A Diversity Action Plan for The Ohio State University
June 12, 2000
Carole A. Anderson
Dean, College of Nursing
Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences
David Williams, II
Vice President for Student and Urban/Community Affairs
Professor of Law
Dean, College of Engineering
Associate Vice President, Office of University Relations
Chair, Faculty Council
Director, Reprographics and Printing Services
Associate Professor, History
One of the greatest challenges facing colleges and universities today involves creating and maintaining a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of this country. This committee recognizes that this is as much a problem at The Ohio State University as elsewhere. In 1996, the institutions of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago) reaffirmed their commitment to this goal. This commitment was made in recognition of both the importance of educating students to live and work in an increasingly diverse society and the historical exclusion of women and minorities from various academic disciplines and occupations. These universities recognized that not continuing aggressive efforts dedicated to this goal would result in the exacerbation of this country's historic problem and the deprivation of future generations of the knowledge of the significant contributions that can be made by women and minorities to all professions and occupations.
Similarly, 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.
- Enhances the country's economic competitiveness by effectively developing and using the talents of all citizens.
This committee strongly encourages the university to aggressively and publicly defend the principles of affirmative action in admissions, financial aid and hiring decisions. In addition, the university should actively and visibly participate in the national efforts to increase diversity in higher education. The committee looks to the president to lead this effort.
In 1998, a public opinion poll, conducted by Daniel Yankelovich, showed that Americans support diversity in higher education and recognize that diversity is important to student success. A clear majority of the individuals polled agreed that diversity on campus has a positive effect on the campus and on students' education. They also agreed that, because our society is multicultural and we live in a global economy, students need to learn more about persons who are different from them, and that colleges and universities should take explicit steps to ensure diversity in the student body.
Research also shows that a diverse environment has educational benefits. A study conducted by Professor Patricia Gurin of the University of Michigan showed that all students learn better when the learning occurs in a setting where students interact and exchange ideas with others who are different from them. She found that racially and ethnically diverse classrooms and classes that deal with cultural differences allow students to grow intellectually through challenging long-held beliefs and ideas. Her research challenged the common belief that benefits of diversity accrue primarily to racial minorities.
A new report published by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Does Diversity Make a Difference? Three Research Studies on Diversity in College Classrooms," is a compilation of data that supports the contention that campus diversity provides educational benefits for all students. The report is based on faculty surveys and case studies of classroom interactions and provides much needed data demonstrating that multi-ethnic classrooms challenge stereotypes, broaden students' perspective and sharpen critical thinking skills resulting in a positive impact on all students' learning.
A diverse environment at The Ohio State University is central to the mission and to the academic goals that have been set. This belief has long been professed, but the university has not acted aggressively and consistently on this belief. Some progress has been made, especially in the recruitment of women faculty, but, overall, the campus community is not diverse. The profile of faculty, staff and students is not as diverse as the state of Ohio or the nation.
While strategic indicators suggest that OSU has made slow progress in increasing diversity relative to benchmark institutions, the university should and must do better. Furthermore, serious questions can be raised regarding the appropriateness of benchmarking against a group that, as a whole, has not made impressive gains in increasing diversity. More suitably, progress should be judged by a higher standard. Yet, recruitment alone will not suffice. What is also required is the creation of an environment, both in and outside of the classroom, that is welcoming and supportive of all people. Likewise, a strong collective will to change is also required of the entire university community.
Numerous studies and reports focused on diversity and campus climate have been issued over the years, and virtually all have come to the same conclusion: change was necessary. What has been lacking, however, is the university's commitment to create real and measurable change. There has not been an official, university-wide implementation/action plan with identified goals, and concrete strategies for achieving them. The inevitable consequence of this inaction is a university environment that both perpetuates racism, sexism and homophobia and gives privilege to white, heterosexual males.
To address this serious situation, in January 1999 a small committee was charged to develop an action plan to assist the university in achieving its goals related to diversity and to report to the provost/executive vice president and the president.
This committee developed a Draft Diversity Action Plan that was circulated to the university community at the end of November 1999 to stimulate discussion and generate comments. A great deal of interest was expressed in the plan and its objectives -- ranging from a view that the University was already diverse enough and no more effort should be expended to increase diversity to the more common perspective that the plan did not go far enough and was not inclusive of all of the relevant groups that do contribute to the diversity profile of the university. Many commented on specific objectives in the plan but few offered additional, specific strategies for inclusion in the plan.
