Report of the Chancellor’s Minority Affairs Review Committee
March 9, 2000
(Note numbers are in parenthesis)
THE COMMITTEE AND ITS CHARGE
To determine the role, function, and direction the university should take relative to addressing the educational needs and concerns of minority students. This includes, but is not limited to examining the present function, activities, and effectiveness of the Office of Minority Affairs, both as an independently functioning office and in its relationship to the other offices which offer collaborative support services for minority students. To fulfill its charge, this process minimally should:
- Determine and evaluate internal and external trends relative to minority student recruitment, retention, and quality of life issues;
- Determine and evaluate present activities, programs, and services that are provided to minority students throughout the university;
- Review and evaluate the current structure, resources, and programs of the Office of Minority Affairs;
- Examine best practices from around the nation relative to minority student services and determine which ones we should incorporate in our institutional approach to minority affairs.
As required by our charge, three central questions guided the committee's review:
- What are we doing to enhance the educational experiences for minority students?
- What should we be doing to enhance the educational experiences for minority students?
- What are we doing and what should we be doing to enhance the presence and experiences of minority faculty and staff?
The Committee held over two dozen meetings and reviewed data and reports concerning this University and others. The Committee reviewed the mission, purpose, and programs of the Office for Minority Affairs. It interviewed key University officials whose duties are concerned with recruiting and admitting students, and recruiting and employing staff and faculty; with retention of students; and with quality-of-life issues on the campus for students, faculty, and staff. A major focus of our work concerned students. But we recognized, as have other similar committees that considered related questions in the past, (3) that the issues themselves are neither discrete nor isolated and that the questions concerning students are inter-related with those concerning staff and faculty.
The Committee held a forum at which students addressed issues and concerns about the state of minority affairs and diversity at the University. In summary, the speakers at the forum affirmed that the Office of Minority Affairs was an exceptionally valuable means for addressing minority students' concerns. Several students pointed out both that they had become interested in attending the University through outreach and recruitment activities of the Office of Minority Affairs, and that because of those positive experiences, they worked with the Office to recruit other minorities. Several students mentioned that the Office supported the creation of a quality of life on the campus that enabled students to succeed to their maximum potential. Several speakers noted that the University had not provided to the Office of Minority Affairs adequate staffing, resources, or input opportunities on policy implementation across the entire campus.
In addition, the Committee reviewed twenty letters from selected persons across the campus who were asked to evaluate their experiences with the Office of Minority Affairs. A number of the evaluations commented very positively on the help, importance, and effectiveness of the Office of Minority Affairs. A summary of those responses is attached. (4)
The Committee did not have the time or resources to review every University department, unit, entity, office, or official whose duties affect minority affairs and diversity. Instead the Committee examined selected key areas and representative examples. (5) Some of the information is anecdotal, but the Committee believes it is representative. Many areas within the University have not been examined. The Committee's inability to make a more thorough evaluation in the available time reflects one of the key deficiencies in the University's minority affairs and diversity programming: there is no single place from which to assess, from an institution-wide perspective, the overall state of minority affairs or from which to examine the full range of efforts the University devotes to implementing minority affairs and diversity activities.
The Committee emphasizes that this Report addresses the University as a whole. The Committee is aware that many of the University's departments, schools, and units have or have had successful efforts in one or more of the minority affairs programming areas the Committee examined. We commend the successful individual units, while we find, as discussed below, that, as a whole, the University has substantial deficiencies.
The recommendations of the committee address broadly the need for the University to develop a mechanism through which, in cooperation with all relevant University officers and offices, the University can more effectively implement, monitor, and evaluate its policies and programs that promote minority affairs and diversity and a more inclusive University community. Due to the highly decentralized nature of our University and the wide range of entities that impinge on the University's execution of its minority affairs effort, this report does not contain all of the details on exactly how the University can more effectively fulfill its minority affairs obligations. The committee expects the leadership of the University to devise the details as part of the process of developing a University-wide plan and approach to minority affairs.
