Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Commitment at the Highest Levels

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Commitment at the Highest Levels

Article excerpt

"Bringing more than skin color to the party" pretty much sums up our cover story on recruiting faculty of color. One new faculty hire from Rochester Institute of Technology says minority faculty have to do just that and must "bring ways to contribute to the strategic direction of the university and the department."

In our cover story, "Mission Possible," Kendra Hamilton features three universities located on the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast whose recruitment efforts of future faculty and future minority faculty truly demonstrate commitment at the institutions' highest levels.

The Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and California State University-Los Angeles, three different types of institutions with different demographics, share in common the desire and commitment of the administration, department heads, etc., to go after the best and brightest faculty of color. The schools are succeeding and are good examples of what it takes to achieve a diverse faculty. They prove that schools have to he proactive in their efforts.

Nationwide the numbers of minority faculty still may not be where we'd like them to be, but after reading Kendra's article you get the sense that sonic schools are on the right track and that achieving a diverse faculty is a realistic goal for schools not considered to be minority-serving institutions.

On the student side of recruitment and retention, Lydia Lure reports on the record enrollments many colleges and universities are experiencing this fall. Some of the significant enrollment increases are due to children of the baby boomer generation becoming of college age, but those schools that are seeing an increase in the number of students of color, are primarily attributing that growth to their outreach and diversity efforts. Schools are realizing that we live in a diverse country that's only becoming more diverse, therefore, schools have to provide a setting--meaning a student body and faculty ranks--that reflect this country's changing demographics. …

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