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Ohio State University logo Diversity


Official Reports on Ohio State Diversity Issues

  1. Ohio State's Diversity Action Plan
  2. Affirmative Action Committee Report, Fall 2000
  3. Ohio State's Academic Plan
  4. Council on Diversity's Report 2000-2001

The Ohio State University Diversity Updates

Diversity Update - Summer 2002
(Prepared By The Office Of University Relations)

Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention

1. Judy Fountain, director of The Women's Place, has been named assistant vice provost for women's policy initiatives. The new position acknowledges the level at which policy advising and advocacy for the advancement of women is taking place at the university. Fountain's work with The Women's Place has led to it being recognized as a model program by other universities. In her role as director, Fountain has been instrumental in the first year of activity undertaken by the President's Council on Women's Issues, which will issue its first status report on women in October.

2. Joan M. Herbers has been named dean of the College of Biological Sciences, effective Sept. 1. Herbers served as chair of the Department of Biology at Colorado State University for the past nine years, and prior to that, she was associate dean of the Graduate College and professor of zoology at the University of Vermont. Herbers' research, which has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, focuses on the evolution of social organization, and her primary teaching areas are animal behavior, ecology, and evolution. She received her Ph.D. and master's from Northwestern University, and holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Dayton. Herbers joins Nancy H. Rogers (Law), Karen A. Bell (Arts), and Betty R. Lenz (Nursing) as newly appointed college deans.

3. Dr. William J. Hicks, a noted Columbus oncologist and community leader, joined the Department of Internal Medicine as a clinical professor. Hicks received his undergraduate training at Morehouse College and his medical degree and residency training from the University of Pittsburgh, and then practiced hematology and oncology in Columbus for 23 years. Hicks is a well-known leader in central Ohio, sitting on the Ohio Commission of African-American Men and chairing the Columbus Coalition for the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer. With his appointment, Hicks assumed several clinical and administrative roles, including leadership positions in the areas of community outreach and diversity enhancement.

4. Gifford Weary began her appointment as chair of psychology on July 1. Weary, a recent recipient of the university's Distinguished Lecturer award, has served at Ohio State since 1978, when she began as a lecturer at the university. For the past 13 years, Gifford has been a professor in the department, where her teaching and research interests are focused on the study of personality and abnormal psychology. Weary has also served as an associate editor for, or been a member of, editorial boards of many of the major journals in her field. She holds a Ph.D. and master's from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor's from the University of Kansas.

5. Valerie Lee will begin her appointment as chair of the Department of English on Sept. 1. Lee, whose most recent appointment was as professor and chair of women's studies, was also named chair of the university's Diversity Council. In women's studies, her scholarship focused on American literature, African-American literature, feminist studies, and folklore. Lee began her career at Ohio State in 1999 as professor and vice chair in English, and is a recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. She received her Ph.D. in English from Ohio State, her master's in English from Andrews University, and her bachelor's in English and French from Atlantic Union College.

Student Recruitment and Retention

1. Ohio State recently received a $1.5 million grant from the United States Department of Education. Funds are allocated for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which is designed to recruit and assist first year students who are engaged in, or whose parents are engaged in, migrant or seasonal farm work. The Office of Minority Affairs (OMA) will administer Ohio State's program, and will review the eligibility of currently admitted students to determine if they meet the program's criteria for assistance. OMA will also develop a plan to recruit students through the program for winter and spring quarters.

2. The Minority Engineering Program (MEP) in the College of Engineering continues to recruit minority students who want to become engineers. Improving diversity among engineering students is the goal of the program, which is led by Minnie McGee, assistant dean of engineering. Ohio State partners with Columbus Public Schools to promote engineering to elementary and middle school students. According to McGee, the earlier students prepare for college, the more aware they are of the career opportunities, the kinds of things engineers do, and also the kind of courses they need to take in school in order to be prepared to study engineering. Once accepted, minority-engineering students at Ohio State can participate in a bridge program called PREFACE, now celebrating its 25th year, that has two major components. One is an academic enrichment component and the second is work experience in engineering related job.

Academic Programs

1. The Colleges of the Arts and Sciences curriculum committee has approved a four-course sequence in American Sign Language (ASL) for the general education curriculum. The Colleges of Education, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences collaborated to develop this program and each will contribute to it, with implementation expected in autumn 2002.

2. Two new undergraduate interdisciplinary minor programs are in the final stages of review, with approval expected later in 2002. An interdisciplinary minor in sexuality studies will be offered through the Colleges of Human Ecology, Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The subject of human sexuality has increasingly become the focus of academic research and scholarship from a wide range of perspectives, and the university has faculty who are widely recognized in this field. Another interdisciplinary minor in disability studies, developed by faculty from five colleges‹Education, Humanities, Medicine and Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Social Work‹will include new required courses on the introduction to disability studies, and an upper-level seminar on disability studies.


