Employee Resource Group Guidelines
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-initiated groups of The Ohio State University at Newark and/or Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) faculty and staff who share common interests, issues, backgrounds, characteristics or pursuits. Ohio State Newark/COTC recognizes and supports ERGs organized around the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, language, region of origin, life stage, physical challenge and sexual orientation.
The ERG program is designed to support faculty and staff forming ERGs that assist Ohio State Newark/COTC in the following:
- Sustaining a diverse and inclusive workplace
- Enhancing employees’ sense of belonging and connectedness
- Promoting personal and professional development for all
- Building highly effective teams
- Increasing community involvement
Under no circumstances will the ERGs address wages or terms and conditions of employment.
Guiding principles for all employee resource groups
- All ERGs are open to all employees. All ERGs must be inclusive and may not limit participation by race, gender, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, age, ethnicity or other protected classification.
- ERGs promote diversity, openness, understanding and inclusiveness.
- ERG participation by employees is voluntary.
- ERGs adhere to university and college policies and procedures.
ERG meetings and activities
ERGs are designed to be social in nature, under no circumstances will the ERGs address wages or terms and conditions of employment. Therefore, group meetings and activities should generally be held before and after work. If meetings are held during the workday, they must be conducted on the employees’ personal time (i.e., during their lunch break). If an ERG would like representation at a campus-sponsored event during the workday (i.e., Health Fair, Orientation, etc.) or is co-sponsoring a campus-approved event, representatives can participate on work time with supervisor approval. Managers and supervisors are strongly encouraged to support faculty and staff in ERG participation.
ERG activities should advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the campus. Examples of ERG activities include the following:
- Community events
- Networking events
- Activities promoting professional, social and/or intellectual enrichment
- Educational and civic activities deemed to be advantageous to the membership of the ERG
- Welcoming new employees to the campus
- Events (e.g., talks by invited speakers) to promote diversity, equity and inclusion
Establishing an ERG
To receive recognition as an Ohio State Newark/COTC ERG, a group of two or more employees must complete the following:
- Review the Ohio State Newark/COTC ERG guidelines and submit a statement of agreement to adherence.
- Meet the minimum size requirement of two founding participants (second year and subsequent renewals also require a minimum of two regular members).
- Recruit one of the following as the ERG’s senior sponsor:
- An academic dean or above from COTC
- An assistant dean or above from Ohio State Newark
- A director or manager from Ohio State Newark or COTC
- Develop the following to be submitted to the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity officer at email@example.com:
- Statement of Purpose
- Letter of acceptance from senior sponsor
- 12-month operational plan outlining ERG meetings and activities linked to the ERG’s Statement of Purpose
- A plan for selecting ERG leadership
A request for consideration and all documentation must be submitted electronically to the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity officer. These materials are reviewed by a committee, which consists of the Ohio State Newark associate dean for academic affairs; the Ohio State Newark associate dean for academic enrichment program; the Ohio State Newark assistant dean; the COTC provost; the dean of enrollment management; and the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity officer. The committee delivers a recommendation to the president and/or dean and director regarding whether or not to recognize the ERG.
To continue to receive Ohio State Newark/COTC recognition and support, each ERG is required to submit the following to the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity officer 60 days prior to the start of the fiscal year which begins on July 1 of each year:
- Operational plan outlining past year’s activities and activities planned for the upcoming fiscal year
- Membership roster (a minimum of two members is required after the first full fiscal year of operation)
The committee will review reports submitted and determine whether the ERG’s charter will be extended for another fiscal year.
An ERG is responsible for publicizing information about itself. Interested employees will be able to contact the ERG chair directly. If an ERG will be disbanded due to low participation or lack of facilitator interest, the chair of the ERG contacts the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utilization of organizational resources
Recognized ERGs and ERG activities have appropriate access to computer, email, meeting rooms, copiers and basic office supplies. ERGs must follow all Ohio State Newark/COTC guidelines, policies and procedures in utilizing university/college resources. Abusing the utilization of university/college resources in any way will trigger a review of the ERG’s charter.
During each fiscal year, an ERG may request a co-sponsorship of up to $500 from the university/college to support the group’s events/activities. To request co-sponsorship of an activity or event, an ERG must submit a request to the director of diversity, equity and inclusion/chief diversity officer at email@example.com for consideration.
Limitation of liability disclaimer
The ERG, while comprised of employees of the campus, are not acting on behalf of or as agents of The Ohio State University or COTC. All statements, opinions and views contained within the ERG website or social media accounts are representation solely of the ERG and its members and do not represent the opinions or positions of Ohio State or COTC. Additionally, any meetings, activities or events conducted by members of the ERG are to be performed on an employee’s personal time.