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Broad Diversity Resources at the University

Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance

This office ensures that the university maintains an employment and educational environment free from discrimination and harassment. This includes discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, ethnicity, national origin, national ancestry, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military service or veteran status, mental or physical disability, or genetic information. They conduct trainings and also take reports of misconduct.

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion

This office is led by the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Shari Clarke. There are many resources available at this site, some of which are also described in more detail in various sections below. The office has a Diversity Advisory Council, which assists the Vice Provost.

University Diversity Commission

This commission is chaired by the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and makes recommendations to the President, Provost, and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion on campus-wide diversity issues.

Broad Resources at the University for Recruitment and Retention


University: Office of Multicultural Success and Retention (OMSAR)

This office works to recruit and retain undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds to Ohio University. They offer several scholarships for undergraduate students, including Appalachian Scholars, Ohio Promise Scholars, Templeton Scholars, Rankin Scholars, and Urban Scholars. They also offer the LINKS program to undergraduates from diverse backgrounds, which occurs prior to beginning classes in the fall semester of their first year and involves working with a peer mentor during their entire first year.

Department: The Psychology Department offers the Sandra Lawson Taylor fellowship to graduate students from underserved backgrounds. Decisions about the fellowship offers are made at the time of admission to the program.


University: Diverse Junior Faculty Mentoring Program

This program allows tenure-track underrepresented faculty to be paired with a tenured professor elsewhere at the university who can serve as a mentor through the tenure process. Current tenured faculty can apply to become mentors as well. Dr. Julie Suhr serves as a mentor for this program. (There is also a staff mentoring program.)

College of Arts & Sciences: Diversity Commission

In Fall of 2015, then-Dean Bob Frank appointed Dr. Judith Grant to head the CAS Diversity Commission to develop action plans for hiring and retaining a diverse faculty. The plan was adopted in Feb 17, 2016.

Department: In the Psychology Department, new faculty select a senior faculty member to serve as their mentor during the probationary period. The mentor serves not only as a person to provide information and support, but also represents the new faculty member in departmental evaluation meetings. In addition, to assist with retention, all new faculty receive one less course assignment in their first three years and are given a full-time graduate research assistant in their first or second year of their position to aid them in getting their lab operational. The department also has several mechanisms in place to help new faculty secure grant funding for their research. While these efforts are available to all faculty members and thus provide important support to aid in the retention of faculty generally, they also aid in the retention of faculty members from diverse backgrounds.

University Diversity Awards

Undergraduate: Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award: An award for undergraduate student given away yearly, based on how the student has advanced institutional diversity and inclusion goals. Deadlines are in February, and awards are presented at the Annual Leadership Awards Gala.

Undergraduate and Graduate: OMSAR sponsors a diversity and inclusion award for research and creative activity presentations at the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo; this is open to any presenter.

University Diversity Training

Summer Institute for Diversity Education: SIDE is a 30-hour curriculum using intercultural communication techniques to prompt cross cultural learning and to build diversity education and facilitation skills. Individuals can sign up (typically in February) for the program, which is conducted in the summer. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students are all welcome to participate. Currently in the department, the program has been completed by the Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Julie Suhr, who is now a certified SIDE facilitator. She plans to present some of the SIDE training over the course of the next academic year to any ADDRESSING Diversity Committee members and any other interested members of the department.

Executive SIDE training: This is a 5-hour curriculum covering some of the same topics but specifically for executives.

Other College and University Diversity Opportunities

Cultural Conversation: Cultural Conversation is offered annually through the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Last year's event was in the fall semester and is advertised through email and social media, as well as the Ohio University website.

Diversity Studies Certificate (for undergraduates)

Diversity in the Community

The Diversity Index for Athens is 31 (likelihood that two persons chosen at random would belong to different racial/ethnic groups; the U.S. Diversity Index is 60.6). Athens is 147 out of 1,204 other cities in Ohio on this index, at the 88th percentile.

Residents of Athens self-identify as 85 percent white, 4 percent African American/Black, about 3 percent Hispanic/Latino, about 3 percent multiracial, less than 1 percent Asian/Asian-American, and less than 1 percent Native American. Of Athens residents, about 28 percent have some graduate education, 27 percent hold a college degree, 15 percent have some college, 10 percent completed high school, and 8 percent did not complete high school.

Athens City is only at the second percentile in median household income and at the first percentile for per capita income. Of Athens residents, about 38 percent have an income under 15,000, 17 percent in the 15,000 to 24,999 range, 8 percent in the 25,000-34,999 range, and 9 percent in the 35,000-49,999 range.

Culture of Inclusion Task Force

The local community has partnered with Ohio University to form the Culture of Inclusion Task Force—a campus-community collaboration to develop and lead an action plan for enhancing inclusion and diversity throughout southeast Ohio. The Task Force will work to move Ohio University and Athens-area culture in a welcoming and inclusive direction by committing to diversifying local economies both in the populations they serve and in the entrepreneurs they encourage; to creating safe, welcoming, and culturally relevant spaces for people and groups of all types; to making our local institutions, organizations, and communities more welcoming and inclusive; and to building communication and collaboration among all who are interested in diversity and inclusion. The Task Force hopes to bring together representatives from local government, workers in the local educational system (at all levels), and leaders from the nonprofit and community service sector. Contact Evan Young ( or 740-593-7301) to become involved.