Idaho Official: State’s Image Hampers Recruitment
MOSCOW, Idaho — A top University of Idaho official says that the state’s national image as a haven for racists, though unwarranted, has made it much more difficult for the university to recruit Black students.
“The farther away from the university, the image of Idaho can be important for the multicultural population,” says Dr. W. Harold Godwin, the school’s vice provost and vice president for student affairs.
“The negative press does affect the image which you get farther away,” Godwin contends, but adds that for “people who are close enough to know us, this tends to be less of an issue.”
He says that African American enrollment reflects Idaho’s demographics. Blacks represent 0.58 percent of Idaho’s population. The student population at the University of Idaho is 0.56 percent Black.
The total population of minority students on the Moscow campus increased by 2 percent this semester, even as the university’s overall enrollment fell slightly to 11,305. A year ago it was 11,437.
Minority student population this fall was 696, up 15 from last year and about 6 percent of the total enrollment, according to the registrar’s office. There are nine more Indian students and seven more Asian students. The number of Hispanic students, at 225, is unchanged, and the Black student population of 63 is one less than last year.
“Our retention has been good,” Godwin says. “Our success in recruiting minority students is related to our ability to provide assistance.”
Godwin says financial assistance programs and campus clubs and organizations help in the effort to recruit minority students from throughout the region, especially in urban areas of the Northwest.
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