Otterbein believes we are a better, stronger, more meaningful community when we open doors for anyone and everyone who is ready to learn and to work with the aim of advancing the public good.

Posted Mar 07, 2019

Our university has always been a leader in ensuring all have full access to a world-class education. That is why women were admitted as students on equal footing as their male counterparts and why women served as faculty members right from the start. It is why we admitted students of color before the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s why we admitted students from Japanese internment camps. Even today, we are building on this legacy by attracting the most diverse class in our history and taking the lead in the college affordability crisis through commitments like the Opportunity Scholarship and Tuition Transparency.

For our leadership to be impactful, we must also seek to form a model and inclusive community on our campus and beyond. We do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we continue to strive towards our goals in this regard.  We are proud to have a campus community that welcomes all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends as they are, and ensures that all are valued and welcomed.

For this reason, we stand with those in the United Methodist Church community who feel disappointed and frustrated about the choice to keep doors closed for LGBTQ+ individuals who want to worship, live and lead while being authentic and honest about who they are.

Like many in the UMC, Otterbein’s leadership is reflecting on what the recent 2019 General Conference vote means for our community and our future. Otterbein’s historic values of inclusion were reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 12, and that is only the beginning of the conversation our community will have in the coming months. We respect, value and recognize the emotional, spiritual and intellectual volatility of this reality, but we pledge to stay true to our values and make intentional decisions with all of our community members in mind.

Otterbein continues to stand as a leader in the country for inclusivity. This will not change and all should know they are welcome here.