Dr. James Studer, Vice President for Student Affairs spoke to the Coalition of Black Faculty and Staff on Monday, December 15.
During the meeting, Dr. Studer discussed several items including the status of the University’s strategic planning process and the University’s goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). In order to achieve a diverse community, Dr. Studer stated that the University should seek to do three things through its planning process, 1) write into the plans the desire to hire a diverse faculty and staff; 2) actually hire diverse faculty and staff; and 3) measure the results—thus holding departments/offices accountable for what was written in their plans. Dr. Studer added that the University’s goal of becoming an HIS is not a zero gain process. Money will not be put on Hispanics at the expense of African Americans or any other ethnic group. Dr. Studer also noted that the African American students have the highest retention rate than any other student group on camps. That is something to celebrate. He added that he believes that this is due in part to the efforts of the Black faculty and staff on campus.
The Coalition expressed a strong interest in participating in the strategic planning process so that the body can affect change in the University’s community as it relates to diversity and African American experiences. Strategies include, but were not limited to, accompanying faculty when they visit magnet schools, working with the Coalition’s representative on the Access and Equity Committee so that the Coalition’s concerns are brought fourth and developing an organizational strategic plan of its own so that the organization can have a definite direction for the next five years.
The Coalition expressed thanks to Dr. Studer for his efforts in having a diverse staff in Student Affairs and for engaging in a productive dialogue.