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.

Sept. 30, 2022

Academic Affairs Division

  • Faculty Tenure and Promotion and DEI
    • The “Self Report” is the document faculty members prepare to report on their activities as part of Ohio Wesleyan's faculty evaluation process. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Faculty Personnel Committee revised the report language to include a specific invitation to faculty members to talk about their work on diversity, equity, and inclusion as a valued part of being an OWU faculty member. This language was approved by a vote of the faculty and will be part of the Self Report going forward.
  • Faculty Cohort Hire
    • This academic year marks the third in a row in which Ohio Wesleyan has launched an innovative cohort/cluster hire to enhance the diversity of its faculty and curriculum. As in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 cycles, this year’s cohort hire emphasizes the three foci of flexibility, interdisciplinarity, and equity, and takes advantage of new systems in Academic Affairs to infuse these foci throughout the search process. This year’s cycle features positions in Sociology & Anthropology (Criminology/Criminal Justice), Biological Sciences (Microbiology), Economics & Business (Entrepreneurship), Education (Elementary Literacy), Environment & Sustainability (Earth Sciences), Journalism & Communication (Mass Communication), and Neuroscience. Positions in Fine Arts and Performing Arts will be added to the cohort later this fall.
  • New Faculty Orientation and Mentoring
    • This year’s faculty cohort has participated in our newly revised New Faculty Orientation (NFO) and is a part of the second year of our Faculty Mentoring Program (FMP). Both programs have a DEI focus, including NFO sessions with the DEI Council, an introduction to OWU’s student population, and teaching-oriented sessions on working with diverse students. The FMP utilizes a team mentoring model that pairs small groups of new faculty with colleagues trained in DEI practices. Each mentoring team has been selected to match mentors and mentees with similar personal and professional interests, but also linking them with faculty that both share backgrounds and are diverse from them. 
  • General Education Competencies Implementation
    • The Nine Core Competencies are a key part of the reimagined General Education curriculum, and two of these competencies explicitly foreground DEI issues: “Engage Diversity” and “Examine Power and Inequities.” Nine teams of faculty, each with three-five members, worked over the summer to develop a set of shared learning objectives for each competency. This fall, CAP is reviewing and revising draft learning objectives for each competency group, with a focus on defining parameters for requirements and ensuring that competencies are assessable. In spring, faculty will apply to have their courses counted toward the competencies. Beginning in fall 2023, all OWU students will be required to take one course from each of the competency groups. Any course that satisfies a competency requirement will have been vetted by the Committee on Academic Programs (CAP). 
  • Study Away External Financial Support for Under-Represented Groups – Access Study Abroad
    • Six of the 37 students studying away during fall 2022 received first-gen/low-income (FGLI) supplemental scholarships/grants from our institutional partners. One student received a U.S. Gilman Scholarship. Of the 37 students studying away, 13 are enrolled in OWU-run programs. Of the remaining 24 students, in total, 11 students received over $35,000 in external additional financial aid. For spring 2023, three students are pursuing Gilmans, and many more applying for other external financial aid supporting under-represented groups. Our Access Study Abroad program provides support programming for FGLI students to improve universal access to study-away opportunities.
  • Former Ohio Senator Nina Turner presents the 2022-23 Butler A. Jones Lecture on Race and Society hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Her talk is titled “The Hook-Up: How Race and Class are Soulmates for Life.”
  • Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, presents the 2022-23 Marsh Lecture on Public Affairs hosted by the Department of Politics and Government. Her talk is titled “A Nonpartisan Defense of Democracy.”

Athletics Department

  • Finalizes DEI questions to be added to the post-season survey completed by student-athletes at the end of their competitive seasons.
  • Continues to provide education and resources for student-athletes and staff.

Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Five-Year DEI Strategic Plan
    • The Bridge Program moves into the active phase of its first-year build-out through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. This includes developing an Achievement Mentors Program to provide active wrap-around care for Bridge participants in their first year at the University. Summer Bridge students also are registered for unique sections of UC160 to continue to provide more individualized support in their first semester.

  • Training
    • All incoming first-year students complete DEI training prior to arriving on campus this fall.
    • DEI Council works in partnership with The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship to provide DEI-centered training for the center’s scholars programs.
    • OWjL Camp leaders receive training on gender identity and understanding harmful/helpful language.
    • Student Board representatives who participate in annual faculty evaluation processes complete required DEI Training.

  • Programming
    • “How to Have Difficult Conversations about Race” with Kwame Christian, co-sponsored by The Delaware County Foundation; OWU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and OWU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
    • DEI Book Club reads White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson as its book for fall semester.
    • Bishops of Color and Mosaic grow in numbers and hold their first events of the semester in September.
    • Black Wall Street is set for Oct. 6 in partnership with The Woltemade Center, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at OWU, and OWU Connection. This event brings together local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) businesses and BIPOC student-entrepreneurs.
    • Summer Bridge participants take part in workshops regarding DEI work on campus.
    • First-Gen Advisory Board holds a social to create space to socialize and connect with other first-gen students, staff, and faculty. Participants enjoy meaningful conversations revolving around first-gen experiences. 

  • DEI Grants Awarded
    • Jada Respress '23 receives funds for her project “The Global Majority: The Development of Black Journalism.” She is currently in South Africa gathering information related to the development of Black journalism and the key role it plays in Cape Town. Afterward, she will travel to London, United Kingdom, to do the same.

Enrollment and Communications Division

  • OWU staff participate in the I Know I Can (IKIC) Founders Scholars Celebration, recognizing the 20 students (1 attending OWU) who earned the IKIC Founders Scholarship. (May 2022)
  •  Renews and expands our partnership with College Greenlight, an organization that gives us access to 1,500+ CBO (Community Based Organizations) who work directly with underserved populations. Our expansion includes participating in the Greenlight Match program in Chicago and Philadelphia. This program allows us to offer admission to qualified candidates who might not have otherwise known about OWU. (2022-2023)
  • Becomes a member of Coalition for College, an organization that supports students through the search and enrollment process with a specific and committed focus on working with students from communities that are marginalized and underrepresented in higher education. Being a member gives us opportunities to engage with 500+ CBOs, hundreds of Title 1 high schools, and all students who utilize the SCOIR college search and application platform. (2022-2023)
  • Renews formal partnership with Chicago Scholars, a CBO in Chicago. (2022-2023)
  • Hosts a number of CBO groups for a visit to campus ((summer 2022).  Examples include:
    • University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter School
    • Schuler Scholars
    • Cranbrook Upward Bound
  • Staff participate in a webinar sponsored by OACAC called “The Importance of Gender Identity in the Admission Process: Chosen Name, Pronouns and More!” (June 2022)
  • Staff collaborate with OMSA to encourage participation in the Summer Bridge Program (summer 2022)
  • Staff participate in and share notes from sessions they attend as part of the Carnegie Virtual Conference, including sessions dedicated to DEI issues (Reality vs. Aspiration -- Representing Diversity Authentically in Higher Ed Marketing) (July 2022)
  • Our Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator hosts a DEI professional development topic at staff meetings about every 4-6 weeks. (ongoing)
  • Staff hear from guest speaker, Dr. Chinwe Okpalaoka (Assistant Dean, Office of Undergraduate Recruitment, College of Arts and Sciences, The Ohio State University) as a DEI presenter during our annual office retreat. Our Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator leads us in an effective SWAT analysis exercise at the same retreat. (July 2022)
  • Staff participate in a joint Multicultural Diversity Workshop, hosted/sponsored by the GLCA ACAD Committee. (August 2022)
  • In collaboration with OMSA, the Office of Admission hosts a Multicultural Information Session held in conjunction with the Global Majority Block Party. (September 2022)
  • Staff participate in various recruitment activities focused on underrepresented populations (including, but not limited to):
    • TRIO Programs (Michigan) College Block Party (August 2022)
    • I Know I Can Panel/College Fair (August 2022)
    • Black College Football Hall of Fame College Fair (August 2022)
    • Independent Living Class with Delaware County Jobs and Family Services (September 2022)
    • Essay Review Workshop at Cristo Rey Columbus (September 2022)
    • “Say Yes to College” College Fair event (September 2022)
    • Learning Differences College Fair (September 2022)
    • Big Futures Program Event -- Big Brothers/Big Sisters (October 2022)
    • Collegiate Directions CBO “Counselor Collaborative” Panel (October 2022)
    • Southeast Ohio Regional College Fair (October 2022)
    • 100 Black Men of Chicago College Fair (October 2022)
    • Chicago Scholars On-site program (October 2022)
    • Detroit College Access Network College Fair (October 2022)
    • First Generation Virtual College Fair, hosted by Horatio Alger Association (November 2022)
    • “A Call to College” Application Workshops (November 2022)

