EXCLUSIVE: Students Charge IU/Bloomington Not Serious On Recruitment, Retention of Black & Hispanic Students

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iu logoSeven years ago, the Indiana University Board of Trustee unanimously supported a drive to double the number of Black, Hispanic and other “underrepresented” minority students by the 2013-2014 school year. However Black and Hispanic students at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, supported by significant numbers of minority faculty are concerned that IU has backed away from that 2006 trustees commitment by failing to aggressively recruit minority students to the campus and have programs to make sure they graduate.  IU students are protesting the inaction of university officials.  Appearing on Afternoons with Amos, one of the leaders of IU Diversity Coalition, Leighton Johnson, talked with Amos and listeners about some of the problems at IU. While IU has programs that help Black and minority students , programs like the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, Groups Scholars Programs, 21st Century Scholars, Johnson and other students and minority faculty fear that IU increasingly is favoring admitting students of color from overseas as opposed to minority students from the United States.  John said that Black and minority students at IU fear the elimination of diversity programs geared towards providing access to first-generation, low-income, and domestically diverse students. Johnson told Amos and listeners that Black faculty at IU/Bloomington increasingly are concerned about the lack of seriousness towards diversity issues by the IU’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multi-Cultural Affairs (DEMA).  Johnson charged that some key staff of DEMA aren’t sensitive to the needs of minority students. Just 4.1% of IU/Bloomington undergraduates are African-American, compared to 6.4% at Ball State and 9.7% at IUPUI. Johnson and other Blacks at IU feel the Bloomington campus is becoming highly restrictive in their admission policies trying to emulate Ivy League universities like Harvard.  But Harvard’s percentage of Black undergraduates is 6.5%; far higher than IU’s. Blacks at IU feel, said Johnson, that IU feels admitting first generation and low-income students as hindrances to its goals of raising the prestige of the University. And Johnson told listeners that Indiana University President Michael McRobbie repeatedly refuses to meet with Black and minority student leaders on this issue.  Nor is President McRobbie willing to meet with minority faculty on the subject.  Click the Link to Hear the Interview with IU Diversity Council’s Leighton Johnson.  Runs 33 Minutes. ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.

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