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Southern Oregon University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1250 Siskyou Blvd
Ashland, Oregon 97520
(541) 552-7672
Email address
School Information
SOU provides career-focused, comprehensive educational experiences to over 6,200 students. Along with an emphasis on student success and intellectual growth, SOU is committed to diversity, inclusion and sustainability. Theoretical and experiential learning programs provide quality, innovative experiences for students. At SOU, students build strong community connections through internships, mentorships, field studies, capstone projects, volunteer opportunities and civic engagement.
General Information
Southern Oregon has not yet implemented required CRT training. However, the university has convened a task force to implement required training for all faculty, staff, and students, and to insert CRT into curriculum. See details below.

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On August 14, 2023, SOU's President issued a video message in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action (June, 29, 2023). The video's summary reads: "[The] Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action and LGBTQ+ rights should have a little direct effect on SOU, but the university must assure that everyone not only feels welcome, but also knows that they belong."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Academic and Student Affairs Committee has met several times over the past year to discuss "1) emphasizing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work within academic affairs and tying Strategic Direction I (transforming curriculum and pedagogy); and 2) improving enrollment, retention and access for underrepresented students. Regarding the first goal, they are looking inward on what is being done to promote EDI work, looking at actions and values with regard to systemic racism and related issues. Dr. Walsh provided highlights on the work of various divisions on EDI issues, including the integration of EDI into the curriculum; providing anti-racist education; curating lists of resources to share; participating in workshops and trainings; creating a strategic fund to purchase materials focused on racial diversity; and working with Orbis Cascade Alliance to replace certain Library of Congress subject headings (e.g., illegal aliens and undocumented immigrants)."
  • The university has committed to the following goals by 2021: 1. Lead the university’s efforts to meet state cultural competency requirements by December 2020. 2. Identify and employ continuing training opportunities for our campus that provide a foundation for our future work, including intersectional implicit bias training, professional development opportunities for our staff, and culturally responsive teaching practices for our faculty. 3. Use the results of SOU’s 2020 campus climate survey to begin a dialogue about creating an Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Plan for our campus. The goals of the plan will be to initiate systemic changes in our policies and instill accountability for the institution.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • It is a General Education requirement for all students to take at least 1 course in the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion category.
Program and Research Funding
  • Southern Oregon University has a minor program known as the Ethnic & Racial Studies program. A certificate program in this field is also offered.
Re-Imagining Policing
  • SOU sent a letter in support of the creation of a Southern Oregon Racial Equity Liaison is serving "as a protective intermediary for Black community interactions with law enforcement."
  • Diversity Scholarship – Up to $5,000/yr. Available to Oregon & Out-of-State residents. Awarded to students whose ethnic and cultural backgrounds and/or experiences contribute to the University’s diversity.
  • Southern Oregon University has a Social Justice and Equity Center which “endeavors to create an inclusive program that promotes academic achievement, celebrates diversity, and supports the rich life experiences of the SOU community.”
  • Southern Oregon University’s Social Justice and Equity Center is home to various multicultural organizations which each run programming.
  • The Social Justice and Equity Center has an organization known as the Gender & Sexuality Union.
  • The Racial Justice Team hosts an annual event, “What Stands Between Us,” which serves “as a means of creating dialogue at the intersections of Race & all other identities.”
  • The Hannon Library includes a list of definitions for terms related to DEI, including anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and racial justice.
  • The Social Justice and Equity Center also includes the Gender & Sexuality Justice team which offers a site for “Queer and Trans Resources.”
  • Southern Oregon University offers numerous programs and support groups related to its Gender & Sexuality Justice team.
  • Southern Oregon University outlines its adherence to the 2017 House Bill 2864 stating that the school will “create a diverse, equitable, inclusive community where learners flourish” and promote cultural competency.
  • As of the 2023-2024 school year, the university has a Presidential Committee for Equity and Diversity, which “will provide consultation, recommendations, and guidance related to EDI efforts, policies and campus practices.”
Symbolic Actions
  • Paul Condon, associate professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University, "a leading expert in the field of compassion training" spoke at the Penn State College of Health and Human Development 2022 Compassion Week.
Last updated June 10th, 2024
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