  • The Office of Admission re-commits to the expansion of the Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship that occurred in Spring 2022. The expansion allows us to award at least 20 Thomas Scholarships, which meet a student’s full demonstrated need as determined by the FAFSA.
  • The Office of Admission hosts a reception to honor and recognize the eleven 2022 Thomas Scholarship recipients and posts a photo and story of the cohort on social media and website. (Fall 2022)
  • OWU welcomes its largest incoming first-year class in many years, 40 international students (six of whom are exchange students) and eight global nomad students (U.S. citizens whose permanent residence is abroad). In total, students who call 25 countries home arrived this fall. (Fall 2022)

Finance and Administration Division/Human Resources Office

  • Continues to expand recruitment diversity resources, which includes coaching search committee chairs to expand their distribution of job posting resources.
  • Restructures the search process to require all search committee members to complete two online DEI trainings before they obtain access to review candidate information. Search committee chairs must sign off on early communication of this requirement to committee members.
  • Reviews statistics of candidate pools, provides coaching to search committees during the candidate screening process to help ensure a diverse pool among candidates is being considered.
  • Partners with DEI Council on DEI strategic planning work and student DEI initiatives.
  • Partners with Bishops of Color.
  • Partners with OWU alumni, former OWU Gospel Lyres members in planning the group’s 50th reunion in fall 2023. Starts liaison with University Advancement and OWU Magazine staff on this project.

Student Engagement and Success Division

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

  • Completes Summer Bridge Program 2022 with 23 graduates
  • Events
    • Welcome Week Drag Show 
    • Global Majority Block Party (collaboration with Offices of Admission and Financial Aid)
    • Local Global Majority food truck vendor
    • Five Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities present 
    • Two campus offices
    • One community organization

  • Recruits for Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities
  • Provides organizational support (meets with presidents; assists with event management; recruitment, etc.); aids with the relaunch of: 
    • Prism (LGB+ and Trans Inclusive Organization)
    • Black Men of the Future 
    • Black Student Union
    • VIVA Latinx 
    • Rafika Wa

  • Hirings
    • Student interns 
    • Achievement mentors 

  • Trainings
    • Camp Leader and Resident Advisor fall training
    • SIO Club Leader retreat
    • Faculty search inclusive advocate training

  • Hire and Onboard Assistant Director Sally Aluso
  • Develop the Achievement Mentor Program -- Achievement Mentors to help students develop lasting relationships, learn to navigate Ohio Wesleyan, and have access to important tools to realize their personal goals.
  • Student Support
    • Meet with at-risk students
    • Create a wrap-around care plan
    • Referrals

University Advancement Division

  • Inclusion Partners: University Advancement and Multicultural Student Affairs partner on a new initiative that centers support around First-Gen students, black and brown students, international students, and LGBTQIA+ students. Inclusion Partners will be piloted by the Alumni Board of Directors and focus on opportunities to provide mentorship, real-life navigation, resources, and connection to others. The group will meet virtually in November to lay out and identify the ways they can support these students.
  • Women of Ohio Wesleyan (WOW)- November 4 - 5, 2022,
    • The WOW Leadership Committee, in partnership with University Advancement, is excited to bring back WOW Weekend 2022 to campus this November. This biennial event started in 2016 under the leadership and support of trustees Colleen Nissel '72, Kathie Milligan '83, Kara Trott '83, and Tracie Winbigler '87 and has grown to a signature event on campus and virtually.
    • This year's program will feature Brigadier General Deydre S. Teyhen 93 as our keynote speaker on Friday. Personal and professional development sessions will be held around the topics of navigating change, the history of women, empowerment, and small group sessions around burnout and life balance on Saturday.
    • WOW celebrates being in a community with other leading women of Ohio Wesleyan (students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends) learning and sharing from each other and walking away with fresh perspectives, professional opportunities, life advice, and new (or stronger!) friendships.

