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About the Network for Inclusive Excellence

  Purpose

The Oshkosh Placement Exchange is honored to oversee the Network for Inclusive Excellence, which is a professional resource network that seeks to assist candidates who attend the annual Oshkosh Placement Exchange in their career search within the field of higher education administration.  For 24 years, this network, known as the Minority and Friends Network, was managed outside of Oshkosh, Wisconsin by a small group of incredibly talented and dedicated professionals. Beginning in 2017, the Network for Inclusive Excellence is managed by the Oshkosh Placement Exchange Management Team, and strives to oversee the same quality, standards and approach that the Minority and Friends Network had for nearly a quarter century of service to candidates in the field of student affairs who attend the Oshkosh Placement Exchange.  

Through the annual sponsorship of employers, the Network for Inclusive Excellence fulfills a vital role in OPE’s support of the field of higher education. The purpose of the Network for Inclusive Excellence will be:

  1. Sharing information on interviewing skills, resume writing, and other facets of the job search process.
  2. Serving as professional mentors to candidates who attend the Oshkosh Placement Exchange, in order to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment.
  3. To answer any questions candidates may ask in order to better understand and prepare for the interview process.

  History

The Network for Inclusive Excellence, formerly known as the Minority and Friends Network, has served candidates and employers of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange for over a quarter century. As the Oshkosh Placement Exchange guides the Network for Inclusive Excellence forward into its next chapter, OPE is grateful to guard the history of the Minority and Friends Network. 

In 1992, the Minority & Friends Network was founded at the Oshkosh Placement Exchange.  The original purpose was for candidates of color to come together in a social setting to network with seasoned professionals.  The first Minority & Friends Network social was sponsored by Western Illinois University.

In 1993, Illinois State University and Michigan State University joined the Social and more structure was given to the mentor and mentee process.

In 1994, Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, joined the social.  That year the event had a record number of candidates attending and provided them with the opportunity to ask questions from the mentors on a variety of issues.  The increased participation in the social facilitated its move to Reeve Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus.

In 2017, the management and coordination of the Minority and Friends Network was officially transitioned to full oversight by the Oshkosh Placement Exchange Management Team.  

In 2018, the decision was made by the Oshkosh Placement Exchange Management Team to change the name of the Minority and Friends Network to the NETWORK FOR INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE. This decision was made after consultation, guidance and wisdom sought from the the two founders of the Minority and Friends Network, as well as key constituencies and valued partners of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange.  Mutually, we believe that this new name reflects the mission and essence of this professional network that for over 24 years has been closely tied to the Oshkosh Placement Exchange, and now is fully integrated into our operational planning team.

What began as a humble social grew to the Minority and Friends Network and now stands as the Network for Inclusive Excellence. The Network for Inclusive Excellence includes:

  • OPE Travel Scholarship
  • Network Mentors
  • OPE Social
  • Advice Booth:  Resource room with network members who can answer questions and give advice

Historically, more than 50 institutions have supported the Minority and Friends Network as sponsors. We look forward to growing and assisting new and seasoned professionals as we network and celebrate diversity through the Network for Inclusive Excellence!

NOTE:  We invite Colleges and Universities to assist with sponsorship of the Network for Inclusive Excellence.  Sponsorships allow individual institutions to participate in the network by supporting expanding programs for our candidates, which serves to strengthen our professional network.  The Network for Inclusive Excellence reserves the right to accept sponsorship on an as needed basis.

Questions:  Sarah Martin Krihas at krihas@uwosh.edu