Accomplishments

The TEAM recommendations of September 1999 fell into five thematic areas. I am pleased to report that we have made progress campus-wide in each of these areas over the course of the last two years. Though the details are reported in Appendix B of this document, I would like to illustrate our progress with a few key examples.

  1. A supportive and inclusive environment. The development of the charter commitment to the OSU Cultural Centers, which began in early 2001, is an excellent example of our advancement in this area (Appendix C). Students, faculty, staff and administrators came together at each of the cultural centers to discuss the university's commitment to their future. The result was an irrevocable commitment to the value and future of the cultural centers, which will be signed January 22, 2002. It solidifies institutional support for the experiences of students in historically underrepresented groups and ensures that they will always have places on campus where their cultures are affirmed and celebrated. Importantly, it also recognizes that affirming and supporting diversity enhances the educational experience of all community members, not just those from historically underrepresented groups. Finally, this charter calls for a new form of collaborative leadership in "making decisions that shape and alter the cultural landscape of the university."

    This commitment can be a paradigm for a new way to embrace and incorporate cultural diversity into the core of our institutional being. We go beyond merely inviting people into the existing dominant culture; we strive to create a new and inclusive culture that does not entitle one group at the expense of another. As we think about the future of Oregon State University, let us continue to explore similar collaborations and develop shared decision-making models that blur organizational boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.

  2. Improved capacity to address race issues. A coordinated plan for timely, comprehensive University response to racial or ethnic incidents on campus has now been developed and is ready to be put into action. This plan clearly outlines the procedures and practices to be followed by the President, the President's Cabinet, other OSU Central Administrative Units, and the Student Affairs Administrative and Response Team-2. Like the Cultural Centers Charter, this plan was developed by a diverse group of committed individuals from a wide range of offices throughout the campus and can serve as a model for future collaborative efforts.

  3. Improved access to critical information about diversity-related resources. Though there are now many sources of information available in a wide variety of formats, I draw your attention to two relatively new resources. First, student interns in a cross-departmental collaborative effort between University Marketing, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Memorial Union Programs Council, Student Affairs, and University Publications, developed the "Diversity Resources at Oregon State University" poster. This poster, now in its second year of use, is particularly effective because of its user-friendly student-oriented design. Second, Student Affairs developed and maintains a "Diversity at OSU" web site at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/diversity. This site encourages commentary through the use of narratives by OSU students of color and others, thus building a personal understanding of diversity at OSU. In addition, the site provides information about and links to a variety of multicultural resources and information.

  4. Improved teaching and learning interactions. The Faculty Senate and the Difference, Power and Discrimination Program have promoted interactive learning experiences as a key teaching method. A variety of workshops have been sponsored on campus to train faculty in the use of these techniques. Please see Appendix B for examples of how such efforts to integrate interactive learning into our teaching practices have moved through the university.

  5. Assessment and evaluation of effort and progress. As part of our evaluation effort, I regularly address the status of diversity on the campus in my discussions with the university community, and I produce this annual report on the status of diversity on our campuses. In an address to the Legislature in December, I advised them that college graduates command incomes averaging $20,000 greater than high school graduates, and are statistically far less likely to be in jail, to be unemployed, or to require expensive publicly funded social services. Though OSU recognizes the increased earning power and reduced social costs of enrolling and graduating more students--including members of historically underrepresented groups--we have not yet identified the quantitative means by which we will measure our success in this area. The President’s Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs and others have given me generous input on this topic; they believe, as I do, that committing to a tangible assessment plan is one of the keys to our continued progress as a diverse university.