Announced in June 2020, Ohio Wesleyan’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Action Plan is intended to create meaningful and immediate change on campus. These actions, focused on four key areas, involve making positive changes to:

  • The structure and policies we use to strengthen equitable and inclusive practices.
  • The ways we deliver our core mission of teaching and learning.
  • The ways we recruit and retain students and employees.
  • The measures we use to ensure that our campus climate affirms clearly and boldly the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To share suggestions for additional Action Plan updates, please use the DEI Improvement Form.


January 14, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council / Office of the Chief Diversity Officer

Five-Year DEI Strategic Plan

  • Ongoing efforts to develop a five-year strategic plan for the University with Dawn Chisebe, Chief Diversity Officer; Dr. Ashley Biser, Assistant Provost for Curriculum and Equity; Imogene Johnson, Director of Human Resources; and Jason Timpson, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, meeting with groups across campus to gather input. A town hall meeting with WCSA is being planned for February to discuss DEI strategies, goals, and actions with students.

Training

  • Completed DEI Module training and follow-up discussions with all athletic teams.
  • Working with Destiny Coleman and the Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship to develop training for Woltemade Center Scholars.
  • Continued training for campus job search committees with open positions.
  • Worked with the Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) to establish protocols for faculty and student board members involved in faculty evaluations. This includes DEI training centered on completing evaluations and writing letters of evaluation.

Programming

  • Collaborated with the Delaware County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee to plan the 2022 MLK Celebration.
    • January 16 – Panel discussion of the documentary film, “FUNDI: The Story of Ella Baker.”
    • January 17 – “Why We Can’t Wait” event, including TED Talk-style presentations.
  • Planned the DEI Book Club reading of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee.
  • Planning workshops in late February for faculty/staff and students (details to come) and additional programming for March.

Grants

  • Student Anna duSaire was awarded a new DEI Grant. duSaire's film project will center the voices of BIPOC students at OWU to better understand their sense of belonging on our campus. She hopes to help the campus gain insight into which practices and policies work well, and which fall short or have unintended impacts on those who are members of marginalized communities.
  • The grant program has a rolling deadline for additional student funding.
  • The next faculty/staff proposal grant deadline is February 1.

Support

  • The Bishops of Color and Mosaic groups have continued to be active with monthly events scheduled for faculty and staff. Bishops of Color is for faculty and staff who identify as BIPOC, and Mosaic is for faculty/staff who identify as LGBTQIA+. Individuals interested in participating may contact Dawn Chisebe.
  • Two DEI Council members are part of the First-Generation Advisory Group, which held events last semester.

Academic Affairs Division

Faculty Cohort Hiring

  • Academic Affairs is in the midst of hiring six new tenure-track faculty. Building on the success of last year’s cluster hire with an emphasis on flexibility, interdisciplinarity, and DEI, a new cohort has been advertised with positions in Computer Science, Education, English, Math, Physics, and Psychology. Each position has been designed to prioritize candidates’ potential to support BIPOC, LGBTQ+, first-generation, and low-income students. The search process also has been revised to include required DEI training for all faculty and students participating in the process.

Pronouns and Gender Identity

  • Information Services announced that students now have the option to choose their pronouns and gender identification in Self-Service. Faculty and the Registrar are able to view pronouns (if students have opted to provide them) in their “Class List” and “My Advisees” pages. Additional system integrations are in the planning stage.

Faculty Development

  • Monthly Teaching Circles continue to incorporate a variety of DEI themes. For example, November’s Teaching Circle focused on Inclusive Syllabi and was led by Jen Lisy, Laura Tuhela-Reuning, Susan Gunasti, Nicholas Dietrich, and Vanessa Hildebrand.

First-Gen Advisory Board

  • The university’s newly launched First-Gen Advisory Board strives to foster and deepen institutional support for first-generation students at OWU. The board’s initial semester of programming included a first-gen social, developing internship opportunities for first-gen and low-income students, the development of new resources for first-gen students, and a panel on OWU first-gen experiences for National First-Gen College Celebration

Board of Trustees

  • The Organization Committee of the Board of Trustees continues to seek trustees who bring diverse experiences, backgrounds, and identities to strengthen the work of the Board.
  • The Board of Trustees will devote its entire winter meeting as a virtual retreat focused on the Strategic Imperative of Inclusive Excellence.

