UGA Fails to Make Recruiting Minorities a Priority, Consultants Say
The University of Georgia is failing in its goal to make recruiting minority students a priority, according to consultants who visited the campus and talked with faculty, staff, administrators and students.
“It is seen as an important issue but not among the first five priorities,” said reports commissioned by university president Dr. Michael Adams to assess how the university can create a more racially diverse student body.
Dr. James Hefner, president of Tennessee State University, one of the nation’s historically Black schools, and Samuel Williamson, past president of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., visited Athens twice and talked with numerous people on campus.
“We do believe that there needs to be a firmer commitment to accountability on the issue of diversity and that mere lip service alone will not be adequate,” they said.
Black students make up 6 percent of the university’s undergraduate population, less than at the flagship universities of most neighboring states.
The school has struggled to attract Black students since it was forced to replace its affirmative action efforts with an admissions policy that does not consider race. The previous undergraduate admissions policy was declared discriminatory by a three-member panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals in August.
The consultants submitted their conclusions in two parts — in May and in July. The reports were not distributed to the public. Copies were obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The consultants suggested that Adams visit minority high schools in person — as does Dr. Robert Khayat, president of the University of Mississippi — and attend more cultural events.
The reports also say the university needs to fully staff the Office of Admissions, which has three vacancies. In addition, the admissions office needs more financial aid money to help students who have been accepted.
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