May 10, 2022

Academic Affairs Division

  • The Faculty Personnel Committee proposed, and the faculty passed in April, a significant revision to the faculty “self report,” which is the template application submitted for tenure, promotion, and merit. This is the first significant revision to the template in over 40 years and includes further emphasis on DEI inclusive practices, interdisciplinarity, and support of work in the OWU Connection, all related to teaching, scholarship, and service.
  • Hired the second round of the faculty cohort with a continued focus on flexibility, interdisciplinarity, and DEI practice consistent with the first round of the cohort. The hiring process, entirely revamped to facilitate an orientation toward these three foci, had further touchpoints and accountability related to equity-based outreach and approaches this year. This hiring approach and focus is now standard practice and will continue with the next round of hiring in fall 2022.
  • Used the General Education transformation to infuse the former DEI requirement throughout the curriculum, including the new competencies. Additionally, best practice nationally indicates that first-generation and BIPOC students benefit exponentially from even one high-impact practice or experience of undergraduate research, internships, study abroad, and service learning. For the first time, students will have a required OWU Connection experience, which means all students will benefit from this new requirement.
  • Hired two new directors for the OWU Connection – an Associate Dean and an Executive Director – to help implement this new curriculum and required experience. As suggested by faculty and consistent with signature experiences at colleges nationally, all of these experiential opportunities will be housed under one roof for the first time to benefit all students, especially marginalized students who can now see themselves fully in the OWU Connection.

Athletics Department

  • Teams completed module training with the DEI Council and had follow-up discussions with Dawn Chisebe or Jason Timpson.
  • Worked on a Space Audit Exercise for teams to move through – examining how athletic spaces are represented and experienced by student-athletes, coaches, recruits, and their families.
  • Worked to add DEI questions into the post-season survey that teams complete at the end of their competitive season.

Council on Diversity Equity and Inclusion

  • Five-Year DEI Strategic Plan
    • Ongoing efforts to develop a five-year plan led by Dawn Chisebe, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO); Imogene Johnson, Director of Human Resources; and Jason Timpson, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Training
    • Collaborated with Destiny Coleman and the Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship to develop training for Woltemade Center Scholars.
    • Sat on the Athletic DEI Committee (ongoing).
    • Continued to provide training for search committees with open positions.
    • Worked to ensure all incoming first-year students take a DEI Training module as part of orientation.
  • Programming
    • Planned for the 2nd Annual Global Majority Block Party in concert with OMSA.
    • Participated in committee for the 30th Annual MLK Celebration in 2023 (ongoing).
    • DEI Book Club finished reading The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together written by Heather McGhee. Building the reading list for summer 2022.
    • Invited Iresha Picot, LBS, licensed therapist and co-editor of The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives, to campus virtually for student, faculty, and staff workshops titled “Filling our Cups: A Workshop of Community and Self-Care.”
    • Brought Dr. Valerie Lee, professor emeritus and former CDO, Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion, and VP of Outreach and Engagement at The Ohio State University, to campus to discuss her new book Sisterlocking Discoarse: Race, Gender, and the Twenty-First Century Academy.
  • DEI Grants Awarded
    • Students:
      • Anna duSaire for her film project on BIPOC students’ sense of belonging at OWU.
      • Megan Sheradin, Jada Respress, Mohammad Niazi, Katie Rozsa, Nebraska White, and Dr. Ashley Kennard for their program “Unstoppable: 100 Women and Girls’ in concert with Role Model Magazine.”
    • Faculty and Staff:
      • Brian Granger, Assistant Professor of Theatre, for his Theatre-as-Service project, which involved taking students to Staunton, Virginia, to assist as tech crew for What We Lost.
      • Sean Bolender, Director of Public Safety, for Public Safety officers to participate in Mutual Respect Training.
      • Angel Tyler, Resident Life Coordinator, for her project on the inclusion of Black composers in the classical vocal music repertoire.
  • Scholarships
    • Awarded two scholarships to Delaware City Schools students through the fundraising efforts of the Annual MLK Committee.
  • Support
    • Continued to hold monthly Bishops of Color and Mosaic events for faculty and staff.
    • Served on the First-Generation Advisory Group, which has held numerous events on campus this year.
  • Conferences and Academies
    • CDO, Director of OMSA, and Director of HR attended the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education. The conference theme was “Advancing Equity and Anti-Racism Strategies on Campus.”
    • CDO attended the National Conference on Diversity, Race, and Learning. The Conference theme was “Forward Progress: Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence a Priority.”
    • CDO and Director of OMSA are attending the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.
    • CDO is attending the 2022 NCAA Inclusion Forum in June.
    • CDO was nominated for and will be part of the 2022 Cohort for the Penn State Academy for Anti-Racist Leadership

Enrollment and Communications Division

  • We continued to provide staff training opportunities focused on DEI issues.
  • Increased number of Charles Thomas Scholarships offered, focused on providing opportunities to students from low-income families.
  • Actively promoted the Bridge Program in collaboration with OMSA.
  • Increased outreach and strengthening connection to I Know I Can, a Columbus-based college access program.
  • Expanded our travel assistance program to offer more prospective students with financial need the opportunity to visit campus.
  • Enhanced our utilization of the College Greenlight platform to communicate with community-based organizations and college access groups about academic experiences and scholarship opportunities available at OWU.

