Student & Community Expectations

On April 4, 2016, Otterbein students, with the support of faculty and staff members, rallied to promote increased diversity and inclusion. After peaceful demonstrations, students met with university administrators to put forth a list of expectations that addressed campus programming, hiring practices, course content and community events. Find out more about the students’ expectations and how Otterbein is working to address them.

List of Student & Community Expectations from April 4, 2016 student rally and the Otterbein University Response (as of February 2017)


Implementing diversity training for faculty and administrators starting academic year 2016-2017

Otterbein held its first ever All Administrative and Staff Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Cabinet agreed to close all offices during this time, and all administrators were expected to attend. The focus was on diversity and inclusion with over 200 employees in attendance for the interactive and collaborative learning experience. Evaluations were extremely positive and the community was interested in continuing this type of professional development, with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee taking the lead in planning future conferences.

During fall 2016, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) sponsored six different workshop/conversation sessions as part of their “Inclusive Teaching Series.” Attendance is open to anyone at Otterbein interested in participating; over 50 individuals participated in these sessions across the semester.

Topics and dates were:

  • Teaching in a Tense Political Climate; September 19, 2016
  • Trigger Controversies and the Inclusive Classroom; September 28, 2016
  • Teaching, Learning, and Disability: A Collaborative Discussion; October 13, 2016
  • Do I Really Belong Here? Engaging and Educating African American Males for Success on Campus; November 3, 2016
  • Teaching, Learning, and Learning Differences: A Collaborative Discussion about Learning Disabilities and ADHD; November 4, 2016
  • Revisiting…Teaching in a Tense Political Climate; November 15, 2016

During the spring, Otterbein’s General Education Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee will plan the May 2017 Great Expectations faculty conference. We expect that diversity and inclusion topics will be featured during the conference sessions.

Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer by the end of the academic year 2016-2017

Otterbein’s cabinet continues to explore options for creating this position, although having it in place by the end of AY 2016-2017 is probably not realistic.

However, this year, we awarded a Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship to Andre Lampkins, Director of External Relations at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO). Andre has a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Otterbein and is a current graduate student. As part of the Fellowship, Andre is working with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee; the Student Success Advocates group in Academic Affairs; and various student organizations in Student Affairs, especially those affiliated with the Office of Social Justice and Activism. In collaboration with our Human Resources Director, he is helping to develop a plan for increasing the diversity of our employee hires; and with our Enrollment Management division Andre is consulting on communicating with racially and cultural diverse student recruits and ensuring that our visits and events reflect a welcoming environment for a diverse range of student identities.

Increasing the cultural diversity of our faculty needs to start now with our next wave of new hires; Short and long term plans need to be put in place to sustain this commitment to diversity objectives

Diversity & Inclusion Fellow Andre Lampkins and Human Resources Director Scott Fitzgerald have outlined a three-part strategy for increasing the diversity of Otterbein’s hires. The strategy includes more deliberate integration for Otterbein into the greater Columbus area; review of Otterbein’s HR website to more intentionally send welcoming and inclusive messages; and review of the steps in our current hiring practices to determine where we might make improvements in guarding against hidden biases.

More participation from faculty and administration in diversity and inclusion efforts

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee hosted a university-wide Common Hour on Oct. 19, 2016, from 4-5 p.m. in Roush 114. In order to develop the topics for the discussion, we reviewed the responses that academic departments submitted to the “Question of the Year” in their annual academic reports during the 2015-2016 academic year. We had over 60 people (30 staff and administrators; 17 faculty members; and 15 students and alumni) join us that day for conversation around four themes: Recruiting diverse students and employees; Supporting an inclusive climate on campus for all members of the Otterbein community; Infusing equity awareness in teaching and learning spaces; and Taking action based on the things we’ve heard and learned.

The Spring D&I Common Hour (Monday, Feb. 13, 2017) will provide time to share what Otterbein has been doing well and where we see opportunity for improvement with regard to inclusive hiring practices.

