Ohio University

Ohio University Board of Trustees affirms inclusive excellence strategic planning efforts

Published: April 8, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Collaborative partnership results in goals and action plan focused on diversity and inclusion

Today, the Ohio University Board of Trustees affirmed OHIO’s new inclusive excellence strategic plan, which was developed over two years of planning and in close partnership with OHIO students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

“As an institution of higher learning, our very existence embodies the spirit of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Board of Trustees Chair Janelle Coleman said. “We are uniquely positioned to unlock thinking and educate about the value that each and every person brings to our society through our Individual and shared experiences. I am proud of my alma matter for their leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am proud, too, that this plan was solidified during my term as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.”

A blueprint for all administrative and academic units at OHIO, the inclusive excellence strategic plan identifies four overarching strategic goals, related to creating a sense of belonging for all, recruiting and retaining a diverse campus community, diversifying curricula, and cultivating an increased commitment to data collection and continuous improvement. In support of these goals, the strategic plan calls for integrative administrative policies, structures, and initiatives that effectively and proactively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Through the goals of the inclusive excellence strategic plan, it is my hope that we will strengthen our culture so everyone in our community feels a sense of belonging,” President M. Duane Nellis said.  “While honest conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion may be difficult, the need for direct, active, and honest attention to equity, inclusivity, and diversity is as urgent today as ever. It is my hope, that through our actions, OHIO will continue to improve our standing as a leader in this important national conversation.” 

The goal of the inclusive excellence strategic plan is to promote an atmosphere of understanding for all OHIO community members, including all with diverse identities related to culture, race, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexuality, ability, nationality, and other differences. Through this plan, the University strives to provide all students with the experiences necessary to successfully compete and achieve in an increasingly diverse and complex society. 

“This plan will advance OHIO’s priorities by outlining concrete actions that we will take to build accountability, awareness, and enthusiasm for equity and inclusivity not just at OHIO but all across our local and global communities,” Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban said. “We hope that, through our actions, we will foster and institutionalize a welcoming campus culture at OHIO that is appealing to an increasingly diverse staff and student body. Our ultimate goal is to inspire and transform our students, faculty, and staff so that we can live up to our shared vision of becoming the nation's best transformative learning community.”

Based on the strategic goals that began to form with feedback from the campus community in 2019 following the inaugural Diversity Leadership Institute, the University community will implement continuous and data-driven steps that will help move our campus forward.

In Fall 2020 and early Spring 2021, a comprehensive list of campus-wide action items was collected during invited and open sessions with faculty hosted by the Provost and more than 40 feedback sessions with students, faculty, and staff groups hosted virtually by the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.

Participants provided feedback to prioritize an achievable set of goals and action items to implement immediately in the remainder of the 2021 academic year.

For more information and details about the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic plan, visit https://www.ohio.edu/sites/default/files/2021-04/IE_Strategic_Plan.pdf.