Jonathan Graham, a fourth-year in African American and African studies and protest organizer, briefs crowd on safety protocols ahead of March. Credit: Owen Milnes | Campus Producer

Jonathan Graham, a fourth-year in African American and African studies and protest organizer, briefs crowd on safety protocols ahead of a march on campus Saturday. Credit: Owen Milnes | Campus Producer

Ohio State will establish a task force to review racial disparities at the university.

In a statement Wednesday, University President Michael V. Drake said a new university task force will examine racism and racial inequities at Ohio State and recommend specific policies, processes, practices and programs to “help us be a better example of the ideal university.”

“We are outraged, and we are all reflecting on what this moment means. We must be the change we want to see,” Drake said.

The task force will be chaired by James L. Moore III, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, and Tom Gregoire, dean of the College of Social Work. Other members listed on the task force website include:

  • Fareedah Haroun, student senator of College of Optometry
  • Raven Lynch, third-year doctoral student in the College of Social Work
  • Elizabeth Patterson, third-year in history and vice chair of policy of the Undergraduate Black Caucus
  • Susan Basso, senior vice president of talent, culture and human resources
  • Melissa Beard Jacob, intercultural specialist for American Indian/Indigenous student initiatives in the Office of Student Life
  • Joyce Chen, associate professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and incoming chair of the President and Provost’s Council on Women
  • Liv Gjestvang, associate vice president of learning technology in the Office of Distance Education and eLearning
  • Autumn Glover, government affairs and community relations consultant for the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State
  • Russell Hassan, associate professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs
  • Marcela Hernandez, administrative director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Sorabh Khandelwal, director of Ohio State Emergency Medicine Residency Program and Samuel J. Kiehl III, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine
  • Bishun Pandey, associate dean of Marion Campus and professor of in the department of mathematics
  • Stephanie Sanders, associate vice president of strategic enrollment planning in the Office of Student Academic Success
  • Emily Schriver, senior associate general counsel of the Office of Legal Affairs
  • Andreá N. Williams, interim director of The Women’s Place and associate professor in the department of English

In addition, the office of research and the office of diversity and inclusion will establish a $1 million fund to study the causes and effects of racism and racial disparities.

During a Columbus City Council meeting June 1, Drake aired his support for the city to declare racism as a public health issue. He said the university would help implement the council’s resolution. 

In the Wednesday statement, Drake said he also supports a similar resolution the Ohio Senate is considering.

The full statement can be read here.

This story was updated July 16 at 1:46 p.m. with the names of task force members.