From the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Otterbein University
At Otterbein, we believe in working together to improve, to grow and to address issues.
As others have expressed, on issues this important, the work is never done. Otterbein’s commitment to equity and inclusiveness is rooted in our history and will only strengthen as we go forward.
I am proud of our faculty, staff, and in particular, our students, who challenged their institution to do more. Otterbein students know their voice is valued, listened to and respected here. That is why their concerns from Spring 2016 are noted on this page alongside the University’s action and progress. Otterbein cares about what is right, what is just and what our responsibilities as a model community should include.
I hope in the coming months, this page will serve as a useful and readily accessible resource to learn more about the University’s continuing efforts. I also hope it will serve as another place to share new ideas and insight that will help us consider things from many different perspectives.
The work for advancing equity and inclusion does not belong to any one person, office, department or division. It requires investment and care from every one of us. Our commitment to transparency and shared responsibilities is one of the reasons we created this page.
Otterbein’s Diversity & Inclusion Multi-year Plan and our scorecard address many of the issues that have been expressed. Our faculty members have been invested in thoughtful, scholarly retreats and seminars. A new minor in race and ethnicity studies has been created. Our student body diversity is strengthening. This is all good news but the work is not done.
I have always believed that there is room for disagreement—as long as we can have respectful and civil discourse. We should all hold ourselves accountable to that. Let me also be clear that if anyone sees, hears or experiences any incident of bias, I want them to report it to the Otterbein Police. Students can also share their concerns with a faculty or staff member as well as any member of Residence Life.
I look forward to the meaningful work we will share in—together. It is part of our institutional DNA to work collaboratively. That is, in truth, the best and only way we will make substantive progress.
Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
and Vice President for Student Affairs / Dean of Students