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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - OU community to contribute to campus culture enhancement
Oakland University faculty, students and staff who’ve made reservations to attend upcoming town hall meetings will provide the university additional insight on how to maintain and enhance a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for all.

“We strive to celebrate the many differences at Oakland University and must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure that those differences inspire personal growth and understanding rather than division,” said Dr. Patricia Dolly, OU’s senior advisor to the president on diversity, equity and inclusion, and co-chair of the university’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CoDEI).

“Issues related to diversity can often be complex and challenging to address. Our best chance of success hinges on welcoming and utilizing input from as many members of the university community as possible.”

In the spring, many in the campus community completed surveys as part of a climate study that assessed various perceptions of social, professional and academic settings at Oakland.

Subsequently, Sowmya Anand and Linda Owens of the Survey Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois compiled and analyzed the results, which revealed valuable information that, along with supplemental information from venues such as the upcoming town hall meetings, will be used to create short- and long-term strategies to enrich university culture.

Both an executive summary and full reports detailing climate survey findings are available at the newly launched Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website, which in whole provides a wide array of information and resources relative to this critical aspect of the university’s overall mission.

“It is difficult to exaggerate the value that diversity and inclusion bring to educational and professional settings,” said Dr. Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and CoDEI co-chair.

“Harnessing the power of a broad array of perspectives, talents and contributions allows communities to expand knowledge, resolve common problems together, elevate individual and group productivity, and enrich the quality of life. The potential is tremendous, and the first step is to honor that diversity of experience and thought.”

Following town hall meetings on Monday, Oct. 28, campus community feedback will be considered as diversity, equity and inclusion strategies are formulated, finalized and executed.

Reservations for Monday’s meetings have reached capacity. Opportunities to contribute to ongoing dialogue regarding campus culture and related enhancement strategies will be conveyed through various university communication channels including the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website.