The Vernon L. Pack Scholar in Residence for 2017 will be Bryonn Bain, assistant professor in residence in the Department of African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He will be working with various classes and student groups during his time on campus. His public lecture on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Life After Lockdown: The Abolition of the Punishment Paradigm (7 p.m. in Cowan Hall) is open to all members of the Otterbein community.

Better university support for diversity events through campus-wide communication channels (i.e. Academic Affairs sends out a notice on Feminist Pride Day)

The Conversations and Communication Working Group of the D&I Committee has been working on better communicating all diversity, equity, and inclusion-related efforts on campus. The “Equity & Inclusion” website was launched during Fall 2016:

A newsletter, Equity and Inclusion Matters, was also launched during Fall 2016. The website will be updated and a new edition of the newsletter made available in the Spring.

This fall, events sponsored by the Race and Ethnic Studies minor were advertised through the Academic Affairs Office as well as by Student Affairs.

FYS general education diversity requirement

In the fall, FYS instructors were asked to require their students to attend at least one FYE co-curricular event that was designated by the Office of Diversity as #cardsSTANDtogether. Approximately 25% of the total co-curricular sessions offered this year were given this designation.

This practice will continue for Spring 2017 FYS classes.

INST diversity event requirement for students; Propose that students have to attend two diversity events throughout the semester

During the fall, the Integrative Studies Advisory Committee worked on revisions to the program’s goals, learning outcomes, and thread course descriptions in light of the conversion of our curriculum to a three credit model. Although final approval is pending in Spring Semester 2017, INST Advisory has been working on more explicitly incorporating attention to diversity-related issues in two thread courses in the INST program.

Strengthen residence hall diversity programming to increase intercultural dialogue and competency

As of January 2017, five (5) diversity related events have been held in the residence halls which were co-sponsored/co-presented with the Office of Diversity or a diversity student organization. Halls included Mayne (2), Scott, 25 W. Home St., and DeVore.

Hall staff sponsored nine (9) other diversity related active programs which included other presenters and/or RAs presenting programs. The topics included Implicit Bias, Beauty Around the World, winter holidays and general conversations around diversity related topics. Halls hosting events included Mayne (2), Scott (2), DeVore (2), Clements/Hanby, Garst and Davis. Fifteen (15) diversity related bulletin boards were displayed in the halls during fall semester.

Resident Assistants should document and report all acts of hate to Otterbein Police Department; This will help gauge how the university is doing and help provide evidence for offenders, especially repeat offenders

The bias reporting policy was presented during fall RA training along with sessions presented by James Prysock and ally training with Dr. Judy Guion-Utsler.

Each chapter in Greek Life needs to start implementing their diversity standard to help build their cultural understanding and genuine relationships; Part of that standard should be attending a given number of diversity events throughout the year

During fall term, the Center for Student Involvement staff met with the Office of Diversity and student leaders to brainstorm collaboration in supporting Greek chapters in the implementation of the Diversity standard. Greek Council support for modeling this standard was further discussed with student leadership as we kicked off spring term. Chapter success in the implementation of this standard will be demonstrated in annual reports due in March.

Highlighting incidents of racism during Otterbein Uncensored in student testimonials and role playing; This should help build a standard of what it means to be a member of the Otterbein community and incidents of hate will not be tolerated on campus

Staff will begin meeting this semester related to planning for Orientation and First Flight next year.

We updated application/interview process to include more inclusive language and more questions related to Otterbein’s value of inclusion.

Twenty percent of the 2017 Orientation Leaders are students of color.

More ethnic diversity amongst the selected Common Book authors (Within a four-year span, it would be ideal to have at least one author of color selected)

We will be announcing the 2017 Common Book, written by a person of color, in the next few months. After that we’ll begin planning the implementation of this book over the course of this semester.

Our selection committee for 2018-19 will begin meeting early in Spring semester and at that time we will begin looking through the list of books with the goal in mind to have at least one author of color during each four-year cycle.

Incident Reporting

If you see, hear or experience an incident of bias or discrimination, report it immediately to the Otterbein Police at 614-823-1222, or via the Silent Witness form.  You should also contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at 614-823-1250. For a full list of reporting options, please read the Bias Incident Reporting Policy (PDF).