months in April, and Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May. These celebrations featured receptions, panel discussions, lectures, cultural events, and student art exhibits, which are designed to deepen levels of understanding and to educate the university community about distinct cultural differences.
2. The Office of Research and Department of Physics hosted a lecture titled "Bouchet and Imes: First African-American Physicists." The speaker was Ronald Mickens, professor of physics at Clark Atlanta University, who discussed the life and career of Edward Bouchet, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in any field, and Elmer Imes' research on the spectroscopy of diatomic molecules.
3. The Professional Schools Recruitment Committee and the Office of Minority Affairs co-sponsored a visit by John Matlock and Margaret Scisney-Matlock of the University of Michigan. Matlock, associate vice provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and director of the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, presented "Meeting the Challenges: Keeping Campus Diversity Thriving, Not Just Surviving," and Scisney-Matlock, associate professor of nursing, spoke on faculty involvement with recruitment and retention and her experiences with mentoring students.
1. The Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Student Services at Ohio State will begin offering scholarships next year to graduate students who are conducting research on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender-related topics through the office's Oscar Wilde-Gertrude Stein fund. The fund was created in the early 1990s to increase GLBT resources at the university. For the 2002-2003 academic year, GLBT Student Services will award four $500 scholarships.
2. The Marion campus formed a new campus organization as a way of connecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. Scott Lloyd DeWitt, faculty advisor for the group, indicated one of their first tasks would be to define its purpose because the organization is so new. In other Marion news, the campus held its inaugural Diversity Lecture earlier this year with a workshop titled, "Addressing Issues of Sexual Orientation in Diversity."
1. The Disability History Museum (DHM) is now open and available to anyone who visits the web site www.disabilitymuseum.org. The DHM's Library is an extension and considerable expansion of the materials assembled for the award-winning series "Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project" broadcast on NPR stations nationwide. A virtual exhibit and education curriculum are also planned for the coming months.
2. President Kirwan and Provost Ray, along with other university leadership, participated in a national teleconference sponsored by the Office of Disability Services about "Improving the Quality of Education for Students with Disabilities." Ohio State was the origination site for the conference, which included more than 53 sites from across the country, in an effort to share cost-effective and meaningful strategies for improving collaboration among administrators, faculty, staff, and students on diversity and disability issues. The strategies discussed revolved around the teaching-learning process, the provision of accommodations, and the fostering of institutional commitment to greater access and disability awareness.
3. The university recently renovated the Adaptive Technology Training Center with computing equipment that has text-to-speech capabilities and screen enlargement software that will assist students who have learning, visual, and/or physical disabilities. The center, which was created to allow students with disabilities the same educational opportunities as the rest of the student body, now provides students with training and access to adaptive computer technology. The center also serves as a campus resource for providing training and education to faculty and staff in the use of adaptive technologies.
1. Ohio State's purchasing department announced a makeover of its web site to improve customer satisfaction and improve the purchasing process. Located at osupurchasing.com, the site features a searchable minority business directory. The goal is to bring more minority suppliers to the OSU marketplace. Ohio State's goal is to procure approximately 15 percent of its goods and services from state-certified minority vendors. In addition to the search feature for minority vendors, the web site also offers a detailed listing of categories and buyers. The web site will soon add another popular feature-a bid publishing system that will allow the purchasing department to post bids for public view.
2. Purchasing is also planning a workshop for minority suppliers titled, "How to do Business with Ohio State," which will be scheduled for summer quarter at the King Center in Columbus.
The Ohio State University Diversity Updates