University of Kentucky Wants Answers to Why Black Enrollments Have Plummeted:
Blacks as well as whites in Kentucky were shocked this past fall when the state's flagship public university announced that black first-year enrollments had dropped by 40 percent.
In response to an uproar from black students, black faculty, black alumni, and blacks in the Kentucky state legislature, University of Kentucky president Lee T. Todd Jr. announced in late December the formation of a task force whose mission will be to make recommendations on how racial diversity can be increased on campus.
Among the issues that will be examined are how racial diversity can be increased on faculty search committees and how a more welcoming environment for minorities can be created on campus. Some black members of the task force believe that efforts should be concentrated on increasing the number of blacks on the faculty. They conclude that the job of recruiting black students will be easier if there is a solid core of black faculty on campus.
The task force will also recommend whether the university should hire a chief diversity officer. The task force's report will be issued by the end of 2006.