Volume I, Issue 1
Welcome to the first installment of the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) Culture, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI) quarterly newsletter.
The purpose of this newsletter is to inform and engage the College of AgSci community with the efforts being made across the college to advance our goals in making this a truly welcoming place for everyone.
As stated in our CARE commitment, we are the founding College of this land-grant institution, and as such, we have an obligation to recognize and work to dismantle oppressions of all kinds, with a mission to not only reflect the composition of the society we serve but to equitably include, serve, and engage historically underserved communities in what we do and how we do it. Our principles and practices are fundamentally rooted in the understanding and acknowledgment that anti-racism is a precondition for our conversations and work.
As part of that important work, I want to remind you that you are invited and encouraged to participate in developing our Strategic Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence. Last week, I sent an email requesting your participation in a survey that will be used to inform this plan. Your voice and perspectives are important to identifying key goals, actions, and investments that can grow diversity, equity, and inclusion across all areas and aspects of our work.
All responses to this survey are anonymous.
I also invite you to learn more about how the Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence has progressed and how your voices will be incorporated into its final dissemination through both the survey and additional focus groups that will take place later this year.
We have work to do, but we are not waiting to do that work while this plan is being developed. Across this College, our faculty, staff and students are continually investing their time, talents, and resources to intentional advance our diversity, equity and inclusion goals. I encourage you to read through some of the examples of this work below.
Thank you for all you do in recognizing the importance of this work. If you are engaged in work that advances these goals, please share your story with Heidi Happonen to be included in the next newsletter. As we recognize there is much still to be done, it is important to also recognize the work that is already under way.
Together, we can make tomorrow better for everyone.
Staci L. Simonich, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Dean and Reub Long Professor
College of Agricultural Sciences
Director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station
Summary of Progress: The CAS Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence
The Strategic Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence is co-chaired by Dean Staci Simonich and Professor Gail Langellotto, with additional committee members representing faculty, staff and students across the diverse academic units and locations of the College. Teresita Alvarez-Cortez, from OSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity, serves as a key advisor and mentor for the strategic planning process. Tiffany Monroe, a College alumna, farmer, and Grassroots Coordinator for Oregonians for Food and Shelter also serves on the committee, providing an important perspective that is external to the College.
The charge of the committee is to write a strategic action plan to improve opportunities and outcomes for underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders of the College.
This is a consultative process that includes the faculty, staff, students, stakeholders, and the Climate Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in the college, as well as with the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID). The planning process also strives to uphold the principles and practices of the CAS CARE Commitment document and align with OSU’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan SP4.0 and OSU’s diversity strategic plan, Innovate and Integrate: Plan for Inclusive Excellence.
Since the planning process launched in March 2022, the committee has:
- worked to assess opportunities for growth and change through by working within and outside of the committee to envision what Inclusive Excellence can look like for the College.
- identified key themes that have emerged from the assessment.
- started to design strategic objectives and actions that can drive changes towards our collective College vision.
Currently, the group continues to work across these three areas: assess, identify, and design. A critical part of this work is the Collegewide survey, which is now open through September 30.If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to share your perspective. All responses to this survey are anonymous.
In the coming months, we will be hosting focus groups, where you can provide specific feedback on the emerging strategic action plan, and directly guide its development. At the end of the survey, you will be invited to leave your name and contact information, to be invited to one of the focus groups, which will be held on Zoom.
Thank you for your support of these efforts, and your work to Make Tomorrow Better for all within the CAS community, as well as the many Oregonians whom we serve.
OSU CAMP (Oregon State University College Assistance Migrant Program) and College of Agricultural Sciences Multicultural Scholars Program
This multicultural scholar program provides opportunities for Latinx students with family histories of migrant or seasonal agricultural work with $6,500 in tuition support for up to four years as well as paid internship and research experience and expenses for national conference participation for over $30,000.