Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion is a top priority at the University of Oklahoma. Creating and sustaining a culture of inclusivity and equity at OU strikes at the very core of our humanity. As President Harroz often says, “To be truly successful, this important work must be approached boldly, honestly, and with clear eyes.”
Over the past 12 months, OU has implemented substantive structural changes to elevate and expand its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. At his first Regents meeting as Interim President in June 2019, President Harroz asked the board to approve the renaming of the Office of University Community to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as elevating the leadership role to executive officer status. In October, President Harroz announced the appointment of Dr. Belinda Higgs Hyppolite as OU’s new Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer.
President Harroz’s inaugural Presidential Speakers Series Dinner, which concentrated on the theme of race and equity, helped kickstart a week of events in September dedicated to honoring OU’s civil rights history and leaders. In January, the University held its first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week to celebrate and promote the importance of these efforts throughout the OU community.
OU’s ongoing commitment to becoming a true place of belonging is physically represented in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the OU Gender + Equality Center – two spaces that were officially dedicated early in the spring 2020 semester.
Through a deliberate focus on increasing education, diversity training, and honest conversations with faculty, staff, and students, OU is making progress toward creating a more inclusive and welcoming culture.