The Oklahoma State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, the university’s Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer, will chair OSU Athletics’ newly-formed Council For Diversity and Inclusion.
Under Dr. Kirksey’s leadership, OSU has been nationally recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion with more than 25 prestigious awards and recognitions. In 2019, Oklahoma State became one of just eight institutions of higher learning in the country to earn the highly sought-after Higher Education Excellence In Diversity (HEED) Award for eight consecutive years. The university has also been honored by Insight Into Diversity magazine each of the last three years as a Diversity Champion, which is a select number of HEED Award institutions exhibiting an exceptional commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“OSU is a land-grant institution with an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Dr. Kirksey. “Over the past decade, OSU has emerged as a national leader and a role model across higher education and beyond. While we still have work to do, the establishment of athletics’ Council For Diversity and Inclusion is a significant and genuine effort to broaden and deepen the university’s commitment to a culture of inclusion. The council is our most recent structural engagement to effect meaningful and lasting change across the OSU Family.”
The newly formed council will be a permanent entity in OSU Athletics and is being populated by a cross-section of individuals from the OSU campus, OSU Athletics, current student-athletes and alumni. It will be housed in the university’s Division of Institutional Diversity.
“We are grateful that Dr. Kirksey has agreed to lead our efforts moving forward,” said Chad Weiberg, OSU’s Deputy Director of Athletics. “The athletic department could make a lot of promises and declarations about what we will be doing, but our future actions will speak for us. Under Dr Kirksey’s leadership, we will be very intentional in our efforts, but our driving goal will be to get better.”