OSU takes next steps to address racism, advance equality

Sept. 16, 2020

Members of the OSU community,

Oregon State University is committed to leading change that will work to end systemic racism and support the long-term success of Black, Indigenous and other students, faculty and staff of color.

Since arriving at OSU on July 1, 2020, as president, I have had numerous opportunities to listen and learn from community members and to share my commitment to actions that advance diversity, equity and justice.

I write you today to announce next steps by the university that I believe will help move us forward collaboratively and to take actions that are consistent with OSU’s mission and values.

I am confident that by engaging in important conversations about race and racism, justice and equity; by learning from each other; and by taking specific actions, we will constantly strive to advance the culture of belonging, collaboration and innovation that we aspire to in the university’s strategic plan. And we will provide a transformative education that is accessible for all learners – another goal of our strategic plan.

Beginning today, we are launching a new web page within the President’s Office entitled “Moving Forward Together.”

We launch this web page in response to calls for action from OSU community members and in a commitment to advance OSU’s Strategic Plan, as well as the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan and recommendations made by the President and Provost’s Leadership Council on Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice. This new web page outlines actions and commitments underway – and others that are planned – to advance OSU’s commitment to opposing systemic racism and supporting the success of Black, Indigenous and other students, faculty and staff of color. This web page offers a central view of how we intend to realize these goals, and notes actions to be taken in the coming months. The page will be updated regularly to reflect our progress.

We welcome members of the OSU community to continue to bring forward recommendations, questions and concerns and encourage action by the university that will advance our commitments. The web page includes a feature for community members to share in writing their recommendations, questions and concerns. Input provided will be reviewed regularly. I also recognize that members of the Black community and other staff, students and faculty of color have articulated even more concerns and demands for the university to pursue. I commit that I and other university leaders will continue to engage and listen to our many stakeholders. And we will continue to improve how we address community needs as they arise.

In the months ahead, I ask that we all work collaboratively to achieve lasting change and transformation.

I ask that we accept that the societal, public health and economic challenges of our state, nation and world are this university’s challenges and responsibilities. And I ask that together we engage OSU’s community through collaboration, teaching, research and service to address these challenges and responsibilities.

Let us act together. Please join me.


F. King Alexander