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Pillar 4

Pillar 4: Become a Place of Belonging and Emotional Growth for All Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni

Strategy 1:
Make diversity, equity, and inclusion a cultural strength of OU with the goal of ensuring that everyone in the OU community is valued and understood, is dignified and respectful toward others, and feels connected.


Tactic 1: Embrace diversity in ideas, experiences, and identity in the recruitment of students, faculty, and staff.

Tactic 2: Promote a culture of civil discourse, on campus and in our online educational spaces, by fostering a respectful exchange of different viewpoints, perspectives, and life experiences.

Tactic 3: Fully implement the University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan to reinforce shared values and mutual respect towards all.

Tactic 4: Pursue OU’s status as a public institution by placing greater focus on recruiting, supporting, and retaining first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented communities.

Tactic 5: Create a new student orientation program which includes access for all incoming students in a common experience that welcomes them to campus and introduces them to the University and its cultural expectations.

Tactic 6: Design focused student programming that fosters individual and shared lifechanging experiences that promote intellectual, social, and emotional growth.

Tactic 7: Explore the development of an equity and inclusion course as part of the general education curriculum to promote respect for all students, in conjunction with the University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan and subject to shared governance approval processes.

Tactic 8: Identify space in support of multicultural programs and services.

Tactic 9: Ensure that transfer and non-traditional students have a sense of belonging to OU.

Tactic 10: Promote multicultural in-person experiences that bring students of different backgrounds together to learn from one another.

Tactic 11: Activate a programmatic effort to ensure OU alumni and supporters enjoy a lifelong connection to OU and remain engaged with the University.



Strategy 2:
Improve systems to support and assess evidence-based diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for faculty and staff.


Tactic 1: Improve recruitment, hiring, and retention processes and adopt practices that promote the recruitment and hiring of historically underrepresented groups.

Tactic 2: Expand networking and mentorship among faculty, staff, administration, and alumni to enhance the sense of belonging to the OU community.

Tactic 3: Develop customized, high-quality training that is mandatory for all faculty, staff, and administrators on issues regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

Tactic 4: Value and reward work that strengthens campus diversity, equity, and inclusion when assessing faculty, staff, and administrative offices for annual evaluations, promotion criteria, internal grants, and compensation.