DEI Taskforce Update: 8/17/20

Dear OU Community,

When President Ladany announced the creation of this Taskforce, he challenged us to strengthen our institutional core value of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our aim is to foster a campus environment that seeks to include those who have been traditionally excluded, to promote a culture that respects and values our diverse experiences and perspectives, and to establish a community that understands the role of inequalities in shaping our individual and collective identities and experiences.
Coming from that framework, we would like to share a few things with the campus community as we all prepare for the upcoming academic year. We are appreciative of the significant amount of feedback submitted to the Taskforce since it was formed, as that community input has shaped much of our initial work. 
First, we will be working closely with President Ladany to fill the newly created role of Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which was recently announced.
Next, we will soon be forming two subcommittees – one dedicated to training, and the other to programming – to focus on these areas of needed improvement and change. The Training Subcommittee will carry on the Taskforce’s initial work in coordinating with Campus Life to evaluate training materials that will be enacted this semester, and will continue to work with all campus constituencies to continually offer training that responds to our campus stakeholders.The Programming Subcommittee will be tasked with coordinating and planning our Friday Forum series during the fall semester to continue the important work of honest, open, and ongoing dialogue among our campus community. Any interested faculty, staff, or students who want to serve on either of these two immediate subcommittees should please submit the DEI Taskforce Subcommittee Interest Form. We anticipate additional subcommittees will be formed around other areas of focus as we progress to explore how Oglethorpe can improve as it relates to DEI.

Along with these immediate initiatives, we are actively exploring opportunities to make our campus calendar more inclusive and civically focused, as well as investigating the use of explicit language, measures, and best practices around DEI in all Oglethorpe position announcements and employee assessment mechanisms.

In addition, we are partnering with a host of university stakeholders to begin providing an ongoing list of recommended DEI resources to our faculty, staff, and students. 
Lastly, we will send out monthly updates on DEI Taskforce next steps, initiatives, and partnerships.

Oglethorpe DEI Taskforce
Dr. Kendra King Momon (Taskforce Chairperson)
Brian Coldren
Dr. Janelle Pham
Taylor Roberts
Tanya Thompson
Dr. Matt Wild
Dr. Katharine Zakos