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.


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 DiversityJobs.com, Disabilityjobs.net, AfricanAmericanHires.com, Latinojobs.org, AllHispanicJobs.com, 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