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University of Missouri Aims to Increase Minority Faculty

COLUMBIA, Mo. ― The University of Missouri says it’s putting $1.6 million toward doubling its numbers of minority faculty to 13 percent in four years.

University leaders met on the Columbia campus Tuesday to discuss efforts in the past year to improve diversity, inclusion and race relations, The Kansas City Star reports.

Kevin McDonald, interim vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, says $600,000 of the $1.6 million will be used for faculty recruitment and retention. McDonald says $1 million will go toward bringing in minority doctoral candidates and preparing them for tenure track teaching posts.

The newspaper reports that data shows that of the 451 faculty members hired at the Columbia campus during the past two academic years, only 19 were African-American.

The university also says that biannual campus climate and diversity surveys will be conducted on all four campuses in the system starting this year.

Efforts by the school are in response to protests held on campus last November where students voiced their concern that the university lacked diversity, especially among the faculty.

Minority students also said they felt isolated and that university leaders failed to respond to reports that students had been called racial slurs on campus.

“There was no one cause for what happened 10 months ago on this campus, and there will be no one solution,” MU Chancellor Hank Foley said. “We are working tirelessly to move toward being more inclusive.”

System interim President Mike Middleton said, “We know full well that this is just scratching the surface.”

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