A Brief History of OADI
The Committee on Special Educational Projects, or COSEP, was established by Cornell University in 1965 with two primary goals: to increase the enrollment of African American students at Cornell and to provide support services which would facilitate both their adjustment to, and graduation from, Cornell. Later, the COSEP was expanded to include Latino, Hispanic American, Native American, and Asian American students as well as those who would be first in their families to receive a bachelor's degree, and those from lower-income families.
Over the past four-plus decades of service to its students and mission, the COSEP has been highly successful. Besides changing the composition of the university’s student body, COSEP and its programs have helped to sensitize the university community to the challenges, needs and accomplishments of under-represented groups at Cornell.
In 1976, COSEP was subsumed into the Office of Minority Educational Affairs (OMEA). In June 2011, the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) was formed as a unit that addresses diversity issues and support in the academic areas across the university, while the diversity involving social climate and student activities became a part of the new Student Development and Diversity Initiatives office. Today, COSEP remains a committee of advisors, counselors, and administrators who support the special educational needs of its students.