The University of Oregon has announced the launch of a series of initiatives to combat racism and enhance inclusion on campus, including the creation of a new research and policy center focused on racial disparities and resilience.
The five-year effort to create the new Center on Racial Disparities includes hiring 12 additional faculty members with research expertise in understanding and addressing racial disparities in areas such as health, education, housing, employment, and wealth. The center will be funded by at least $3 million from the University of Oregon’s President’s Fund for Excellence.
In addition, up to six additional new positions, not affiliated with the center, will be hired in departments with historically underrepresented faculty.
Patrick Phillips, provost at the University of Oregon, explained that “the University of Oregon has always been committed to diversity and inclusion, but one thing that I have heard very clearly from faculty and students, particularly our Black students and other students of color, is that we need to dramatically diversify our faculty. I agree and am very much looking forward to working with stakeholders both on and off campus to get this initiative launched.”
Charlotte Moats-Gallagher, director of the Center on Diversity and Community at the university, added that “for the university to increase diversity and inclusion, we need to not only hire faculty and staff of color but be able to retain them, too. Why do people leave and why do they stay at the University of Oregon despite the difficulties they encounter?”