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OSU wins national award for campus diversity, inclusion (again!)

Oregon State University

For the fourth year in a row, Oregon State University has won a national award for having a campus culture committed to diversity and inclusion.

Scott Vingos is Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at OSU. He said criteria for the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED award, includes everything from employee recruitment and retention to creating a sense of belonging.

“Especially for those students and employees that hold minoritized identities,” he said. “Those identities haven’t been served well in the higher education context.”

OSU has several initiatives underway including Moving Forward Together, which advances anti-racist principles with the creation of the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff Affairs and a curriculum task force.

Credit Oregon State University
Terrance Harris, assistant director of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center at Oregon State University, speaks during the Humanity and Hope gathering in April, 2021.

Based on Spring 2021 enrollment data, 27.7% of Oregon State University students identify as people of color. Over the same period, 13.7% of OSU faculty and staff identified as BIPOC. Data also reveals 23% of all students are the first in their families to attend a four-year college.

Vingos said he’s proud of the progress made at OSU but acknowledges there is still has a long way to go. Humility, he says, is essential in achieving equity and diversity on campus and everywhere else.

Credit David Baker, Oregon State University
Students stop and listen during the Humanity and Hope gathering on the OSU campus in Corvallis in spring 2021.

Additional Oregon State University’s anti-racist initiatives include:

  • Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program, a collaboration between the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of Faculty Affairs, colleges and faculty mentors, is focused on developing pipelines into OSU for faculty focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. During the first cohort of the weeklong program this summer, OSU faculty mentors from the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and College of Liberal Arts hosted scholars from Cornell University, Morgan State University, North Carolina State University and Purdue University.
  • The OSU-Cascades campus is engaged in advancing equity and inclusion initiatives, including the launch of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lab. Erika McCalpine serves as the inaugural executive director of strategic diversity initiatives on the Bend campus, and a multicultural center at OSU-Cascades will be located in a new student success center to be opened in the 2023-24 academic year.
  • Conference on Anti-Racist Teaching, Language and Assessment, a free, online conference that allows secondary and college-level educators nationally to learn about advancing antiracist teaching practices and connect with community members working to implement those practices. The conference takes place in September and October and is hosted by OSU’s School of Writing, Literature and Film in collaboration with the newly established Asao and Kelly Inoue Antiracist Teaching Endowment within the College of Liberal Arts. More than 3,500 people registered for the conference this year, drawing attendance from at least 36 states and three other countries. ( Provided by OSU News and Research Communications)

The University of Oregon and Central Washington University are the other Pacific Northwest universities to receive the HEED award this year.

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