Created September 1, 1970
Revised July 1971
Revised August 1974
Revised May 1976
Revised May 1980
Revised May 1982
Revised September 1984
Revised April 1988
Revised October 1988
Revised April 1990
Revised/Approved April 2004
Revised/Approved April 2018
Ohio Wesleyan University recognizes and celebrates that each member of its community is unique and that diversity is both essential to and a highly-valued principle of the University as a site of learning and work. The desire for diversity at Ohio Wesleyan University is the foundation of our continuing and vigorous efforts to increase the diversity of the campus community, to promote equal employment opportunities, to ensure nondiscrimination in all aspects of our programs and activities, and to prevent implicit bias in all of our actions. We strive to be an inclusive community that engages groups of diverse individuals and allows them to connect in ways that increase each participant’s awareness, knowledge, and empathetic understanding to achieve exceptional results. We are committed to creating an environment where underrepresented populations have equal access to resources and opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
At Ohio Wesleyan University equal opportunity assumes that the concept of merit, based solely upon a person’s ability to perform their job duties and academic responsibilities, will govern all personnel and educational decisions. Ohio Wesleyan University is committed to achieving equal opportunity through proactive measures, which require intentional efforts to recruit, admit, employ, compensate, and promote/transfer members of groups previously underrepresented. This Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement is meant to ensure equitable opportunities, consideration and treatment for all current and prospective students and employees.
Diversity and Equity for Ohio Wesleyan University is more than mere compliance with laws and regulations. Diversity and Equity benefits the University by promoting an inclusive environment free from constraint on the basis of culture, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, religion, family structure or relationships, or economic status. As an institution of higher learning, Ohio Wesleyan University offers faculty, students, staff, and administration an unparalleled campus experience – one that builds character, fosters leadership, expands minds, opens hearts, broadens awareness, refines skills and challenges individuals to grow. Through the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement, we must capitalize on these characteristics to maximize the value of the Ohio Wesleyan University experience. Preserving and improving upon the campus experience requires commitment on a personal level to the University’s ethic of diversity. Our task is crucial, as we are challenged to demonstrate how diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in all areas can directly and in the long-term influence the character of the University. The mission and character of the University can never be mandated and protected by statements alone – action is required through the continued use of targeted and specific programs. The Board of Trustees, the Administration, and the Faculty wish to reaffirm their previous resolutions and restate their support for efforts to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion in our student, faculty, staff, and administrative populations. This support and commitment is based upon the following beliefs:
- Diversity serves as an important educational function. One of higher education’s essential functions is to broaden the perspectives of students by exposing them to individuals from different backgrounds and to a variety of disciplines, cultures, and points of view. Given the enormous changes taking place in our nation and the world, it would be difficult to conceive of receiving a high quality education without such exposure.
- Diversity in higher education helps prepare students for the world of work and for participation in a democratic society. Employers in all sectors of the economy increasingly see diversity as critical to organizational success and competitiveness. The expectation is that higher education will prepare students for a work environment that is characterized by diversity. We believe that a diverse workforce is a better, more productive workforce – which is as true in higher education as it is in other sectors. In addition, as the demand for higher levels of education for employment and advancement continue to rise, we cannot hope to achieve true equality of opportunity unless diversity and inclusion is attained on our college campuses.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in colleges and universities enhances the quality of a higher education. A diverse faculty and staff are essential for colleges and universities to provide academic excellence in teaching, mentoring, scholarship, and service to the campus community.
The implementation of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement is essential in reaching the results we value for our University, which are:
- An institutional vision, leadership, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion that fosters and advocates systemic change
- Faculty and staff who exemplify academic and professional excellence. We believe such excellence is enriched by pluralism, differences of perspectives and ideas, as well as diversity and inclusion of thought
- Increased sensitivity to different norms and cultural expectations
- An intellectually and socially enriched environment that promotes critical thinking through curricular programming
- Proactive initiatives that acknowledge, accept, support and celebrate the diversity of the campus community
- The dismantling of preconceived prejudices and judgments about people and their cultural values
Ohio Wesleyan University is committed to the maximum utilization of its human resources and the goal of equal opportunity through its diversity efforts in all aspects of its daily operations. Just as we each share individually the responsibility for meeting the challenges of our institutional objectives, we each have a responsibility for seeing that this Policy is embraced and integrated into the very fiber of the institution. Those charged with hiring and supervisory responsibilities bear a special obligation to respond proactively in the quest to fulfill the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Responsibility for Policy and Implementation
The final responsibility for the establishment, maintenance, and enforcement of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement rests with the President of the University, but responsibility for implementation and compliance with the Policy is also shared by the Provost, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Vice President for University Advancement, the Vice President for Enrollment Management, the Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, the Chief Communications Officer, the Director of Human Resources, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, and the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The University fully supports this Policy and will make every effort to ensure institutional commitment to and compliance with the philosophy expressed herein.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
The President shall appoint the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer who in that capacity will
report directly to the President. The position shall be administrative and afforded the necessary
support and status to execute the assignment. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer shall
work in concert with those University personnel who are charged with implementing employment
policy. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer shall be knowledgeable about federal, state,
and local laws. The Officer shall be someone who is committed to the University’s goal of
vigorously pursuing the objectives of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Responsibilities of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
The responsibilities of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer shall include but are not limited to the following:
- To oversee the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement and to serve as a resource for diversity, equity, and inclusion issues on campus.
