Greetings and welcome to the 2021 State of Diversity at Oregon State Address! 

I am Charlene Alexander and I am honored to serve as Oregon State University’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this critical time, where everyone has a role to play to ensure our safety. The importance of advancing inclusive excellence at Oregon State has never been more salient than during these challenging times. The staff in the Office of Institutional Diversity would like each and every one of you to know: we are with you, we think about you constantly, and we recognize the many challenges faced, and pain and harm experienced by our communities this past year. Our work is to ensure that the needs of everyone served by OSU remain front and center of the many decisions being made at this time. We have shown that we are a resilient community and together we will continue to grow and flourish wherever we are.  

I want to respectfully acknowledge that I am delivering this address on the ancestral lands of the Ampinefu (or "Marys River") band of the Kalapuya People. After the Kalapuya Treaty (Treaty of Dayton) in 1855, Kalapuya people were forcibly removed to what are now the Grand Ronde and Siletz reservations, and are now members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. We pay respect to their elders past and present. From wherever you are viewing this address, please take a moment to reflect on the histories and impact of colonization and migration that have shaped this country.  

This State of Siversity address is unlike any other. This address centers the DEI work happening across the university and will feature conversations between several OID staff and OSU community members.  

I am excited to present to you the vision, accomplishments, progress and yes, challenges, we still face as a university in the following conversations.  

Even though it feels like the world is standing still, we know we must continue to create a university where students, faculty, staff and community members near and far know they belong because their unique perspectives and experiences are valued and included.  

Part of telling stories includes acknowledging that we have room to grow. We each can take action from within our own spheres of influence. These actions are needed more so today than ever before. As an institution, this is not the time to depart from or lose sight of our core mission and values. This is a time to lead from our core mission and values by affirming our commitment to academic success for all, and our commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution, so that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and better. Your contributions matter. I feel incredibly hopeful and excited about the future ahead for Oregon State University. 

Thank you. 

 

Charlene Alexander

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer