Transforming Academia for Equity

Transforming Academia for Equity

This initiative will advance Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Health at Oregon State University.

This is an 18-month project working toward examining and addressing the ways systemic racism and oppression show up in our policies and practices and the daily interactions within our college. In addition, this project aims to develop a strategic plan that will help guide our change efforts to make our college a place where current and future generations of scholars who identify as BIPOC can thrive.

About the initiative

Situated in Oregon’s land grant university and as the state’s first accredited school of public health, the College of Health (COH) is building a culture of health through research and community engagement that is core to its mission “to ensure health and well-being for individuals, families, and communities in Oregon and beyond.”

Our proposed initiative, A Land Grant University for Equity and Justice, will build on previous work to advance faculty and student success through the lens of JEDI. Our guiding team will assess how structural racism and oppression affect our institutional context and develop a sustainable strategy to advance JEDI in our college.

The College of Health will serve as a model for other land grant universities throughout the United States to advance faculty research and outreach that dismantles racism and oppression in rural and urban communities and expands health equity and justice-related research that contributes to a Culture of Health.

Mission and Vision for Equity

Mission

We redress the historical and present-day impacts of colonialism, racism, and other forms of oppression that permeate our society. Through critical questioning, reflection, and action, we transform these structures and systems to attract, retain, and promote public health and human science professionals who advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within our institution and communities.

Vision

We envision a culture of belonging where bold public health and human sciences professionals and communities thrive in an equitable and just society that is free from racism and other systems of oppression.

Work to date

Transforming Academia for Equity

The Transforming Academia for Equity guiding team’s efforts to transform the institutional and cultural context of the College of Health for equity and justice will move through three phases:

Phase 1

Self-reflect and evaluate

(March 2022-January 2023)

As a GT, we have spent the first six months of the project working to review and understand the institutional history of the COH, paying particular attention to how policies at the college contribute to systemic racism and oppression. We have also reviewed recruitment, enrollment, and retention data for faculty, staff, and students to compare trends and patterns by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic and first-generation status. We have also worked to understand the bias response data as well as climate survey data from the Office of Institutional Diversity. These data have helped us to establish a baseline and system for continuous and iterative evaluation. We will continue to define key aspects of our work and discover ways to build equity through Appreciative Inquiry.

Phase 2

Establish community-engaged learning communities on structural racism and oppression

(January 2023- March 2023)

In this phase our efforts move toward establishing learning communities. These learning communities will lay the groundwork for a vision of transformative change, identify institutional and cultural barriers, consider adaptive challenges, and generate creative transdisciplinary approaches to dismantling systems of oppression within our college programs, in our surrounding communities, and throughout Oregon. This work will focus on appreciative inquiry and embrace decolonizing approaches as we work together to understand the lived experiences of member of our college

Phase 3

Formalize a strategic plan for JEDI and identify a priority action item determined by the GT and learning community

(March 2023- September 2023)

With guidance from TAE Coordinating Team, we will formalize the strategic plan, including specific mechanisms to sustain buy-in from university, college, and community stakeholders. We will develop an evaluation plan and design a communication strategy that is accessible to faculty, staff, and students through the college JEDI website to improve transparency and accountability