I am truly honored and excited to serve as the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, we consider the rich diversity of our students, faculty and staff to be both a defining characteristic and an essential source of our institutional strength.
Founded in 1970, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is one of the oldest and most comprehensive offices of its kind in the nation, with a mission to help build Ohio State into a world class model of inclusive academic excellence. With the changing face of the nation itself, the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” have expanded over time to include persons from a growing array of backgrounds, cultures, identities and experiences. Because diversity is dynamic, not static, the university will continue to reflect these changes, understanding that a diverse learning environment benefits everyone.
Decades of research have shown that diversity, nurtured in a welcoming and respectful environment, encourages critical thinking, reduces harmful stereotypes, and strengthens the ability to communicate, work and play across lines of identity and difference. These are essential skills for participants in a globally-connected world, and Ohio State is committed to providing the richly diverse learning environment that all Ohio State students need to grow into the able leaders and productive citizens that our nation and world demand.
Diversity enhances the learning experience by exposing and challenging us to consider, weigh and value the thoughts, experiences and practices of others different from ourselves. It is thus rightly embraced as the work of the entire university — students, faculty and staff — as the sine qua non – “without which not” – of academic excellence.
I encourage you to explore ODI’s website, where you will find a wealth of information on events, activities, programs, opportunities and resources related to diversity and inclusion issues. ODI would love your support and involvement as we strive to make The Ohio State University into a global leader of inclusive excellence for the 21st century.
Professor Sharon L. Davies
Chief Diversity Officer & Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity