newspapers recently about the university's failure to enroll an adequate number of African-American students. After two years of record increases in the freshman class, African-American freshman enrollment dropped 40 percent this year. President Todd talked about the concern and some of the past and present actions that are being taken to address the issue.
A diversity enrollment team has been created. Eight new positions, which will be led by an enrollment coordinator, will be added to the recruitment and admissions offices to conduct a more holistic approach to student diversity efforts. There was a Michigan study that pointed out that universities need to look at admissions more holistically. That study influenced the university's decision on its distribution of scholarships and probably cost the university some students. As the university goes to this more holistic approach, it will have to add more people in order to read in detail all of the applications and look beyond test scores.
UK has dedicated nearly $500,000 from some allocations to a diversity-linked scholarship program.
About $2.8 million was dedicated to the William C. Parker Scholarship Program, and the university will continue to add to that program.
This African-American issue gives the university a great opportunity to set new records for quality and volume in the diversity area. The university has already made some headway this year with its recruiting effort.
Since President Todd has been in office, the university has put $1.4 million into a recruiting program for African-Americans. In this program, the President provides the first year salary for any dean that hires an African-American.
There is a Diversity Task Force, which involves all deans, that has a plan to submit to the Commission on Diversity to implement and oversee. It will measure the diversity progress being made in the individual units.
Conversations with some faculty regarding the selection of a new chair for the Commission on Diversity are taking place.
The provost has put together a research committee to look at various aspects of the African-American student issue. The university accepted 350 African-American students this fall, and only 151 chose to attend. The administration needs to know why the others did not choose to attend UK. Some students were highly sought after, but some may have other reasons.
The research committee will need to interview the African-American students who will graduate this year, especially those who came in with low ACT scores, to try to find out what would have indicated their success.