THE UNIVERSITY’S EDUCATIONAL MISSION AND DIVERSITY
The Mission Statement of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, adopted by the Board of Trustees, declares that the University exists to serve all the people of the state. It notes that the University is dedicated to extending knowledge-based services and other resources of the University to all citizens of North Carolina, recognizing the racial and ethnic diversity of the state's population. The University maintains an Affirmative Action Plan prepared in accordance with applicable Executive Orders and the Consent Decree, that resolved federal litigation. In addition, the University complies with requirements of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina System. Chancellors, at various times, have affirmed the University's commitment to equal opportunity and diversity. All departments and entities on the campus must act in accordance with controlling law and all are charged to help carry out the University's mission. In this report, these combined requirements will be referred to as the “minority affairs and diversity policy.”
The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a 1998 Resolution, affirmed that the University has an obligation -1- to create and sustain an environment of educational excellence; -2- to promote intellectual growth through intense and rigorous educational dialogue; and -3- to foster mutually beneficial interactions among students, faculty, staff, and administrators who possess diverse backgrounds and wide varieties of perspectives and life experiences. (6) The Resolution declares that the University's pursuit of these obligations comprises the minimum conditions essential to educational excellence and that pursuit of these obligations is necessary if the University is to achieve its educational mission. The Resolution asks the University to continue its efforts to assure diversity, in its many manifestations, when considering the admission of students to any of its educational programs and the employment, assessment, and recognition of faculty, staff, and administrators in any of its components.
THE CONTEXT FOR CONSIDERING MINORITY AFFAIRS REVIEW
Efforts to Date
In 1951, a decision of the United States Court of Appeals declared that this University had to stop excluding students because of race. (7) Still, the hiring of minority faculty and non-service staff members was years in the future. Since 1951, the University's efforts have evolved and developed. The energy, commitment, and resources devoted to improving minority affairs and assuring diversity, at best, have varied, and, at worst, have been uneven and incomplete. The University has been attempting to address issues of -1- recruiting and admitting a diverse body of students and employing a diverse workforce of staff and faculty, -2- retaining the students it admitted and the staff and faculty it employed, and -3- attaining a high quality of life at the institution for all concerned.
In 1968, over thirty years ago, the Faculty Council recommended that the University initiate "centrally directed and supported efforts" to increase the proportion of black students in the University, that a member of the faculty or administrative staff be appointed by the Chancellor to handle specific problems involving black students, and that a new administrative position directly responsible to the Chancellor be created and assigned the duties of coordinating and directing activities dealing with black students' concerns. The 1968 action of the Faculty Council also established the University's Committee on the Status of Minorities and the Disadvantaged.
In a 1980 Report, the Committee on the Status of Minorities and the Disadvantaged, referred to the 1968 resolution, and determined that "after twelve years these recommendations have not been fully implemented." (8) Focusing on critical functions that were not being achieved in the University with respect to its minority affairs obligation, the Committee recommended, and the Faculty Council adopted, a resolution that urged the Chancellor “to create a function within the University's general administrative structure which will be charged with coordinating, monitoring, advising and advocating within the University for the purpose of enhancing the well-being of minority students and faculty, and that the person charged with executing these functions report directly to the Chancellor.”
In remarkable fidelity to the Council's recommendations, Chancellor Fordham created the Office of the Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and charged that office with significant aspects of the functions the Committee identified in its 1980 Report. Over the years, the configuration of the administrative structure changed. Most recently under Chancellor Hooker, the office of Vice Chancellor for University Affairs was reorganized as the Office of Minority Affairs and the incumbent's title in the office at that time was changed from Vice Chancellor to Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Minority Affairs. Some members of the University expressed the view that “when the status of the office was changed, the [minority] community felt devalued by the change.” (9)
In 1995, the Chancellor's Task Force on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Students and Faculty conducted an analysis of the University's minority affairs efforts. The Task Force's Report recognized the continuing need for concerted action and for new initiatives if the University were to achieve its goals of minority affairs and diversity. (10) The Task Force focused on the programming areas of recruitment, retention, and quality of life on the campus. Many of the Task Force's recommendations reiterated, in substance, the exact recommendations made in 1968 and those that were repeated in 1980.
The 1997 Report of the Chancellor's Task Force on Intellectual Climate listed three key elements to promote a better educational experience for students attending the University in the 21st century. These three elements were: -1- a student-centered educational experience with emphasis on learning outcomes; -2- intellectual exchange woven seamlessly into the fabric of everyday life; and -3- education linked to life outside the university. To stimulate a more effective intellectual climate, this comprehensive report recommended, among other activities, weekly dialogues during a student's first-year residence hall experiences which addresses such topics as team building and race relations awareness. The report also stressed the importance of members of the University community particularly faculty and students viewing the problems of the state as the problems of the University. The Report concluded that North Carolinians expect the University to help solve our society’s most pressing problems poverty, racism, illiteracy, violent crimes, and drugs.
The recommendations of the Task Force on Intellectual Climate, if fully implemented, would help the University to meet is minority affairs and diversity aspirations, by making the educational and work experiences at the University more enriching for everyone.
Findings on Efforts to Date
With respect to the University's minority affairs policy and its implementation efforts, the Committee discerns a clear and unmistakable pattern: the University, as a whole, continues to exhibit deficiencies in the implementation of its minority affairs and diversity policy. These observed and documented deficiencies continue to include:
- lack of a widely disseminated authoritative statement clearly articulating a firm administrative commitment to the University’s minority affairs and diversity policy and setting forth an expectation that all units will fully implement it,
- insufficient staff and resources devoted to policy implementation,
- lack of coordination among disparate units that have critical duties under the policy,
- lack of institutionalization of critical functions necessary for effective implementation,
- inadequate monitoring of the implementation of the policy, and
- insufficient assessment of implementation and follow through at the highest levels of governance of the University.
We, therefore, find that the University's minority affairs and diversity policy and its implementation efforts continue to present, at best, a mixed picture. There has been progress as a result of significant efforts. But these efforts have been counter-balanced by substantial deficiencies in the implementation of its policy and in assuring the accountability of decentralized units that must implement that policy.
EDUCATIONAL, LEGAL, AND DEMOGRAPHIC ENVIRONMENTS
The University still faces many challenges before it will have achieved its long-sought aspirations for minority affairs and diversity. Major challenges are discussed below. These challenges make designing and implementing a more effective minority affairs and diversity effort increasingly difficult, but all the more critical.
Educational Accountability and Resource Challenges
Forces in the state and nation are creating added pressures for accountability by demanding more outcome assessments, seeking heavier teaching loads for faculty and work loads for support staff, raising questions about tenure, and seeking to impose added performance pressures such as post-tenure review. At the same time, the University continues to experience significant shortages of resources for programs, student financial support, and physical plant. The Committee recognizes these forces and understands that the University's minority affairs policy must be carried out in this increasingly challenging environment. We do not believe, however, that the University's diversity and minority affairs policy is any less important to its educational mission than any other essential ingredient required for excellence. We therefore believe that the challenges the University faces do not in any way justify a failure to adequately and completely implement its minority affairs and diversity policy throughout the campus.
The Committee is aware of national and localized reactions to affirmative action. Some of the reactions are designed to impede the University's implementation of an effective minority affairs and diversity policy. We believe that properly conceived and creative efforts are still necessary and that such efforts can be devised and implemented in good faith consistently with controlling law. At the very least, having practiced legally sanctioned exclusion of minorities for over seventy-five percent of its history, the University must not declare anticipatory surrender on concerns of minority affairs and diversity.
Two items are of special note: (1) there is projected to be general enrollment pressure from population growth and (2) a changing ethnic/racial composition of that future population. Over the next quarter century North Carolina's populations is expected to increase by 2.2 million from 7.2 million in 1995, to 9.3 million in 2025. The UNC system is expected to face pressure to enroll more than 40,000 additional students in the first decade of the next century. UNC-Chapel Hill is expected to enroll from 2,500 to 6,000 additional students as its proportional share of the expected enrollment growth.
