Colorado University Commission Recommends Diversity Support
Stricter policies for those who commit racist acts of intolerance are needed while University of Colorado-Boulder’s highest leadership needs to express outrage when these incidents happen as part of a strategy to increase diversity at the school, a panel studying the issue recommended last week.
The draft report by the Blue Ribbon Commission also recommends additional funding for programs to retain and help minority students graduate, and possibly loosening admission standards that could be a barrier to the relatively low percentage of minorities who apply.
That recommendation calls for studying ways to utilize a “window” that allows admission for students who fall below the 103 index standard, which is calculated from test scores (ACT or SAT) and high school grade point average or class rank. A GED score of 55 or higher on the 1988 version or 550 on the 2002 version also counts as an equivalent standard, according to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, which sets the criteria.
“It is unacceptable that there are only 66 African-American students out of approximately 5,000 new freshman,” according to the preliminary report.
University officials did not immediately return a message left after hours.
Members of the 60-member commission, which includes 13 students, have two weeks to review the recommendations. A final draft expected by March 1 will be sent to CU President Hank Brown, CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Provost Susan Avery. A response from DiStefano to Brown is due May 1.
The commission was created by Brown partly in response to a string of several incidents that included a 20-year-old CU student suffering a broken jaw over the summer in what police said was a racially motivated attack. Two CU students face charges over a racist e-mail sent to a Hispanic cross-country runner. Other racially charged incidents on the campus are under investigation.
Commissioners noted that only three of the nine members of the Board of Regents attended the Jan. 21 meeting that resulted in the draft.
Regents Chairman Paul Schauer said many had scheduling conflicts.
“You can’t give up everything just to attend university functions. That’s no reflection on the ones who weren’t there,” Schauer said.
“When the time comes for the regents to act, we’ll act appropriately,” he added.
– Associated Press
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