Finance and Administration Division/Human Resources Office

  • We have expanded where we post open positions to include more diverse websites such as,,,,, and more.
  • Revised the OWU job posting template to make it less formal and more conversational in style, emphasizing reference to related work skills and environments. The new format appeals to a wider range of potential applicants.
  • Implemented a revamped onboarding experience to welcome and build support for new hires. We continue to develop this new hire experience:
    • This includes the introduction of a new hire checklist and a manager checklist for new hires to ensure a consistent welcoming experience for new employees.
    • Introduction of OWU Guiding Principles to new hires.
  • OWU employee population diversity levels during the 2021-22 school year:
    • Fall = 11.44% non-white
    • Spring = 11.22% non-white
  • Total new hires from 7/1/21 to 5/3/2022 = 72 employees:
    • Non-white new hires from 7/1/21 to 5/3/2022
    • Total non-white new hires (2-Asian; 11-Black or African American; 3-Hispanic or Latina) = 16; 16/72 = 22.22%
    • New hires that do not identify their race = 3

Student Engagement and Success Division

  • We are hiring an Assistant Director for Multicultural Student Affairs to supplement staffing resources. The search is commencing in early May.
  • Held graduation recognition events for LGBTQ+ (Lavender Graduation) and multicultural students (Kushinda) in April.
  • Conducted or supported multiple social and educational programs focused on diverse identities, including LGTBQ+, female, and BIPOC students.
  • Staffed the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) with a full array of student-interns this spring who provided great assistance in program planning, outreach to students, and administration of the Multicultural Center.
  • Continued Bridge Program planning to provide a robust early college experience for incoming students from marginalized communities.

University Advancement Division

  • Ten first-generation students are traveling this May with nine fellow students and two faculty members to visit historically significant Civil Rights Movement locations. Over the course of the trip, the group will visit Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, Jackson, and New Orleans.
  • Fifteen on-campus, first-generation internships were placed during this academic year.
    • Growth metrics were analyzed via NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) core competencies, and students reported growth in:
      • Leadership
      • Critical thinking
      • Civic engagement
      • Teamwork
      • Professionalism and work ethics
    • 100% of the participating students indicated increasing confidence in each of these core competencies by at least one level.
  • Eighteen first-generation, on-campus, paid positions are slated for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • A first-generation website is under construction and set to launch in summer 2022. The goal is to help build community and frame the first-generation experience as a celebration, not a deficit.
  • Over 100 first-generation student career coaching appointments have been completed by Career Connection team members.
  • Through Career Connection endowments, over $35,000 has been awarded to underrepresented, underserved students – including racial, sexual, and ethnic diversity, and first-gen students for internships, career development, and research opportunities:
    • First-generation and underrepresented students are interning at multiple high-profile locations including MIT, Mayo Clinic, MetroHealth, GenZ Designs, Amazon, Auditor of the State, and HoloPundits.
    • Kaito Iwasaki ’23, a mathematics and astrophysics double major, recently secured a math research internship at Cornell University. Without the support specifically for first-generation and underrepresented students, Iwasaki would have had to turn down this invaluable research opportunity due to financial constraints.
  • Bishops in Action: We are working on a DEI Certification Program, Bishops in Action. The program would be offered to alumni to educate others within the OWU Community on how to create effective change within participants’ spheres of influence. The program would have two parts:
    • Part 1: DEI Workshop. Kicking off in the fall, small workshops would be taught by OWU faculty/staff/alumni.
    • Part 2: DEI Certification. The certification program would meet weekly for two to three months. Upon completion, recipients would receive a DEI certification.
  • Black Alumni Task Force: This group is reconvening in summer 2022 with a specific commitment to help create a community of belonging for black alumni and students and to identify ways to create more connection and support.

Previous Updates