The committee considered all of these comments, including the call to be more inclusive of many other groups, but reaffirmed that the focus of the proposed diversity plan would remain on increasing the number of women and racial/ethnic minorities and improving the campus climate for all, including persons with different sexual orientations. Many of the suggestions provided by the university community have been incorporated and will provide the basis for continuing discussion and stimulating a sense of ownership by all faculty, students and staff. The committee believes that the goal put forth in this plan to create a culture of inclusion will provide all people with the support needed to succeed. Therefore, we also strongly support the work of the offices dedicated to advocacy for specific groups, and we urge the campus community to take their recommendations and actions seriously.
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.
This plan sets forth six overall objectives and a variety of strategies -- albeit, non exhaustive -- for meeting them. We realize that both the profiles and the applicant pools for students, faculty and staff in the various colleges and vice presidential units are quite varied. Hence, different strategies may be more or less appropriate for individual units and should be tailored to meet their specific needs and goals. However, if senior administrators lack the will to hold individuals accountable by utilizing all of the management tools (e.g., budget, merit increases, reappointment) available to them, the goals of this plan will not be met.
Appendices A and B contain data related to women and minority faculty, staff and students on campus. Although many people believe we have made substantial progress in increasing diversity on campus, we want to do better. Available data reveal the following:
- There has been slow but steady progress in increasing the numbers of minority students
enrolled at the Columbus campus of OSU. In autumn 1999, the percentage of minority
students enrolled was:
7.26% African American
5.29% Asian American
.33% American Indian
- In Ohio, African-Americans represent 11% of the population, Hispanics 1.4 %, Asian Americans 1.0%. By 2010, these percentages are expected to increase to 13.8%, 2.2% and 2.9% respectively.
- In 1999, 17.8% of the freshman admitted were members of minority groups compared to 12.7% in 1989.
- The six-year graduation rate for white students is 57.6%. For African-Americans, it is 37.2%. For Hispanic students, it is 42.4%
- Women faculty constitute 26% of the regular, tenured/tenure tracking faculty although women earned 41.8% of the Ph.Ds awarded in 1998 in all fields.
- In 1999, 12% of the regular, tenure track faculty were members of ethnic minorities. Of the 2968 regular faculty, 3.25% (N=96) were African American, 0.1% (N=3) were Native American, 7.3% (N=216) were Asian American and 1.4% (N=43) were Hispanic.
- The percentage of African-American, Native American and Hispanic American faculty has remained essentially the same since 1990. Over the ten years there have been slight increases in the actual numbers of ethnic minorities except for African Americans who have decreased by five. (The total faculty has decreased by 383)
- In 1999, 26.6% (N=790) of the regular, tenure track faculty was female. Because the overall size of the faculty has decreased by 383 since 1990 the percentage of women has increased from 23.5% to 26.6%, but the actual number of women faculty has increased by only 2.
- There are 192 regular, clinical track faculty in the six health sciences colleges. 42.7% (N=82) are female, 4.2% (N=8) are African American and 4.7% (N=9) are Asian American and 1.0% (N=2) are Hispanic.
- The percentage of women and ethnic minorities among professional staff has remained relatively constant since 1990.
- The number of women and/or ethnic minorities in senior leadership positions including vice presidents, deans and department chairs is small.
The University's Goals
The university is committed to becoming 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. In order to achieve this recognition, bold steps must be taken to recruit and retain greater numbers of women and minority faculty, staff and students and to create a supportive environment in which they can succeed and reach their fullest potential.
Incentives and rewards must be made available to individuals and units that develop successful models to achieve a diverse community, and accountability for achieving the goals must be assigned. The entire campus community must assume responsibility for advancing the university's goal of increasing diversity. The president, provost, vice presidents, deans and all senior level administrators must be held accountable for progress (or lack thereof) made in advancing the goals of increasing diversity and changing the campus climate to a more inclusive and supportive one.
The university's land-grant mission obligates OSU to serve the people of Ohio and the nation through teaching, research and service. The short-term goal of this plan is to create a faculty, student and staff profile that reflects the demographic profile of the state. Long term, however, the university population must reflect national demographics. Specific steps to reach our goal range from short-term strategies, such as targeted and aggressive recruiting when the pool is diverse, to strategies to increase the pool -- including long-term strategies of working with K-12 schools to increase the graduation and college attendance rates among ethnic minority students.
A. Create a supportive environment that is welcoming for all individuals.
B. Recruit and retain greater numbers of women and minorities into faculty, staff and administrative positions (including deans, chairs, and vice presidents).
C. Recruit, retain, and graduate greater numbers of ethnic minority students.
D. Provide incentives to academic and academic support units for developing models of excellence for increasing diversity.
E. Collect and organize data to systematically and effectively assess progress and to align/realign programs intended to enhance diversity.
