In January 1994, Rogue Community College became a part of a diversity project sponsored by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), which was 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 (which came to be 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.
Oregon Diversity Institute
Five Oregon community colleges – Rogue, Chemeketa, Clackamas, Lane, and Mount Hood – developed cultural diversity initiatives under the auspices of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and promoted the establishment of cultural diversity training at all 17 Oregon community colleges. To that end, representatives from the five community colleges planned and presented an annual cultural diversity institute that explored national diversity efforts, educational issues, students’ experience, and specific tools and programs to implement diversity.
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 included student membership. The group has developed a mission statement, goals, and educational objectives. DPB has also started the process of intentional and systematic programming.