Our world is increasingly pluralistic and global. It is a world characterized by accelerating scientific and technical advancement juxtaposed with massive poverty and deprivation, thus creating enormous ethical challenges for societies and the institutions that support them.
If OSU is to respond with agility to the demands of this world, we must rely on the full range of human diversity to inform our thoughts and actions. But it is neither powerful nor advisable that OSU limit itself to this reactive role in the world; rather, we must assume an active stance that allows us to fully engage in identifying and creating an optimal future.
I challenge us to place diversity at the core of OSU's institutional identity because it is fundamental to achieving this role. Oregon State University must be diverse by choice. In choosing to be diverse we shall strengthen our commitment to nurture and support the full range of human complexity in our midst.
I wish to acknowledge the significant contributions of ideas and discussion from Angelo Gomez, Phyllis Lee, Larry Roper, Moira Dempsey, and Anne Gillies. The President's Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs reviewed an earlier draft and offered considerable help and guidance.