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, and adding additional resources and programs in diversity initiatives.  For three years, OEI advocated 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 and 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 leading UD’s diversity initiatives, and works 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 of 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.

Our revised mission is to create equal opportunities for an equitable and inclusive work and learning environment. We are responsible for Title IX, non-discrimination, and affirmative action policy and compliance, and we provide support services to address concerns. Our staff provide workshops and programs, like our LGBT Allies program, to encourage the UD community to develop the awareness and knowledge of individuals’ differences and similarities. We also provide advocacy for faculty, staff and students during grievance procedures and can assist with informal mediation and problem-solving of issues. Our office serves as the administrative arm of the Diversity and Equity Commission and directly supports and engages with the nine affinity caucuses.


As prepared by the Diversity and Equity Commission and The President's Diversity Initiative

The University of Delaware's educational mission is to prepare students to live in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world. To do so, we are committed to fostering a robust educational environment that supports critical thinking, free inquiry, and an understanding of diverse views and values. We see diversity as a core value and guiding principle for our educational mission and thus must work to make diversity an integral part of everyday life on campus. To this end, we take diversity to mean both the recognition and appreciation of the different backgrounds, values, and ideas of those who comprise our campus, as well as a commitment to ensuring that all people on our campus are treated according to principles of fairness, civility, dignity, and equity. We are committed to building an educational community that understands people from different backgrounds and economic circumstances, with different needs, and from diverse personal and philosophical beliefs. We want to make all people who are part of the University feel welcome and valued in campus life.