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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
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President McDavis announces comprehensive diversity program

ATHENS, Ohio (April 4, 2007) -- President Roderick J. McDavis announced today the development of a comprehensive diversity program at Ohio University. With a reorganization of Ohio University's diversity and equity initiatives, the university will strengthen the campuswide diversity initiatives and advance the institution's core mission of academics. The reorganization will take effect July 1.

"In order for us to achieve our commitment to diversity, we must be strategic and create key efficiencies to improve our campus climate," McDavis said. "This reorganization will unite our equity services and diversity initiatives."

The new structure will bring together those programs and services under one umbrella with the goal of tying the university's diversity efforts more closely to the academic mission. The offices and programs that will be incorporated into the structure will report to a vice provost for equity and diversity, which will eliminate the President's Office for Diversity and the assistant to the president for diversity position. The person in this senior-level position will serve as the chief diversity officer for the Athens campus and will report to the provost and sit on the president's cabinet. The university will hold a national search for the vice provost for equity and diversity who will lead the unified function.

Reporting to the vice provost will be an executive director for diversity programs, which will direct Multicultural Programs, International Student and Faculty Services, Scholarship Programs and Retention, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Program Center.

Another executive director will have responsibilities for equity services and will lead the Women's Center, Institutional Equity, Disability Services, and newly created Faculty Services, which will be focused on improving diversity within the faculty. The assistant to the president for institutional equity will assume the title of director. Two current directors will become executive directors and will continue to oversee their areas as well.

"We need a centralized function with individuals who wake up each day empowered to identify ways to improve diversity and equity at Ohio University," McDavis said.

A Diversity Advisory Council will be created to advise and make recommendations to the vice provost on additional ways to strengthen our diversity and equity efforts on an ongoing basis. This council will comprise constituent group representation including students, faculty, staff and alumni.

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Media Contact: Executive Director of Ohio University Communications and Marketing Joe Brennan, 740-593-2563 or brennanj@ohio.edu

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