Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Putting out Issues on the Agenda

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Putting out Issues on the Agenda

Article excerpt

Putting Our Issues on the Agenda

In an academy ripe with scholarship as mind-boggling and varied as a president's "to do" list is long, determining what will be the biggest issues to watch this new academic year was difficult, at best. With the higher education world taking on so much -- from affirmative action to student retention, keeping pace with technology and even simply making sure the campus lawn gets mowed in time for move-in weekend -- it was pretty tough figuring out what we'd set forth as the important stuff on the agenda.

So we put the question to the experts. Everyone from education association leaders to college search committee members, department heads and faculty researchers weighed in on what were some of the heftier items on their plates. That's an important thing. Because Black people have seen that if we leave it up to our nation's mainstream political, social and educational leaders, the issues that matter most to us get little more than a nod.

With affirmative action fading from the country's discourse just in time for us to choose a new chief executive, we should be reminded of the significance of stridently voicing the issues that matter to us most. It's imperative for us all to make our own check list of concerns and then shout them from the proverbial rooftops whenever anyone is listening. Because if we let them, politicians and today's other agenda-setters will run from the sticky subjects. We've got to keep them uncomfortably aware that we won't sit down quietly when our matters are ignored or given short shrift. …

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