As the founding college of a land grant university, we have an obligation and mission to serve all Oregonians in addressing complex challenges facing our society. This requires us to not only reflect the society we serve in our composition but also to respect all voices in what we do and how we do it. This seems particularly important as we continue to see such inequality in our society on the basis of race, gender and identities of all types.

Through this broader inclusion and multiple perspectives, we can see the issues we address more clearly and develop more resilient solutions to those societal challenges. As a university team, we already know that having a collection of perspectives with a broad vision and respect for all those views is important to our success and makes everyone stronger. So, we all have something to gain by making sure we are including as many points of view as possible, with respect for what each contributes to our collective effort.

To this end, the College of Agricultural Sciences is launching a new Climate, Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) Initiative to assure we are as inclusive and representative as we can be in what we do and how we do it. It will have three main goals:

  • To improve how we reflect the population we serve.
  • To create opportunities for respectful and constructive dialogue between people and viewpoints.
  • To eliminate bias in our policies and procedures so they are as supportive as possible for all people.

I have asked Dr. Staci Simonich, Executive Associate Dean, to lead this initiative as it reaches across our entire College organization. She will be advised and assisted by a task force who will provide counsel and a sounding board for ideas and opinions. The CDI task force will be formed early this fall and have an ongoing presence in our culture as a college.

I hope you share my interest in improving our climate, diversity and sense of inclusion. It will make us a stronger organization, allowing us to better serve our constituents and helping us create more resilient and impactful solutions to life’s problems. In short, it will help us better meet our land grant mission. It will help us make tomorrow better.

Please join us in this effort to improve ourselves.

 

Alan Sams
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Director
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station