Friday, January 9, 2015

Schlissel: University of Michigan needs plan to increase campus diversity

Good news for black students and advocates who demand transformative change in the compositional diversity of the student body. For too long, the black student population at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the flagship public university, has hovered dangerously around 4 percent, which is below the state's black population at 14 percent. From The Detroit News:

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says he will ask his 19 deans to come up with plans to diversify their departments as part of a measurable effort to make the campus more diverse.

And that diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity, he said.

"The reason why it's so darn important — beyond the question of being fair to all the citizens that we serve here as a public university — is we cannot be academically excellent without being diverse," Schlissel told The Detroit News in an interview Friday. "So much of the learning that goes on here comes with engaging one another."

Schlissel said he plans to develop a strategy aimed at re-energizing the university's efforts to diversify the student body, faculty and the staff.

Part of that strategy will include asking the university's deans next month to come up with diversity plans. A baseline will be established to measure the current state of each college.

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