What is diversity?

University of Cincinnati employees are our most valuable resource in the pursuit of common values and goals. The different backgrounds and cultures of our employees add to the strength we collectively bring to fulfilling our values and achieving our goals. Diversity includes persons from different backgrounds and covers a broad range of personal attributes and immutable characteristics. Through respect for different groups we can build on our common values and achieve our goals by working together to create advantages from our differences.

Why is diversity important?

The university’s mission statement (in part) says, “the University of Cincinnati strives to provide the highest quality learning environment, world-renowned scholarship, innovation and community service, and to serve as a place where freedom of intellectual interchange flourishes.” The university’s diversity enriches our educational experience, promotes personal growth, strengthens our communities, ensures our competitiveness, and enhances the training of future leaders.

  • Diversity enriches our educational experience. We learn important information from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different. The university’s diverse intellectual and social environment allows members an opportunity to exchange ideas, engage in discussions, and form relationships that can lead to mutual respect.
  • Diversity promotes personal growth and respect for others. The knowledge gained from our interaction in a diverse setting may challenge stereotyped preconceptions that form the basis for prejudice and discrimination. When we value different and diverse perspectives, we encourage greater participation and the free flow of ideas from groups. This can lead to enhanced communication and understanding among people from varied backgrounds.
  • Diversity strengthens our workplace and communities. Working within a diverse setting, where all individuals are made welcome, can prepare us to become good citizens in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Valuing participation from diverse groups builds mutual respect, encourages teamwork, and creates communities (whose members feel included because they are judged by the quality of their character and contributions).
  • Diversity ensures the university’s competitiveness. If we are to attain our mission and goals in the 21st century, we will need to make effective use of the talents and abilities of all our employees in order to ensure a workplace of equal opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Diversity will play an important role in the success of our research and its applications in the world community.
  • Diversity enhances the training of future leaders in the global economy. The business community has come to recognize there is great value, and a competitive advantage, in hiring employees who can put to use the knowledge and skills learned within a diverse environment. We have an obligation to equip our students and employees with the knowledge and skills for successful interaction with the business community and a multi cultural world.

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How do we promote diversity?

The University of Cincinnati is a place of opportunity where all dreams are welcome. Our policies clearly state our objectives for equal opportunity and affirmative action. Affirmative action is defined as any effort taken to expand opportunities for women or racial, ethnic, and national origin minorities by using membership in those groups that have been subject to discrimination as a consideration. Affirmative action is normally outreach such as: expanded recruitment and may include training programs, financial assistance programs, and other interventions to improve the opportunities for the above groups to participate fully. The university has established goals to increase the representation of minorities and women in areas of the workforce. In addition to affirmative action, the university has established several initiatives and programs that encourage valuing diversity. The valuing diversity initiatives aim to encourage awareness and respect for persons from different backgrounds, cultural, racial, and ethnic identities. The focus of some programs is to promote and enhance interpersonal relationships between individuals and to minimize stereotypical expressions, which may be considered offensive. Other valuing diversity initiatives seek to provide individuals knowledge, awareness, and an appreciation for differences and to avoid forming judgments exhibiting actions that are adverse to individuals based on a person’s difference.

Who is responsible?

All management employees are responsible for implementing the equal opportunity and affirmative action policies of the university. To help achieve an inclusive workplace, the university’s vice presidents and deans have developed diversity plans for their respective areas that ensure all persons have an opportunity to participate in the programs and activities that are available. As the university becomes more diverse, management will take actions that ensure all employees have an opportunity to participate free of artificial obstacles and barriers. Our objective is to create an environment that works naturally for everyone regardless of their differences and where all employees can reach their full potential. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access coordinates the university’s efforts concerning diversity, monitors equal opportunity and affirmative action compliance, and resolves complaints and disputes involving discrimination issues. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access also conducts seminars and training programs on diversity, equal opportunity/affirmative action, sexual harassment awareness, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Teamwork and Communication Skills in a Diverse Environment.

What can you do?

All employees and students are urged  to join us as we work to make the University of Cincinnati a place where opportunity abounds. You can join the Just Community and other university initiatives and participate in the many programs that promote inclusiveness. See UC Diversity Council or get involved and learn about the diversity programs at the University of Cincinnati, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at 513-556-5508.

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