Diversity increases among new faculty, staff, students

"There has been a noticeable increase in diversity of students and faculty over the last decade at Oswego State, according toa recently released academic affairs annual report.

"Oswego State currently employs 63 people who are classified as underrepresented or non-U.S. citizens, compared to 44 of these employees in 2001. That equates to a 43 percent increase in global and ethnic staff over the past nine years. There was also a significant increase in the number of students that have classified themselves as underrepresented, making this year’s incoming class the most diverse that Oswego has ever seen. Nine hundred and ninety six incoming students fall into this category, which is a 42 percent increase from 2000. This is due mostly to the changing demographics of New York state and an increased recruitment effort in downstate New York.

"Interim Provost Lorrie Clemo said diversity is essential to the campus’ learning environment, and has been increasing dramatically as a result of a strategic plan spanning three years. Increasing diversity has become a higher institutional priority. Making an effort to do so, the university has reviewed the curriculum and offered international opportunities in new formats. Diversity provides different perspectives, adds to the vibrancy of the campus and is a critical experience for students, Clemo said.

""[The increase] has been very deliberate on our part," said Clemo.

"It is a legal requirement that Oswego State hires a certain amount of diverse staff, said Steven Abraham of the marketing and management department. Since Oswego State receives federal funding, it is under federal contract; therefore the university is legally bound to hire international faculty and staff.

"Associate Professor of chemistry Webe Kadima received a $200,000 national science fund grant to study how to increase the number of women in the field of sciences. A committee has been formed and will work for the next two years on this research. Clemo said this is a great indication of Oswego State’s early success in diversity and that the school is ahead of the curve.

""We want to make sure that we’re preparing our students for the life that they’re going to be living in the 21st century," Clemo said.