University of Missouri Names the Director of Its New Minority Student Recruitment Initiative

Jeffrey R. Williams, an assistant professor of English at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has been named director of the university’s Access and Urban Outreach Program. The program’s goal is to increase the number of black and low-income students who enroll at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus. At the current time, blacks make up about 6 percent of the 28,000 undergraduate students at the University of Missouri. Blacks are more than 11 percent of the Missouri population.

Among the components of the program are efforts to send counselors to urban high schools in Kansas City and St. Louis to recruit students and help them through the college application process. A unique program called the Early Promise Initiative would offer money for college to families with talented elementary school students. Students would have to achieve at certain levels to receive the funds once they reach college age.