After the University of Missouri System (UM System) and its Columbia campus (MU) were rocked by nationally prominent student protests last year, leaders there announced initiatives designed to address diversity and inclusion.
Now, UM System Interim President Michael Middleton and MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley are among those who on Sept. 13 provided updates on the progress made in areas such as increasing the number of minority faculty members. MU’s goal is to double the percentage of minority faculty to 13 percent by 2020. Student protestors last year demanded that the university reach 10 percent by 2018.
The Kansas City Star reported that the university is spending $1.6 million toward accomplishing its goal, with $600,000 for faculty recruitment and retention and $1 million aimed at bringing in minority doctoral candidates and preparing them for tenure track posts. The newspaper editorialized that the university is “taking important steps and making needed investments to improve race relations on campus.”
Middleton noted that he and other university leaders are “very, very serious about this…we really do intend to be a national leader in this area.”
University leaders also detailed the progress made on other fronts, such as the creation of a diversity, inclusion and equity task force that is working with stakeholders across the system’s four campuses and health system to understand the issues and develop recommendations for how to address those issues, and the ongoing development of leadership training and education programs designed to improve the multicultural awareness of faculty and staff.
Biannual campus climate and diversity surveys will be conducted on all four of the system’s campuses, beginning this academic year.
At a Glance:
Initiative: UM Leadership Progress Report News Conference
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