1. The university's Board of Trustees named a new institute, established as one of the four core priorities of the Academic Plan, the William E. Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in the Americas. The board action recognized Kirwan's commitment to the cause of diversity, which he named as one of his key values when he became president. john a. powell has been appointed as the new director of the institute, and will arrive at Ohio State in December.

2. R. Brian Stone, Gregory N. Washington and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu were honored with the 2002 Alumni Awards for Distinguished Teaching. Students nominated Stone, an assistant professor in industrial, interior, and visual communication design, for ³his excellent motivational skills and dynamic classroom environment.² Washington's nominees cited his ability to communicate a vast knowledge of complex subject matters in a manner understandable to the everyday students who take classes from this associate professor in mechanical engineering. And Wu, an assistant professor of history, was recognized for her ³encouragement of open discussion in the classroom,² specifically in the history courses she designed that integrate race and ethnicity.

3. President Bush awarded Linda K. Weavers, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and geodetic science, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). PECASE is the highest honor given by the government to young researchers. Weavers was presented this award for her efforts in two areas: her research to clean toxic agents from the environment and her recruitment of women engineers.


1. Larry Lewellen, associate vice-president for human resources, was one of several human resources experts on a Columbus Metropolitan Club lunch panel that discussed recruiting and retaining gay employees. The panel discussed the human resource components their organizations have in place to recruit and/or retain gay employees, including personnel policies, domestic partner benefits and gay employee groups.

2. Leonard Dinnerstein, professor of history at the University of Arizona, delivered ³Primary Issues Facing Jewish Americans² in the final installment of this year's President and Provost's Diversity Lecture Series. The 2001-2002 lecture series featured 11 distinguished speakers who addressed the numerous issues of multiculturalism.

3. The John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy sponsored an institute to teach collegiate women about politics and policymaking. The National Education for Women's Leadership (NEW Leadership) featured women educators and politicians such as Bernadine Healy, Betty Montgomery, Priscilla Mead, Jo Ann Davidson and Yvette McGee Brown. The attendees participated in workshops, group and panel discussions, and site visits to learn about topics such as leadership, communication skills, and diversity.

4. Award-winning actress Rae Lewis-Thornton spoke to students in the Young Scholars Program about the reality of living with AIDS. Since her diagnosis with disease, Lewis-Thornton has spoken to numerous groups, and even produced a television documentary, about living with the AIDS virus and how people need to take responsibility for their own bodies. The high-school students who heard Lewis-Thornton's presentation were participating in a two-week Young Scholars summer program, which is intended to increase and better prepare first-generation college-bound African-American, Appalachian, Hispanic and Native-American students.


1. For the second year, a two-day conference, Multiple Perspectives on Disability, was hosted and sponsored by Ohio State. Over 200 people participated in 25 workshops presented in partnership with community, federal and state agencies. This year, the track on disabilities studies was expanded featuring a panel of national leaders that included two Ohio State faculty - Brenda Brueggemann and Stephen Kuuisisto.

2. President Bush appointed Bruce Growick, associate professor of physical activity and educational services in the College of Education, to the United States Access Board. He will serve a four-year term expiring in December 2005. The Access Board oversees the national implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990. Growick will work with the United States Department of Justice and other federal agencies to make sure that the architectural and transportation requirements of ADA are being met. This appointment represents the highest level of recognition in the field of rehabilitation.

3. The Ohio State University was well represented at the 25th Annual Conference of the Association of Higher Education And Disability In Washington DC. L. Scott Lissner, the university's ADA Coordinator, was the conference chair and six Ohio State faculty and staff attended. Topics included teaching students to be self advocates, disability as an integral part of diversity initiatives, and the use of assistive-technology in the workplace.

Minority Purchases

1. The Office of the Treasurer has developed a comprehensive model to foster the employment of minority providers for financial services. The office uses a variety of strategies - creating a welcoming atmosphere, developing a pool of candidates, researching new minority firms, and identifying and removing potential obstacles to recruit and hire minority providers. The strategy has been very successful for the Office of the Treasurer, resulting in close working relationships with a number of vendors. These relationships have also been advantageous for the university. The top performing fixed income manager for the university's endowment during the past three years is a minority firm, and Ohio State's endowment performance is in the top quartile of all colleges and universities.

2. Ohio State's purchasing department hosted a workshop for minority and female business owners titled ³How to do Business with Ohio State² at the Martin Luther King Arts Complex in Columbus. The workshop focused on how to build successful business relationships between the university and minority/female suppliers. Participants learned not only details about the university's purchasing procedures, but also how to acquire state certification as a minority or female supplier. Additionally, they heard from minority providers Clara Brown and Todd Wilson, who shared their insights on creating and maintaining successful relationships with the university.

The Ohio State University Diversity Updates

Winter 2003 | Spring 2003 (PDF) | Summer 2003 (PDF) | Autumn 2003 (PDF)

Winter 2002 | Spring 2002 | Summer 2002 | Autumn 2002

Autumn 2001

Autumn 2000

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