Elsewhere – Schools eye minority recruitment programs

By Tiffany Webber

The Chronicle (Duke)

(U-WIRE) DURHAM, N.C.-As admissions officers at colleges and universities across the country put the finishing touches on acceptance, waitlist and rejection letters, the debate about specialized student recruiting rages on.

Although few dispute the importance of holding recruitment programs for prospective scholars, many people affiliated with higher education are beginning to reassess the value of hosting minority recruitment weekends.

“Coming off of the Civil Rights Movement, there was a sense that you can’t expect [minority] students to walk into a newly integrated place and feel like they belonged,” President Richard Brodhead said. “That’s why these recruitment [strategies] started.”

But more than 30 years after integration, some higher education officials are questioning whether programs directed to minority students are still necessary.

“There is no eternally right answer,” Brodhead said.

Many schools, including Duke University, generally maintain that although some drawbacks exist, recruitment programs are beneficial. Others, such as Yale University, have stopped hosting specialized recruitment weekends for minority students, insisting that they present unrealistic perceptions of a university.