History of OEI
The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) was established in July 2009 by combining the services of the Office of Affirmative Action and the Office of Women’s Affairs, as well as adding additional resources and programs in diversity initiatives. For years, OEI has worked to advocate for an equitable and inclusive work and learning environment by monitoring, coordinating, and overseeing the University's diversity and inclusion initiatives. The office focused on activities in campus diversity, LGBT community issues, women’s affairs and affirmative action, and served the entire UD community of students, faculty, and staff.
Making UD a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus is a Path to Prominence core value and strategic milestone. It has been recognized that increasing diversity and ensuring equity at UD requires systemic change, so cultivating diversity in all areas remains a primary and sustained focus. OEI has served as the administrative arm in diversity initiatives, and worked closely to support the Diversity and Equity Commission. In late 2011, President Harker announced the formation of the President’s Diversity Initiative (PDI) to coordinate the many diversity efforts under way and to set annual priorities and timelines around specific areas of action. Complementing PDI, the Center for the Study of Diversity was established within the College of Arts and Sciences to serve as the academic arm of UD’s diversity efforts.
In the summer of 2012, with wholehearted excitement about the new initiatives and institutional scope of diversity, OEI worked to realign its mission and functions to better serve UD. Many of the diversity programs and institutional awards that OEI has been responsible for in the past have been placed under PDI. Rather than focus on specific areas of historical concern, such as LGBT issues and women’s affairs, OEI is taking a broader, more inclusive focus to its role on UD’s campus. At its core, OEI works to educate our campus community about their rights, and to provide guidance and support through University processes and opportunities.
In 2014, OEI underwent another transition. The office became responsible for Title IX compliance but continued to be responsible for non-discrimination and affirmative action policy and compliance as well as offering support to our campus community for concerns in the learning and work environment. We continue to offer educational trainings and workshops to develop the awareness and knowledge of individuals’ differences and similarities. Our office works in conjunction with the Vice Provost for Diversity to support all campus diversity and inclusion initiatives and efforts.