With respect to the racial/ethnic composition of that future population growth, the trends show that African Americans will remain the predominant minority group in the state, although other ethnic/racial groups will increase. Between 1995 and 2025, the white (non-Hispanic) population is projected to increase by 1.3 million; African Americans (non-Hispanic) by 637,000; persons of Hispanic origins by 110,000; Asian and Pacific Islanders by 98,000; and American Indians and other native groups by 20,000.
1995 to 2025 North Carolina Projected Racial/Ethnic Population Percentages (11)
American Indians & other native peoples
THE CRITICAL FACTOR: LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP
It is well-known and well-documented, (12) that the University has a very decentralized decision-making structure. After examining the decentralized attention to minority affairs on this campus, the committee examined programs from other selected universities. (13) We also examined the Minority Program Standards and Guidelines of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (14) The best practices recognized that, in a decentralized environment, leadership from the top is the critical factor that determines whether and if so, how well, the University achieves its minority affairs and diversity objectives.
Chancellor's Commitment and Leadership
In order to demonstrate effective campus leadership, the Chancellor must be committed to minority affairs and diversity objectives as an important and vital part of his or her fundamental understanding of the role of the Chancellor. The Chancellor must insist upon a clear understanding, by everyone who has decision-making authority that affects minority affairs and diversity issues, that diversity is a fundamental prerequisite to both educational excellence and to the University's ability to serve all the people of the state.
The Chancellor must set forth a clear expectation that all units will attain high achievement in implementing the University's minority affairs and diversity policy. Without the clear, unambiguous commitment of top leadership to implementing the University's minority affairs and diversity policy, it is certain that the University's long-sought objectives will not be achieved.
Systematic University-Wide Effort
The leadership function requires a systematic University-wide effort to assure accountability of decentralized units for fidelity to the University's policies, expectations, and objectives. There must exist within the highest level of University governance a function devoted to seeking full compliance with University objectives and accessing shortfalls.
DECENTRALIZATION OF FUNCTIONS AND PROGRAM AREAS
A major consequence of decentralization is that there is no single vantage point within the University from which one can view all of the functions and program areas. Accordingly, because of decentralization, in order for the University to carry out a University-wide minority affairs and diversity policy, four key functions must be executed at the highest University level:
- coordinating among the disparate units on minority affairs programs and activities;
- advising the units to help them succeed, keeping them abreast of common and overarching concerns, and cross-fertilizing information about successes as a well as failures;
- monitoring in order to access progress across the University; and
- advocating to units to urge them to effectively pursue and maximally achieve the University's minority affairs and diversity objectives.
The University's major programming areas that are particularly critical for minority affairs are
- recruiting and admitting students and recruiting and employing staff and faculty;
- retaining students, staff, and faculty; and
- creating a quality of life to sustain diversity.
Literally dozens of units have critical responsibilities in one or more of these three programming areas.
In order for the University's diversity and minority affairs policy to be implemented, the key implementation functions (coordinating, advising, monitoring, and advocating) must be carried out effectively in each of the three programming areas (recruiting and admission and hiring faculty and staff, retention, and quality of life). To enable an overview of the inter-relationship of functions and programming areas, the Committee developed a matrix of functions and programming areas. (15)
The Committee has examined whether the key functions are being effectively carried out in each programming area. We find instances of significant shortcomings. To aid its analysis the Committee developed a set of "Key Questions" for each function and for each question it made "Findings" with respect to each of the three programming areas. (16)
Coordinating among units is needed to assure both that the University's minority affairs and diversity policy is implemented and that implementation measures are institutionalized among all programming areas. The Committee finds that coordination, at a high governance level, across the programming areas, is inadequate to assure that programming is mutually reinforcing in related areas on the campus.
