In July 2020, President Nick Ladany formed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, charged with identifying areas for growth and determining action steps. The task force represents students, faculty and staff.
Additional initiatives include the addition of a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, diversifying the Oglethorpe Core curriculum, diversity training for the Oglethorpe community, and expanded diversity programming including the continuation of community forums on racial injustice, which launched in summer 2020.
Oglethorpe University named Laura Renée Chandler, PhD as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, effective March 5, 2021. Learn more about Dr. Chandler.
The Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will advise the President, senior administration, faculty, staff, and student leaders on policies and actions that reflect the core values of the university and systemically embed diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout Oglethorpe. The Vice President will work to enhance diversity efforts across units of the university through the review and evaluation of the equitability of current diversity and inclusion strategies, programs, practices, and policies. In addition, the Vice President will find opportunities to communicate best practices across units; propose and advocate for new programs; and galvanize champions and allies in support of this objective.
Modeling a constructive approach, the Vice President will provide direction and oversight of diversity initiatives and programs including, but not limited to, faculty training and development; recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students; and curricular initiatives. These initiatives will advance an inclusive campus climate, foster the development of a sophisticated multicultural perspective, and cultivate within the campus community the knowledge, understanding, and skills to respect diversity and equity, and effectively engage across differences. As a member of the senior leadership team the Vice President is vested with the authority to advocate in the community within Oglethorpe and beyond, generate ideas, lead thoughtful and intellectual conversations, transparently assess the campus climate, and maintain accountability necessary to effect substantive, systemic progress and change.
As liberal arts practitioners and global citizens, Oglethorpe students are challenged to consider their roles in society. Now, global protests have highlighted racial injustice as a preeminent societal issue. As the next generation of leaders and thinkers, Oglethorpe students can participate in the conversation with the knowledge to make positive change. Oglethorpe is committed to facilitating these conversations through diversifying the Oglethorpe Core.
The Oglethorpe Core is an intentionally designed 4-year sequence of courses, that will challenge how you think about yourself, the world, and everything in it. Along with faculty and classmates from all majors, you will share an intellectual exchange that addresses life’s big questions. You’ll learn about yourself, the global community, the historical perspectives that brought us here, and how all of these come together.
In addition to an ongoing effort to diversify the Core, Oglethorpe introduced two new courses in fall 2020 that explore racial inequality: WGS 290: White Fragility: Anti-Racism Activism and INT 290: Black Resilience and Response.
Other courses offered that explore race include:
- AAS 100: Introduction to African American Studies
- POL 290: Black Feminist Thought
- SOC 306: Race & Ethnicity in the U.S.
- WRI 290: Writing the South
- POL 101: Intro to American Politics
- SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
- SOC 204: Social Problems
- INT-290: Science & World Religions
- INT-290: Latinx Resilience/Response
The DEI Task Force training subcommittee will work closely with Campus Life to audit current training resources for the upcoming semester and work to bring continuous diversity education to the Oglethorpe Community.
A range of academic, social, and civic events that address various topics of diversity, equity and inclusion have been planned throughout the academic year. View upcoming events.
The DEI Task Force Programming Subcommittee will help to plan and coordinate Friday Forums on Racial Injustice, held since early June, and develop new programming focused on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Community Forums on Racial Injustice
These forums aim to foster honest, open and continuous dialogue between all members of the Oglethorpe community.