F. Assign accountability to achieve the progress envisioned in this action plan.
The Action Plan:
In order to achieve the objectives, the following action plan will be undertaken. Each section of the plan focuses on one of the objectives and describes specific actions for consideration. Many of the identified strategies are already in place, and these should be continued when proven successful. Some strategies are more or less appropriate for one unit than another. Ideally, each unit should customize its own plan using the suggested strategies.
The plan is intended to supplement and complement activities that units undertake in order to address specific issues and factors that might bear on their progress and success. There will be costs associated with implementing this plan. But, success must not depend solely on the availability of new money. Rather, the identified actions need to be incorporated into existing operations and support wherever possible. It is recommended, however, that the provost should designate some amount of money each year to assist in the implementation of the suggested programs.
We also recognize that all of the actions suggested in this plan cannot be undertaken at once and recommend that the provost identify specific targets at the beginning of each academic year to be implemented that year.
A. Create a supportive environment that is welcoming for all.
Achievement of a community supportive of a diverse population will require coordinated efforts of all the vice presidential units to enhance those activities that have already produced results and to support the development of new initiatives that will assist in greater achievement of the goals for diversity. Each vice president will be held accountable to the president for the degree of success that is reached in achieving a greater sense of community on campus that is characterized by a climate of inclusion.
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).
Increasing the diversity of faculty, staff and administrators is probably the single most important objective that will have a substantial impact on all other objectives. The goal is to make and sustain substantial, annual increases in order to reach the long-range goal of mirroring national demographics. The responsibility for this initiative rests with the vice presidents and deans. Where the pool of potential candidates is already limited, the units will be required to develop strategies for increasing this pool (e.g., increasing ethnic diversity among the graduate student body). Particular attention should be given to units that have a substantial pool and have failed to increase the diversity of their faculty or staff. At the same time, recognition should be given to successful units.
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 minority students
For the past decade, the university has been systematically raising the standard for admission and plans to continue this process. This ambition must not be allowed to have a negative impact on the recruitment of minority students. Therefore, we must continue to create significant and aggressive initiatives to accompany successful ongoing initiatives in order to enhance further our recruitment of high-ability minority students.
African-Americans constitute the largest minority group in Ohio, and OSU appears to be recruiting a reasonable number of the existing pool of these high-ability high school graduates. OSU is recruiting 20% of this pool compared to recruiting 10% of the highest ability white students. We cannot be satisfied with only recruiting 20%. OSU can and must recruit more of these high-ability students and increase the effort to recruit more out-of-state students. Doing so will be particularly important to the goal of improving the record on retention and graduation for African-Americans that is substantially below the overall rate and the rate for white students. But, key to improved retention and graduation rates are the concerns of campus climate that must be addressed simultaneously.
The overall goal of our recruitment should be to have the student body mirror Ohio's projected demographics in ten years. By 2010, it is projected that the proportion of ethnic minorities will be: African-American, 13.8%; Asian, 2.2%; and Hispanic, 2.9%. In some fields, women are also underrepresented and, as such, should be targeted for recruitment. Much more needs to be done if the university is to realize the goal of becoming a leader in the state and the nation in the areas of increasing the pool of college bound minority students, retaining a larger percentage of those recruited and establishing a graduation rate for them that is at parity with non-minority students. Significant progress can only be made by the active engagement of the provost and executive vice president and his staff, the vice president for student affairs and his/her staff, the Office of Minority Affairs, college deans and faculty.
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 create databases in order to systematically and effectively assess progress and align/realign programs to achieve diversity goals.
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 progress envisioned in this 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.
This plan is a living document. Simply stated, the goals relate to significantly improving the representation of women and minorities among the student body, faculty and staff; improving the classroom and social climate on campus for all members of the university community; and enhancing the education and educational processes that take place in this university.
The goals of the plan and the strategies that have been outlined to meet them are extensive. It is not expected that the university will move forward on all of these at once. Rather, the goals should be prioritized, and deliberate, and focused goals should be set each year. It is only through continuous and deliberate action that progress will be made. Although many of the actions proposed in this plan are doable with current resources it is likely that real progress and success will require additional resources. To that end, we recommend that the executive vice president and provost establish an annual allocation to be given to these initiatives. At the same time, many of the activities in which OSU is currently engaged will help move us forward if this plan and its goals become the guiding principles for actions.
Successful achievement of the goals of this plan is important for many reasons, but prominent among them is the need to provide students with a complete and excellent education that prepares them for future work and careers in a global, multicultural world and economy.
- First Year Retention Rates - Breakdown by Race/Ethnic Category
- Six Year Graduation Rates - Breakdown by Race/Ethnic Category
- Retention and Graduation Rates - Breakdown by Gender and Race/Ethnic Category