EXCLUSIVE: OSU spent $100k on 4 diversity workshops

Oregon State University paid Kardia Group LLC to conduct four workshops as part of a five-year DEI initiative, which concluded last year.

OSU's College of Education put on the seminar 'Confronting Systemic Whiteness' this summer, which echoed the content produced by the school during the five-year period.

Documents obtained by Campus Reform show that Oregon State University spent $100,000 on four diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops in 2015. 

OSU hired Kardia Group LLC to facilitate the workshops over the course of one year as part of the school’s five-year “strategic plan” to advance DEI efforts. The five year initiative concluded in 2020. 

Kardia visited OSU to establish a “deeper level knowledge of the status quo of diversity and inclusion efforts,” proposing a series of seminars to “focus diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on mission-specific activities associated with excellence in engineering.”  

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The outside organization billed itself as a “leading strategic partner in the transformation of the culture, functionality, and success of the academic endeavor.” It also limited the entire workshop series to 8-12 faculty and 8-12 staff members. 

Workshops 1-3 cost $28,000 each and workshop 4 cost $16,000, for a total of $100,000. The contract between OSU and Kardia also covered travel expenses which were “not to exceed $12,000.”

As part of the five-year DEI effort, Phase I of the College of Engineering’s Strategic Plan intended the school to become a “recognized model as an inclusive and collaborative community” and to be “increasingly more inclusive, collaborative, diverse, and centered on student success.” 

Kardia developed Phase II with the university. 

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OSU’s College of Engineering also has a Center for Diversity and Inclusion that develops programs and “empowers students who have traditionally been denied equal opportunities in the field of engineering,” which include “LGBTQ+, Womxn, and undocumented or DACAmented students.”

The university’s “first comprehensive diversity strategic plan” was released in 2018 and is called  “Innovate & Integrate: Plan for Inclusive Excellence.” The CoE’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion does align with the 2018 plan and the presented goals are similar to one another, both aiming to create an “inclusive university climate.”

The College of Education at OSU also hosted a “Confronting Systemic Whiteness” seminar this summer, which was a repeat of an event hosted in 2020.

The Kardia Group declined to comment when reached by Campus Reform, citing client confidentiality. Oregon State University did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.