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 Tuesday, December 14, 2004, IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Campus Diversity Update
By Vicki Czech, Publications and Creative Services

In continuing efforts to promote diversity on campus, some of the initiatives currently underway are the development of departmental diversity plans, the upcoming tenth annual Diversity Summit and an inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium.

Each department was required to submit a diversity plan earlier this year outlining specific strategies for fostering a supportive environment. "It's pretty impressive what the departments have come up with in terms of strategies," said Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, vice provost and associate vice chancellor of diversity and equity. "Our faculty, staff, and students place real value on diversity and how it enhances our educational environment." Members of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs (CACMA) are currently reviewing the plans and preparing feedback.

Sixty percent of all students of color entering the university in 1998 received bachelor's degrees within six years. In-state residents of color fared even better at 63 percent (the overall graduation rate, by comparison, was 66 percent).

CU's latest graduation statistics indicate that campus efforts to support a diverse student body are paying off. Sixty percent of all students of color entering the university in 1998 received bachelor's degrees within six years. In-state residents of color fared even better at 63 percent (the overall graduation rate, by comparison, was 66 percent). This "exceptional" rate, which has jumped as much as 20 to 30 percent since the 1990s for some groups within that category, "is an all-time high," Yoshinaga-Itano said. "We take care of students of color on campus."

A variety of sessions on campus diversity efforts will be held at the tenth annual Diversity Summit February 9 and 10. Organized by CACMA and the Office of Diversity and Equity, the summit will feature an interactive theater presentation, two speakers, panel discussions and an awards ceremony.

Arturo Aldama, associate professor of ethnic studies and co-chair of CACMA, hopes that the summit's tenth anniversary will be an opportunity to "take stock of diversity issues over the last ten years and move forward toward an action-driven, community-building agenda that values diversity at faculty, staff and student levels. This year we specifically want to incorporate student voices and perspectives." CACMA has invited students to participate in the panel discussions at the summit.

The summit will feature keynote speaker Greg Sarrs, a celebrated Native American professor, author, playwright and tribal chairman, and Charlie Hill, a highly respected Native American comedian. The awards ceremony will recognize campus groups that have contributed to a climate of healthy diversity at the university.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, scheduled for January 18-20, will be a three-day tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Featured events will include workshops, theater, musical performances and spoken word sessions. The keynote speaker is Colorado State Senator Peter Groff, founder and executive director of the University of Denver Center for African American Policy. Senator Groff's presentation will be held on Thursday, January 20 at 5:45 p.m. at Old Main Chapel. A reception will be held afterward at the Heritage Center.


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