June 11, 2020

Advancing racial equity in OSAS

The Office of Student Academic Success is committed to doing what’s right for our students and our employees.

That means we have to do better when it comes to racial justice.

We have to do more than say we’re opposed to racism.

We have to do the hard work to dismantle it. As the university moves forward with a large-scale racial justice plan, we will start by looking within and addressing the systemic racism that exists within OSAS.

We have long said that diversity and inclusion are important pillars in OSAS, but so far, we haven’t done enough to stand by that statement. That changes now.

Our initial steps laid out below are just that — initial steps. We’ll need to do more in the months ahead, but for now, we want to make sure we begin the work to move in the right direction.

I also want to thank Assistant Vice Provost David Graham, the OSAS Diversity and Inclusion Council and numerous folks in the OSAS community for moving this conversation forward. Earlier this year, the council put together a series of recommendations, many of which are included below.

If you have other ideas of how we can foster a more inclusive and anti-racist culture within OSAS, please reach out to osas@osu.edu.

We know it’s going to take time, but we’re committed to doing better. Our students deserve it. Our colleagues deserve it. You deserve it.

Beth Hume
Vice Provost for Student Academic Success

Continue the conversation
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the OSAS Diversity and Inclusion Council organized conversations for colleagues to share and listen to one another’s stories as we processed the horrific news of another Black man being brutally and unjustly killed. This month, the OSAS Diversity and Inclusion Council will continue the conversation and launch a new series of virtual brown bag lunch conversations about topics ranging from microaggressions and difficult conversations to how to support students of color.

Provide additional resources
The OSAS Diversity and Inclusion Council is in the process of launching a newly revamped website to provide resources for employees in the weeks and months ahead. There will also be a standing section in our biweekly employee newsletters where the group will provide insight and updates.

Incorporate diversity and inclusion into leaders’ goals and reviews
We need to lead by example when it comes to eradicating systemic racism within OSAS — and we need to be held accountable for our actions. Enhancing diversity and inclusion will now be part of all OSAS leaders’ goals and performance reviews moving forward.

Require implicit bias training for all OSAS employees
We’re still working out the details and timing, but in the year ahead, we’ll require all OSAS employees to complete implicit bias training. Self-awareness is a critical first step to being able to effect change.

Communicate how we’re doing
We commit to providing regular updates on our progress through our employee newsletters, and we invite all OSAS employees to reach out with questions or suggestions.