In a complex, decentralized University structure, different units would benefit from advice on successful implementation of policy within other units, from feedback on consistency of activities with other units, and from information regarding successful ways to implement University policy. The Committee finds that in all programming areas there is insufficient advising from a University-wide perspective with respect to the University's minority affairs and diversity policy.
Systematic and institutionalized monitoring of information, data, and outcomes within decentralized units is required to assure accountability in implementing the University's minority affairs and diversity policy. The Committee finds that in some very important areas that are vital to the diversity and minority affairs it appears that virtually no monitoring is performed. In most other cases there is a significant lack of adequate monitoring of whether outcomes are properly furthering the minority affairs and diversity policy.
The University must institutionalize at the highest governance level a means for seeking solutions if units encounter difficulties implementing the policy. The Committee finds a serious lack of advocacy to units that have programming areas that are critical to the University's achievement of its minority affairs and diversity objectives.
1. University-Wide Minority Affairs Assessment.
We recommend that the University conduct a more formal, in-depth, campus-wide assessment of minority affairs in light of national standards. While this report addresses some of the areas a self-study would include, a more in-depth look at specific functions is needed. For example, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, supported by over 30 national associations, has promulgated explicit Minority Program Standards and Guidelines. This institutional assessment should address issues of recruitment, retention, and quality of life for minority students, faculty, and staff. As with other self-studies, it may include internal and/or external reviewers. (17)
2. University-Wide Action Plan.
We recommend that, based on the Minority Affairs Assessment, the University develop a University-wide action plan that demonstrates the University's commitment to an inclusive environment. The fundamental goal of the plan should be to create and sustain at the University a climate that values diversity and that is a welcoming and supportive community for minority students, faculty, and staff.
3. Annual Reports on the State of Minority Affairs at the University.
We recommend that the University establish objective measures by which it will evaluate whether the University is achieving its minority affairs and diversity goals. The first step would be to establish base line data, followed by annual updates documenting performance and progress.
4. Performance Funding Incentives for Minority Affairs.
We recommend that the University establish clear goals for achieving minority affairs and diversity at the University, and that a school's, department's, or other unit's contribution toward the achievement of those goals be recognized through performance funding. For example, performance funding could be achieved either by making a share of a unit's funding conditional upon meeting certain performance objectives, or by creating a dedicated source of funding to be awarded as a budget supplement to those units evidencing greatest achievement in reaching minority affairs and diversity goals.
5. Minority Affairs Official at Senior Administrative Level.
We recommend that the University have a senior level administrator, who serves on the Chancellor's Cabinet, as the University's and the Chancellor's principal advisor on minority affairs. The title and duties of this officer should reflect the University-wide responsibilities for institutionalizing efforts to achieve the University's minority affairs policy and diversity goals. The committee emphasizes that official titles are important symbols that promote respect for the duties the officer undertakes in behalf of the University.
6. Functions and Duties (18)
We recommend that, in connection with the functions of coordinating, monitoring, advising, and advocating, the Office of Minority Affairs be charged with the following specific duties:
(a) Data Collection and Analysis. All of the functions depend on data collection and analysis. Without this duty, the functions would seem impossible to execute. The first duty therefore is to "find out": to gather and analyze data, and as a result to know the state of affairs as to minorities and the status of their comparative welfare in all areas at all times. This would range from recruitment of minority students, faculty and staff to the retention and graduation of students, and the retention of faculty and staff, and all areas in between. Reflective and innovative analysis may yield untried approaches to known problems and solutions to lingering problems.
(b) Evaluating and Reporting. Once data are collected and analyzed, an evaluation should be developed. Reports should be regularly issued setting forth the analysis for the benefit of whatever unit or component could utilize it.
(c) Coordinating. Activities on the campus relating to minority welfare may not have their maximum effect because of a lack of coordination or missed opportunities for cross-fertilization. This function envisions some clearinghouse activities, some pulling together of activities, and some analysis of areas in which better coordination would yield improved results. The collection and exchange of useful information about recruitment practices and opportunities would very likely enhance that effort. The development of extensive lines of contact, formal and informal, might yield many benefits.