- To advise those persons responsible for hiring, recruiting, retention, promotion, pay, tenure, working conditions, and educational programs and facilities about legal issues and University policies related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- To assist in University personnel searches and assess the availability of and assure equal opportunities for and consideration of qualified women, underrepresented populations and other diverse candidates.
- To provide consultation and training to University Search Committees on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the hiring process and best practices for recruiting diverse candidates. Provide a trained representative to serve as a member of every University Search Committee.
- To review and monitor University policies and practices affecting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- To serve as a University resource to receive complaints related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to direct complaints to the proper University channel for investigation and resolution.
- To measure the University’s progress, through statistical analysis, towards its goal of creating a more diverse campus community.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of this Policy, and to recommend revision of the Policy to the President.
- To report to the President and University community progress toward diversity goals.
The Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion shall serve in an advisory capacity to assist the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer in reviewing the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement. The Council shall also serve as an advocate for the University’s Policy and commitment to creating a culturally diverse academic and work environment. The Council may be convened by the President or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. The Council shall meet twice a month during the academic year. Meetings not specifically designated as executive sessions shall be open to all University personnel and students. Upon the request of any member of the Council, voting shall be conducted by secret ballot.
Composition of the Council
The Council shall include faculty, administrative staff and student representatives:
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer – Chairperson
- The Director of Human Resources
- The Assistant Dean for Multicultural Student Affairs
- Two faculty members elected by the faculty
- One member appointed by the President (can be faculty, staff, student, alumni, etc.)
- One staff employee representative elected by the Staff Council
- One student elected by the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs to be selected from the Student Inclusion Advocacy Committee
- One student appointed by the Vice President for Student Engagement and Success
The duration of an appointment or election to the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the various representatives is specified as follows:
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, the Director of Human Resources and the Assistant Dean for Multicultural Student Affairs shall be continuing members.
- Faculty representatives shall serve for a period of three years, the terms to be staggered in the initial selection. Faculty representatives are eligible to serve two consecutive terms.
- Staff representatives, including those elected by the Staff Council, shall serve for a period of two years. Staff representatives are eligible to serve two consecutive terms.
- Student and Alumni representatives shall serve for one year, but may be reappointed annually.
- The Council, in conjunction with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, shall submit an annual report to the President and to the Faculty and Staff. This report is to be included with the year-end reports for the last regularly scheduled faculty meeting of the year. The report will summarize the activities of the Council and include information on its assessments, proposals and award selection.
Responsibilities of Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The responsibilities of the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion shall include but are not limited to the following:
- To revise and further develop the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement as soon as the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is formed.
- Development, oversight and management of the University Diversity and Inclusion website.
- Assessment of the current climate of racial and cultural diversity in all aspects of the University structure, function and operation. The scope of the assessment will include but not be limited to the quality of life and involvement at the University of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees.
- In conjunction with other appropriate University personnel, performance of periodic audits of University physical facilities to focus on accessibility issues and messaging.
- Development of a process for complaint reporting to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer who will assign the complaint to the appropriate University organization for investigation and resolution (Title IX, Student Conduct, Human Resources, Faculty, etc.). Direction of complaints to proper University resources or organizations as needed.
- Assembly of data and statistical analysis of the status of diversity at the University
- Publish statistics using Dashboard on Diversity & Inclusion website
- Participation in the orientation process for new faculty and staff.
- Facilitation and delivery or arrangement for training on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics
- Development of toolkit of training materials
- Development and delivery of Search Committee training and/or materials
- Facilitation of or arrangement for annual (or semester) campus wide training
- Implementation of Lunch and Learn sessions on Diversity and Inclusion topics
- Review of existing University policies and programs as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion and proposal of changes to the University President regarding policies and programs to improve the climate of racial and cultural diversity in all aspects of the university structure, function, and operation.
- Selection of the winners of the two annual Branch Rickey Awards, one for an individual and one for a group, who have best contributed to the climate of racial and cultural diversity at the University during the current academic year.
Dissemination of Policy
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement is a public University document. To facilitate the dissemination and communication of the Policy, copies will also be available in the following places.
- The Faculty Handbook
- The Staff Employee Handbook
- The Student Handbook
- The University Catalog
- The Office of Academic Affairs (Provost)
- The Office of Human Resources
- The Office of Student Affairs
- The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page of the University website
The Human Resources Office will issue a copy of the Policy to each administrator. Additional copies will be made available to individuals upon request. The policy statement shall be communicated to all personnel, student, and prospective students through appropriate University publications such as the University catalog and website.