Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Update: University, Corporate Leaders Urge United States to Focus on Diversity

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Update: University, Corporate Leaders Urge United States to Focus on Diversity

Article excerpt

A coalition of top corporate CEOs and university presidents came together earlier this month to strongly assert that the nation faces a social and economic crisis unless America succeeds in promoting and taking advantage of racial and ethnic diversity.

In a report released by the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), chief executive officers of leading corporations and presidents of prominent universities noted while the nation's minority population is steadily increasing, members of most racial and ethnic groups are not making sufficient educational strides. As a result, the nation is headed for a crisis of work-force skills and knowledge.

The report, "Investing in People: Developing All of America's Talent on Campus and in the Workplace," demonstrates that "a large number of the people who will be available to work (in the future) will be minorities -- who currently lag behind Whites in their training and educational credentials." It warns that, without the required investments in improving education for all Americans, tomorrow's workers will not be ready to meet the challenges of a knowledge-intensive economy.

"Diversity is an invaluable competitive asset that America cannot afford to ignore," says Stephen G. Butler, chairman and chief executive officer of KPMG LLP and co-chairman of the BHEF Diversity Initiative. …

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