Oregon State University's chief diversity officer is leaving OSU to return to Ball State University to help guide the university’s strategic initiatives.
Charlene Alexander joined OSU in the summer of 2017 after serving as a Ball State professor for 16 years and as Ball State’s associate provost for diversity and interim associate vice president for community engagement for four years. A native of the West Indies island of Trinidad, she will leave OSU on Sept. 17.
“Charlene has contributed remarkably to Oregon State University by leading the creation and development of the Office of Institutional Diversity,” said Becky Johnson, OSU’s interim president. “Students, faculty and staff of color and all members of the university community have benefited from Charlene’s contributions, leadership, care and compassion.”
Johnson said Alexander has collaborated with OSU campuses, colleges, divisions and departments to advance the recruitment and retention of students from historically underrepresented communities; recruit and retain diverse faculty; foster an inclusive, safe and welcoming university community; and collaborate with community leaders to promote diversity, equity and inclusion statewide.
Alexander also co-chaired a public safety advisory committee made up of faculty, staff and students and worked with the OSU Foundation and OSU Alumni Association to advance philanthropic support for DEI efforts, student success programs and alumni engagement initiatives among underrepresented community members.
“I will leave Oregon State University very pleased to see the many ways OSU’s leadership and community members have embraced DEI efforts,” Alexander said. “I am confident the university is on a path to build on the work already underway.”
In the weeks ahead, Johnson will gather nominations and input from faculty, staff, students and stakeholders, as well as self-nominations, to inform her selection of an interim vice president and chief diversity officer. A national search for a permanent vice president and chief diversity officer will be launched in fall.