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Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis shares audit findings to improve diversity and inclusion

Recommendations to help set the stage for national leadership goals


Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis and Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina shared the following message with the OHIO campus community on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017:

We are reaching out today to share some progress toward one of the University’s central priorities – becoming a national leader for diversity and inclusion.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina and his team have recently completed a thorough audit of University activities related to diversity and inclusion and developed a series of recommendations, setting the stage as we embark upon a national search for OHIO’s first vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner and I have reviewed and accepted the report, which provides a unique lens through which to view OHIO’s current state and envision our future, as we endeavor to create a robust institutional climate around diversity and inclusion. This is about more than just hiring a vice president for diversity and inclusion. It’s about closely examining our current structure and re-imagining how we can invest our strategic resources to advance our efforts in this important area.

In order to provide a comprehensive perspective on diversity and inclusion at our University, Dr. Pina and his team held more than 100 meetings with students, faculty, staff, alumni and former OHIO employees. They benchmarked our work against other public university members of Ohio’s Inter-University Council and Mid-American Conference schools. 

The report features an overview of OHIO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (which includes the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center (LGBT), the Multicultural Center and Programs, Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR), and the Women's Center) as well as University-wide efforts and accomplishments to date in the area of diversity and inclusion. 

We cannot, however, rest on our successes. It is clear that we need to continue to evolve in the way in which we think about diversity and inclusion in terms of OHIO’s culture. Considerations must be made for nearly every aspect of University decision-making, from personnel recruitment to budgetary decisions to curriculum planning. In an effort to encapsulate and address many of the concerns that were shared by our Bobcat community, we must focus on the following recommendation areas to bolster our diversity and inclusion efforts:

  • Incentivize action
  • Promote synergies
  • Be proactive
  • Invest in experience
  • Define accountability


Dr. Pina and I would like to express our gratitude to the many voices that made this report a reality. It is our collective belief that the cornerstone of a quality educational experience is one that engages a global community. We are committed to investing in diversity and inclusion to ensure that engaging, productive conversations continue to take place within our community in authentic, thoughtful ways. Together, we all can establish an environment where difference in all of its forms is welcomed and celebrated.

Best regards,

M. Duane Nellis
President

Jason Pina                                                       
Vice President for Student Affairs
Interim Chief Diversity Officer