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‘Seeking — and Finding — the Best’

‘Seeking — and Finding — the Best’

The size of this edition is unprecedented, our largest ever. And the theme of this special report – bridging the gap between corporate America and higher education – is an issue that the two sectors were eager to discuss. 

Where are corporate recruiters looking for diverse talent? What are some of the advantages of sitting on corporate boards for college presidents? How are community colleges helping drive the success of the auto manufacturing industry? These are just a few of the topics we were able to explore in our annual “Recruitment & Retention” special report.

We also feature four corporate diversity officers who all hammer home the importance of a diverse work force. It is clear that corporate America relies heavily on institutions of higher education, and not solely minority-serving colleges and universities, to provide and prepare their future work force. And although corporate America still has a long way to go in terms of diversifying their managerial and executive ranks, they seem to understand that if they don’t have a diverse work force with diverse ideas to produce diverse products, ultimately, they will be unable to compete on a global level.

But while corporate America and most higher ed institutions encourage diversity, we see race and gender-specific programs continue to come under fire. Jamal Watson’s “A New Angle of Attack” looks at the fierce opposition to such programs from the private sector and from the government. And when one thinks of a diverse student body,  it’s usually racial and ethnic diversity that come to mind first, but Carla DeFord in “A Chance to Prove Themselves,” reports on the rising popularity of college fairs for learning disabled students. These events are bringing out hundreds of prospective college students, all looking for the right schools to accommodate their special needs. Hundreds of colleges are also recruiting at these fairs, indicating that they indeed can accommodate all types of students.

And last, but certainly not least, veteran journalist Reginald Stuart chronicles in great detail the beginnings and now the end of Tennessee’s higher education desegregation case in “The End of a Journey.” Rita Sanders Geier filed the lawsuit almost 40 years ago, when she was a young law student and part-time instructor at historically Black Tennessee State University. This has been the nation’s longest-running lawsuit over the desegregation of a state system of higher education.

In addition to our features, this edition is full of news articles that we hope you’ll find interesting, including an interview with the new dean of Florida A&M University’s esteemed business school, Dr. Lydia A. McKinley-Floyd, a tribute to Earl Hayes and “Enrolling In Hip-Hop 101.”

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please e-mail me at [email protected].

Hilary Hurd Anyaso

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