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Introductory Letter

Draft Diversity Action Plan

The University's Goals


The Action Plan

Committee Members

The Ohio State University


Submitted For Review


One of the greatest challenges facing colleges and universities today is to continue transforming their campus communities to one that reflects the rich diversity of this country. In 1996, the institutions of the CIC reaffirmed their commitment to this goal.* This commitment was made in recognition of both the historical exclusion of women and minorities from various academic disciplines and occupations and the importance of educating students to live and work in an increasingly diverse society. These universities recognized the danger in not continuing aggressive efforts dedicated to this goal which would be to exacerbate our historic problem and to deprive future generations of the significant contributions that can be made by women and minorities to all professions and occupations.

A diverse environment at The Ohio State University is central to our mission and to the academic goals which we have set. Although some progress has been made, our campus community is not as diverse as the state of Ohio or the nation. While recognizing the efforts that have been made to increase diversity, the university should and must do better. We must continue to create an environment, both in and outside of the classroom that is welcoming and supportive of all people.

Many studies and reports focused on diversity and campus climate have been issued over the years and virtually all have come to the same conclusion that change must occur. What has been lacking however, is an implementation/action plan with identified goals, and concrete strategies for achieving them. Our statistics show the following:

  • The number of female faculty in 1990 was 788, in 1998 it was 784. While the number of African American faculty was 101 in 1990, by 1998 it had only grown to 102. Hispanic faculty numbered 42 in 1990 and 43 in 1998.
  • Overall, during the 1990s, the percentage of African American faculty has risen a mere 0.4%, Hispanic faculty a scant 0.2%, Asian-American faculty 1.3%, female faculty only 3.1%, and American Indian moving from 0.03% to 0% to now 0.1%.
  • In the area of Chairs and Directors in tenure granting units, the number of positions ranges between 98 and 124 between the years of 1990 and 1998. At no time have more than 22% been female and most years women comprise between 10% and 16%. At no time has there been more than 2 African American Chairs/Directors, and no more than 8 Asian Americans. Sadly there have not been any American Indians nor Hispanic in these positions in the last decade.


*Advancing Diversity, Achieving Excellence. Committee on Institutional Cooperation, May 1996.

  • During the 1990s there have been 37 deans of which 7 were female, 1 was African American, 1 was Asian American, 1 was Hispanic, and none were American Indian. During the same period there have been 16 Associate Vice Provosts of which 7 were female, 1 was African American, 1 was Hispanic, and there were no Asian Americans nor American Indian.

In this light, this report, a blueprint for change, sets forth six overall objectives and strategies for meeting them. Successful attainment of these objectives will require assigned responsibility for concrete action and regular measurement of progress.


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 culture of inclusion. 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 diversity and accountability for achieving the goals must be assigned. All administrators must be responsible and held accountable for advancing the university’s goal of increasing diversity.

The university’s land-grant mission obligates us 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.



A. Create a supportive environment that is welcoming for individuals of all races, nationalities, religions, genders, sexual orientations and those with disabilities.

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 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 create data bases in order to systematically and effectively assess progress and align/realign programs intended to enhance diversity.

F. Assign accountability to achieve 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 that must be undertaken in order to be successful. It is recognized that many of the identified strategies are already in place and these should be continued when proven successful. 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. Success of this plan 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.


A. Create a supportive environment that is welcoming for individuals of all races, nationalities, religions, genders, and sexual orientation and for those with disabilities.

Achievement of a community supportive of a diverse population will require coordinated efforts of all the vice presidential units to enhance those activities that are already producing 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 by FY01 a multicultural center on campus. The Hale Center will remain a free-standing 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) Establish The Women’s Place in FY99-00.

(d) Develop a plan to make the campus environment more welcoming and supportive to women and minorities.

(e) Appoint a task force to determine how the university community can be more supportive of various religious beliefs and practices in light of legal constraints.

(f) Ensure that WOSU stations’ programming fully reflects the interests and tastes of a culturally diverse population.

