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A Letter from Dr. Kirksey

 

Oklahoma State University’s unprecedented commitment to sustaining and enriching the culture of inclusion within the OSU Family is exceptional! While we still have work to do, OSU continues to achieve remarkable and transformative accomplishments and is the most highly decorated institution in the country in terms of earning nationally prestigious awards and recognition for diversity and inclusion. 

 

At a time when colleges and universities across the nation are removing statues and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance, we are installing symbols of pride, dedication and perseverance. In January 2019, OSU installed a sculpture honoring our first African-American student, Nancy Randolph Davis. Additionally, last November, exit 174 of I-35 North became the Nancy Randolph Davis Memorial Highway!

 

OSU continues to graduate more Native-American students than any other institution in the nation. Between May 2010 and May 2018, students of color earning a bachelor’s degree increased 90 percent, including a 216 percent increase among Hispanic/Latinx students. Clearly, OSU’s exceptional commitment to elevating its culture of inclusion is evidenced where it matters most.

 

In 2019, OSU became one of eight higher educational institutions in the U.S. to earn the highly sought Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for eight consecutive years. We were also, again, recognized, for the third consecutive year, as a Diversity Champion by Insight Into Diversity magazine. Additionally, the 2019 Minority Access, Inc. Institution Committed to Diversity Award represented our fourth consecutive year to be recognized. OSU was also recognized with the 2019 Honorable Mention for the NCAA Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Finally, our efforts to support and facilitate the success of veteran and military students, again, earned OSU recognition by Military Times magazine in its Top 100 ‘best colleges’ rankings for 2019.

 

Here are a few additional 2019 OSU diversity and inclusion-focused highlights:

  • OSU Police Department 10-Hour Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program
  • Hosted the CEO Action “Check Your Blind Spots” unconscious bias bus tour
  • Elected the second female of color in three years as OSU student body president
  • 2019 OSU Diversity Hall of Fame
  • Hosted Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica
  • 50 States LGBTQIA+ OSU Museum Exhibit
  • Sponsored 2019 Oklahoma Wine Forum panel “Decanting Diversity: Celebrating Wine with Trade Trailblazers”
  • ASEE recognition of the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT) as one of 28 Exemplary Diversity and Inclusion programs in the nation
  • Hosted National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF)
  • Hosted and sponsored the 2019 Southwest Minority Suppliers Diversity Council (SMSDC)
  • MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) Showcase & Supplier Spotlight Luncheon
  • Established the 2019 Inclusive Excellence Faculty Award
  • OSU President’s Cabinet and Executive Team Two-Hour Executive Leaders Inclusive 

 

Excellence Workshop

  • $3.9M NSF grant for Phase VI of the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) Program

 

Finally, in 2019, the innovative and unprecedented OSU Division of Institutional Diversity Capital Campaign concluded June 30. The five-year campaign goal was $1.65M, the total raised was $6.4M and yielded approximately 50 new endowed scholarships focused on diversity and inclusion. We are excited and appreciate the opportunity to transform the lives of OSU students while simultaneously accelerating the prominence of OSU as the aspirational pacesetter for higher educational institutions across the state and nation.

 

Thank you for helping OSU shine as a beacon for inclusiveness across higher education and beyond. Go Pokes!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jason F. Kirksey, Ph.D.

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Associate Professor of Political Science

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