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Friday, Nov 28, 2014

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Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Shari Clarke

Photo courtesy of: Shari Clarke

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Clarke tackles leadership role for Diversity and Inclusion


New Ohio University Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Shari Clarke may just be a one-month-old Bobcat, but she’s already hit the ground running. Clarke began working this January in her new office, set in Cutler Hall, after departing from Marshall University as their vice president of multicultural affairs. She is the new leader of Diversity and Inclusion.
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“I haven’t even had time to set up my office,” she laughs adding she has already been set to work. Her positive attitude about the future of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion cannot be masked.

“I love coming into an environment and building from the ground up. I am very good at that.” Clarke says confidently, a smile on her face.

Clarke is a diversity leader who directed her team to win the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2012. She says she and her team achieved through their “uniqueness” and ability to work across the spectrum of the institution.

“We were very successful infusing diversity on campus and in the community.” says Clarke. Here, at Ohio University, she plans on bringing the same attitude. Among Clarke’s goals is branding the division. Publicizing the diversity office to the entire campus community is important, she explains.

"We don’t have anything that says this is who we are,” she said. One of the ways Clarke will be pursing these goals is by meeting with everyone in the division one on one. In addition, Clarke is meeting with leaders across campus.

­"I’m having massive meetings and great sessions,” Clarke said.

­This job opportunity seems to be a dream job for Clarke, who says she was attracted to the position and the University after visiting the Athens Campus for the first time in nearly 20 years.

­“I think it is what I’ve been working toward my entire career. It’s the job that I wanted to have in the environment I wanted to be in,” Clarke said. “I wanted to be at an institution where people were really walking the walk of diversity not simply talking without visible action.”

It is clear that OHIO students will be a huge priority to Clarke. They are an important aspect to her work.

“They help me to get ideas and provide the pulse of the campus,” Clarke said. She is looking forward to seeing them in her office in the future.

She plans to visit Baker University Center’s Multicultural Center, Women’s Center & LGBT offices to interact with students, since her office in Cutler Hall is not a hub of student activity. Beyond her work, she likes to focus on community service and on her family, including her two sons Austin & Iain.

“I love reading, antiquing, art, and basketball, my older son played for Penn State Hazleton and my younger son plays. I describe myself as a Hoop Mom!”

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