The Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion
May 16, 2019
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Bowling Green State University is home to more than 23,000 students and 2,000 faculty and staff, along with 183,000 living alumni around the globe. For more than 109 years, we have been rooted in an educational mission to prepare our students to live meaningful and productive lives.
As we grew, so did our reach. Today, students from all 50 states and 68 countries learn on our two campuses. We all come from very different walks of life. As a public university, we must strive to be inclusive of everyone, no matter what they look like, where they come from, their gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical abilities or religious or spiritual identities. We have more in common than we have differences.
Our pursuit of becoming a more inclusive university that celebrates our diversity requires work. In our newly developed strategic plan, Focus on the Future, Objective Three calls for us to empower and support all people to achieve excellence. Our diversity builds a stronger community. Together, we identified an initiative to create and implement a comprehensive, outcomes-oriented diversity plan that increases the recruitment, retention and success of a diverse student body, faculty and staff.
As we previously shared, the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion was charged with reviewing the current state of our diversity and inclusion efforts, assessing their success and effectiveness and providing a framework for our university moving forward.
Their report includes recommendations proposing an organizational structure, defining scope and responsibilities, adopting University-wide standard definitions for equity, diversity and inclusion, increasing support and accountability for initiatives, reallocating resources and redefining advisory functions.
To best position our University, we must build a robust infrastructure that aggressively supports the development of these University-wide efforts. This is not the responsibility of any one person, but a collective effort that requires a commitment by each of us. However, there is an urgent need to have clear leadership at the highest level to accomplish this work. We must be committed to acting now and building this foundation during the summer months.
Therefore, in the coming weeks, I will be appointing a Cabinet-level position for diversity, inclusion and belonging to ensure a holistic approach. Using the framework recommended by the task force, this position will help creatively lead the initiatives in Objective Three of Focus on the Future, and develop additional strategies to address other gaps identified by the task force.
I sincerely thank Jennifer McCary, advisor to the president for diversity and inclusion, and the members of the task force for addressing this important work at Bowling Green State University. As a 21st-century public university, we must help create the type of just society that we wish for all members of our learning community.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report