College of Dentistry Receives Unprecedented Response to Diversity Survey
In early April, the College of Dentistry concluded its first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) survey. More than 1,000 students, residents, staff, and faculty were invited to anonymously provide data that will be utilized to enhance the college’s efforts to promote diversity and create an inclusive working environment.
Survey questions were largely related to demographics, including respondents’ age, gender, ethnic group, and marital status. Additional questions asked about military service, native language, birth country, whether parents or grandparents went to college, and whether or not respondents have any dependents. The college community’s participation rate was unprecedented with 98% of faculty; 74% of staff; 77% of dental hygiene students; 84% of dental students; and 93% of residents and graduate students completing the survey.
“The unprecedented response to this survey tells us that diversity is something our entire community is focused on and concerned about during this time of heightened focus on equity in healthcare and education,” said Patrick Lloyd, Dean of the College of Dentistry. “We now have a more accurate assessment of our college’s rich diversity, and we are better prepared to evaluate the impact of our future efforts to make our college a most welcoming and supportive place to work and learn.”
The survey was designed after months of careful research and discussion by the College of Dentistry’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup that is comprised of students, staff, and faculty. The workgroup consulted with Ohio State’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Institutional Equity, and the Office of University Compliance and Integrity.
Through the survey, the DEI workgroup discovered that the college community has a larger number of countries represented among its population than was previously believed. They originate from 43 different countries. In addition, the workgroup learned there are 45 college members who are fluent in at least three languages, and more than 200 are fluent in at least two languages, including Arabic, French, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Serbian, and Russian. The workgroup also found that the age distribution among faculty is fairly evenly spread.
“The survey represents a first step in assessing the College of Dentistry’s collective diversity,” said Dr. Shareef Dabdoub, the co-chair of a DEI subgroup. “By cultivating that diversity, we can work to ensure that our college represents the cultural, racial, and ethnic groups that make up the communities in which we live, work, and serve.”