(g) Hold deans and vice presidents accountable for creating and maintaining a climate inclusive of diversity within their colleges/offices.

(h) Extend university benefits to domestic partners.

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 by spring quarter, 2000 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 have populations which are, themselves, diverse.

(e) Sponsor bi-annual workshops, beginning in AY 99-00, to foster a greater understanding of and tolerance for individuals with same sex orientation.

(f) 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.

g) Require constituency offices within his office to develop collaborative programming aimed at exploring diversity issues and promoting dialogue among people of all backgrounds.

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. Particular attention should be placed on 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.

1. The Provost will:

(a) Hold deans and academic department chairs accountable for increasing the representation of women and minority faculty by factoring in the success of reaching goals into their annual evaluations.

(b) Ensure that funds are available to assist units in hiring minority faculty at senior ranks.

(c) Evaluate the Faculty Hiring and Assistance Program in FY00 to determine whether it is meeting its intended goal and if it is not, deploy these funds to another initiative directed toward the same goal.

(d) Ensure that the university conducts aggressive national searches with emphasis on identifying qualified women and minority candidates for faculty and administrative positions.

(e) Develop information packets and a list of contact persons to assist units in recruiting women and minority faculty and staff.

(f) Initiate workshops for faculty 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) Continue to refine existing and develop new "family friendly" personnel policies to improve the working conditions for women and minorities.

(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 progress.

(k) Ensure that the diversity goals set forth in the Annual Academic Plan are met.

2. College Deans and Department Chairs will:

(a) Institute pre-doctoral fellowship programs to attract ABD women and minority candidates who will be committed to teach at OSU for a specified time following receipt of the Ph.D.

(b) Ensure that faculty search committees aggressively pursue women and minority candidates.

(c) Develop a plan to increase the pool of women and minority candidates in those fields that have a small pool.

(d) Ensure that the climate within the unit is welcoming to women and individuals from diverse backgrounds.

(e) Implement "family-friendly" work policies to improve the working conditions particularly for women faculty and maintain a climate in which women feel free to access these benefits.

(f) Support staff to attend workshops offered by Office of Human Resources and credit bearing university classes to enhance their skills for advancement.

(g) Encourage more minority undergraduates (through merit-based fellowship awards and graduate associate support) to attend graduate school at OSU as a means of increasing the future faculty pool.

(h) Establish a post-doctoral program for women and minority Ph.D. graduates with a commitment to hire them as faculty.


C. Recruit, retain and graduate greater numbers of minority students

There are significant ongoing initiatives within the university to recruit greater numbers of minority students to the university. In fact, OSU appears to be recruiting a reasonable number of the existing pool of high school graduates in Ohio. However, 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 his staff, the vice president for student affairs, college deans and faculty.

1. The Provost will:

(a) Evaluate minority recruitment programs to determine their success 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) Evaluate the strategic plan for recruiting minority students and strengthen the successful initiatives and determine causes of those that are not successful and correct them if possible.

(c) Encourage academic deans and department chairs to facilitate faculty involvement with undergraduate recruitment.

(d) Enhance academic support services for non-traditional students, typically a more diverse group of 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 00.

(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 schools as feeder schools.

(i) Ensure that the diversity goals set forth in the Annual Academic Plan are met.

2. The College Deans will:

(a)Evaluate the potential of direct admission to the college for increasing the enrollment of women and minorities.

(b) Develop faculty mentoring programs for minority students.

(c) Work with faculty to introduce more diverse curriculum offerings to attract a diverse student audience and to enrich the understanding of the contributions made by women and minorities to various fields of study.

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.

4. The Dean of University College will:

(a) In partnership with the Vice President for Student 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.

5. The Vice President for Development will:

(a) Develop 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

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.

E. Collect and organize data to create data bases 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 data bases 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 on going 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.

Although many of the actions proposed in this plan are doable with current resources, it is recognized that some new resources will be required to reach the level of success to which we aspire. To that end, the senior vice president for finance and administration and the vice president for development will develop a revenue generation plan to produce the public and private resources necessary to support this plan.