News

President Frenk strives to foster campus inclusivity

President Julio Frenk will announce Thursday in a letter to the University of Miami community a goal to increase enrollment of black students and recruitment of more black faculty as well as the creation of a Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

Click here to read President Julio Frenk’s letter.

The letter, which The Miami Hurricane received before its release to the UM community, also described Frenk’s desire to enact initiatives to create a more welcoming environment for students of color at UM.

The Task Force to Address Black Students’ Concerns that was created in February 2015 under former President Donna Shalala reported to Frenk on the racial climate on campus and advised certain steps that the university could take to ensure a safer, happier environment for black students, according to the letter.

The task force was asked by Shalala to meet by March 1 and to create a final report with recommendations by May 15.

The initial impetus for the task force was dialogue between undergraduate students and administration following reactions to a Black Lives Matter rally that was held on campus exactly a year ago.

Violent and racially charged comments were made anonymously on the popular social media app, Yik Yak, during and after the event, spurring Shalala to address students of color – specifically black students – and the prejudice they face at UM.

In a Dec. 12 email to UM students and faculty, Shalala directly referenced the rally, the string of peaceful protests and the need to deal with racial bias.

“Racism is everyone’s problem. Right now, as a nation and as a campus community, we must face this painful and divisive issue with openness, courage and deep respect for our differences … there’s no room for hate or intolerance,” she wrote.

Frenk announced a goal to admit and enroll the largest percentage of black students among what UM considers “aspirational” peer institutions, such as Duke University, New York University and Harvard University.

“To accomplish this ambitious task, I have asked Enrollment Management to lead these efforts through both strategic planning and recruitment enhancement,” he said.

This goal was specifically outlined in the report from the task force, where the aim was to increase UM’s 8 percent of black students in spring 2015 to 10 percent, the number that leads the nation.

Also by the suggestion of the task force, Frenk wrote that UM will begin actively seeking out, recruiting and hiring black faculty in order to better represent the diversity in the student body. To do this, the university will implement a multiyear hiring and retention plan. Currently, 4 percent of all UM faculty and staff are black.

“Representation in the classroom is an important piece of the college experience, not just within the student body but within our faculty. The diversity of our student body should be reflected in our faculty,” said Frenk in the report.

The creation of a prominent, visible, central office for the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) was listed as an “actionable” recommendation in the task force’s report. Frenk said the university is searching for a location that fits those qualities to make MSA an easily accessible resource on campus.

“The Task Force was unanimous in asserting the critical role of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) in shaping the student experience, particularly for students of color,” he said.

Frenk also wrote “additional resources” were allocated to the office to facilitate the continuation of services that abet the education and advancement of students of color.

MSA will report to Student Affairs as of Jan. 1, 2016. The newly formed standing committee will report to Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas LeBlanc. Its duties are to research and incorporate educational strategies into campus programming to open discussion about diversity and inclusion. The committee will also analyze ways to advance education around topics related to diversity.

December 3, 2015

Reporters

Isabella Cueto

Isabella Cueto can be reached via email at editor@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @isabellacueto


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “President Frenk strives to foster campus inclusivity”

  1. Diane says:

    And while we are at it, why don’t we look at the total lack of funding for our female graduate students at RSMAS.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

You’ve got to expect the Las Vegas sportsbooks to come strong and smart with two days of Florida col ...

Here’s why UM moving up to No. 2 in the CFP poll was important, for reasons that extend beyond Canes ...

You think you’ve got a lot of cooking to do to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner? Imagine how busy the ...

They’ve earned their first 10-win season since 2003. Now all they need are two more victories for a ...

It became very clear, as soon as University of Miami coaches began recruiting Lonnie Walker IV, that ...

At the entrance of the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic S ...

UM Police Department's Innovative Fundraiser Sells Abandoned Bikes to Support United Way ...

The 41st annual conference on the Caribbean and Central America held a special program at the Univer ...

The Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation gift will establish the Business Plan Competition Endowed Fund. ...

C. David Naylor, a UM Presidential Scholar and public health policy expert, provided insight into he ...

Dewan Huell scored a career-high 16 points as the Canes defeated La Salle in Reading, Pa. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team had to break a 10-year-old record to overcome sturdy Georgia ...

Here are three matchups to watch as the No. 2 Hurricanes face Pitt with a chance to finish the regul ...

The Hurricanes jumped o to No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday, e ...

The Miami women's basketball team's annual Miami Thanksgiving Tournament begins Friday at ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.