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January 3, 2018

Chancellor announces series of steps to diversify campus

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy (Collegian File Photo)

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy (Collegian File Photo)

University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy recently announced in a campus-wide email a series of actions, which will be taken immediately to affect the next admissions cycle, to build a more diverse community at UMass.

These ideas were developed by the Chancellor’s Diversity Planning Steering Committee (CDAC), and expand upon previous work of faculty and student leaders, according to the email. The initiatives focus on the recruitment and retention of under-represented, low-income and first-generation students.

According to the Chancellor’s email, a new assistant provost for diversity will be established to increase the University’s focus on recruiting under-represented undergraduate students. Community Scholarships for in-state, low-income or first-generation college attendees will be increased immediately, as well.

Precedence will be placed on “making philanthropic support for need-based scholarships during the remainder of the UMass Rising campaign and beyond,” the email stated. Lastly, a Graduate Student Diversity Task Force will be formed to “recommend ways to improve the recruitment, retention and degree completion of under-represented minority graduate students.”

These initiatives were a main point of conversation at the CDAC forum on Nov. 7. Open to all members of the campus community, the forum encouraged a varied dialogue on diversity. Subbaswamy wrote in his email that the public can follow the work of the CDAC online at http://www.umass.edu/chancellor/diversity.

The chancellor described the forum “as a space where the conversations that were begun during the Oct. 16 Town Hall Meeting can continue,” in his email. During the meeting, hundreds of members of the campus community discussed the recent racist vandalisms in residential halls, as well as issues of diversity on campus.

Debora Ferreira, executive director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, chairs the CDAC, which is comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members, and serves as an advisory board on matters of diversity. Members review campus policies and procedures related to diversity to help develop new initiatives to advance diversity and equality on campus, according to the committee’s website.

There are currently 14 members on the board, including Josh Odam, policy advocacy coordinator of Student Bridges, Vinayak Rao, Student Government Association president and Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life.

Sarah Crowley can be reached at sarahcrowley@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “Chancellor announces series of steps to diversify campus”
  1. Mike says:

    Awesome more handouts. I will not be supporting UMass as an alumni as they continually take steps to undermine my degree. By lowering the bar in the name of diversity in admission and passing rates whatever value my degree held is now gone.

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