Enrollment and Communications Division

  • Fall travel (in-person and virtual) included a number of community-based organizations (CBOs) and others with a focus on under-represented students.
  • Launched College Greenlight newsletter (as part of partnership) to CBOs across the country.
  • Completed training by College Greenlight staff on how to utilize the platform to access CBOs. Staff members were asked to identify three to five CBOs in their territory to reach out to and begin partnering with.
  • Completed NACAC Antiracist Institute Professional Development Sessions in November and December.
  • Participated in inclusive language training (by Chad Johns and Jason Timpson) during the November retreat.
  • Participated in implicit bias training conducted by Ja’Niah Downing, Purdue University’s Associate Director-Diversity and Inclusion, in December.

Finance and Administration Division

Our work over the last few months has included developing and exploring Human Resources recommendations for DEI strategy-building, including the following:

  • OWU’s DEI initiatives to be strategic throughout the organization and embedded within all we do as a part of our organizational DNA.
  • DEI engagement must occur across all OWU constituencies and at all levels. This includes:
    • Departmental goals, objectives, and budgets.
    • Individual development, growth, and work roles.

Student Engagement and Success Division

Esports

  • Our Esports Program Coordinator is reviewing the publication “Collegiate Esports DEI Handbook” for recommendations on how to ensure our program is focused on DEI concerns.

Chaplain’s Office

  • Cosponsored one and supported all of the “Let’s Talk About Social Justice” student-led dinner series events. Topics included interfaith, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.
  • Held two “Meet a Faith Leader” events: one Orthodox Christian and one Secular Humanist.
  • Co-led the DEI Book Club (Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks) for faculty and staff.
  • Participated on a panel of first-gen faculty and staff for students.
  • Participated on a panel in SJ 110 on gender and sexuality.
  • Led an OWU Connection (Theory-to-Practice Grant) experience to Chile with students.

Community Service Learning

  • Director received the 2020 Unity Award for support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community.
  • Helped OWU’s Greek community connect with Delaware nonprofits through the Greek Season of Service, emphasizing service at sites that promote racial equity and socio-economic awareness.
  • Supported and participated in “Let’s Talk About Social Justice,” a student-led dinner series featuring discussions on religion and spirituality, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.
  • UC 160: Helped faculty arrange service projects with an emphasis on socioeconomic differences, environmental equity, food insecurity, and intergenerational awareness.
  • Ed 110: Helped facilitate a wide array of semester-long service-learning placements with an emphasis on racial and socio-economic differences.
  • Ed 251: Arranged partnerships for Educational Psychology placements at two urban schools – one predominantly Black and one completely Hispanic. Students came together during class sessions and with journal entries to compare, contrast, and reflect upon their experiences.
  • SJ 110 Course Activities:
    • Convened and moderated in-class panel discussions on the following topics:
      • Poverty and Social Justice (with Family Promise director/intake social worker/board member and JusticeMobile pro-bono lawyer).
      • Race Justice (with Delaware residents representing multiple generations and including a then-current candidate for public office).
      • Gender and Sexuality Justice (with OWU faculty/staff who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community).
    • Helped students design community-based learning projects on
      • Youth Justice and Juvenile Care.
      • Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
      • LGBTQIA+.
      • Mental Health and Social Justice.
      • Environmental Justice.
    • Fostered conversation/relationships with pertinent community partners. Currently working with students to turn projects into longer-term experiential service learning.

Health Services

  • Launched 24/7/365 access to a national network of 28,000 medical and mental health providers, 40% of whom identify as professionals of color or as LGBT. Support is provided in 250 languages.
  • Counseling Services Director attended the annual Association of University and College Counseling Center Director’s Conference and the following workshops: 
    • Robin D'Angelo, Ph.D. – White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
    • Anneliese Singh, Ph.D. – Building the Beloved Community in Our Counseling Centers: Living and Practicing Liberation with One Another Every Day.
    • Melissa Rotkiewicz, Psy.D. – Healing from Racism Through the Power of Collaborative Systemic Change.

Multicultural Student Affairs

  • In-class DEI trainings.
  • Lunch and Learn events.
  • National Pan-Hellenic organization relaunch in collaboration with Nancy Rutkowski.
  • Support the reactivation of student groups:
    • Black Student Union.
    • Black Men of the Future.
  • Support and follow up with Bridge participants.
  • Take Back the Night event.

University Advancement Division

  • Over $12,000 has been awarded to support underrepresented and diverse students to support career exploration including internships, externships, and professional development experiences.
  • Twelve first-gen students have been hired for on-campus employment, including three hours of paid time to attend Career Connection career development programs and activities, and pre- and post-assessments to measure growth in career competencies.
  • More than 25 paid, on-campus positions will be available this semester.

Previous Updates