In January 1994, Rogue Community College became a part of a diversity project sponsored by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) and funded by the Ford Foundation.
Along with four other Oregon community colleges, RCC began to research, plan and implement diversity strategies to help attract diverse student and faculty populations, graduate more minority students, and ensure full participation and success in the educational process by all students, faculty and staff.
A task force was appointed by RCC President Harvey Bennett to develop and implement a campus action plan, which would strengthen the presence of diversity in academics and activities at Rogue and in the recruitment and retentions of minority students and staff members. Included on the task force were college employees and community members – particularly those who had been under-represented at the college: African American, Native American, Latino and Asian peoples.
The task force (now known as the Cultural Diversity Task Force) completed the Cultural Diversity Plan in November 1996 and submitted it to the RCC Board of Education for adoption.
Human Rights Policy
The June 1999 Human Rights Policy, passed by the RCC board, provides a statement of nondiscrimination and an affirmation of the rights and dignity of all individuals at RCC. Included in the Cultural Diversity Plan, the human rights policy provides a procedure for the prompt resolution of complaints of discrimination that may be brought by students, employees, or any other persons who believe they have been subjected to discrimination by RCC, its employees or other students.
Through the policy, complaints may be directed to members of the Cultural Diversity Task Force, who will act as advocates, working directly and confidentially with the parties involved.
Cultural Diversity Summit
Five Oregon community colleges – Rogue, Chemeketa, Clackamas, Lane, and Mount Hood – which developed cultural diversity initiatives under the auspices of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) continue to promote the establishment of cultural diversity training at all 17 Oregon community colleges. To that end, representatives from the five community colleges plan and present an annual cultural diversity institute that explores national diversity efforts, educational issues, students’ experience, and specific tools and programs for implement diversity. This annual cultural diversity institute is known as the Oregon Diversity Institute and is still in existence today.
The Cultural Diversity Task Force effectively went into hibernation in the late 1990’s, but was resurrected as the Diversity Programming Board (DPB) in 2008. DPB membership includes classified staff, faculty and management members and in 2010-11 will include student membership. The group has developed a mission statement, goals, and educational objectives. DPB has also started the process of intentional and systematic programming.