(d) Advising. If the data collection and evaluation suggested that there were indeed missed opportunities in any areas, the advising function would come into play. Advice, assistance, information, and help would be offered to the relevant unit. An opportunity might have been missed because no one in the unit or component knew about it, or had the time or resources to pursue it. Of course, in addition to advising the units, the person carrying out these functions would issue reports to and advise the Chancellor, as the principle advisor to the Chancellor on minority and diversity affairs,.
(e) Monitoring. This function entails systematic analysis and data collection on the wide range of activities that affect minority faculty, students, and staff. Upon monitoring, appropriate reports, suggestions, advice and help should be offered. If helpful advice were rejected, this function contemplates that appropriate reports should then flow to the Chancellor. Apart from the foregoing, we see the probability that much desirable action would very likely be induced because the activity would be subject to monitoring.
(f) Advocating. In an environment of many competing demands, this function contemplates providing arguments and persuasion to decision makers based on available data and analyses that a particular course of action should be pursued, or a particular issue resolved in a suggested way for reasons identified at that time. This function contemplates offering critical, but constructive, insights to the decision maker. Advocacy might also consist of problem anticipation and identification followed by the offering of proposed solutions based on reasoned analysis and argumentative persuasion. Underlying the advocacy function is the idea that initiative should be taken at administrative levels.
7. Power and Resources
We recommend that the Chancellor provide appropriate power and adequate resources to enable the senior level administrator to effectively execute the functions and duties set forth in this report. We do not propose a specific dollar amount of resources. The Committee does not contemplate that the performance of the functions identified should supplant any administrative function, person, or office in the present structure. We do recognize that the institutionalization of these new functions may provide an opportunity for realignment or adjustment of some present functions, but that such realignment or adjustment need not be caused by the implementation of the recommendations we make. Second, the Committee emphasizes that we are not proposing an interventionist function that would override or circumscribe the power and discretion presently residing in any office or officers.
Our recommendation is premised on the judicious exercise of the power of inquiry, data analysis, competent and responsible reasoned discourse, and rational argument. The person who would execute these functions should have both the commitment of and access to the Chancellor. That is the responsibility and power, in essence, that we propose. We believe that the Chancellor's clearly stated commitment, the appropriate administrative positioning, the assignment of the duties we have identified, and the allocation of adequate resources will constitute the power and authority we envision as necessary to effectively carry out the University's minority affairs and diversity policy.
8. Strategic Efforts in Programming Areas (19)
We recommend that the University undertake the following specific efforts:
(a) More Effective Outreach. The Office of Minority Affairs requires additional staffing and resources for its Outreach, Recruitment, and Support programs in order to more effectively support inclusion of the state's historical minority populations (African American and Native American) and its emerging racial/ethnic populations (Hispanic/ Latino and Asian Pacific Islander).
(b) Improve Coordination. The Office of Minority Affairs should be charged to take the initiating role in developing measures to improve coordination and exchange among units that initiate contact with prospective students and the communities from which they come.
(c) Strengthen Recruitment Programs. The Office of Minority Affairs should retain and expand its current programs to recruit minority students to this University. The various offices that have recruitment and admissions programs and duties should continue those programs. All offices with recruitment and admissions functions should be charged to cooperate to mutually support the others' programs and should find the most beneficial measures for cooperation on recruitment and outreach.
(d) Examine Tuition and Scholarship Changes. The Office of Minority Affairs should be charged to work with all appropriate offices to conduct an assessment of the impact of past and prospective changes in tuition and fees, scholarship availability, and financial aid and to develop strategies that counter negative impacts, if any, on the minority presence at the University.
(e) Extend Retention Programs. The offices with programming for student retention, including those with academic counseling functions, and the Office of Minority Affairs should be charged to work together to improve and to expand retention strategies to 3rd and 4th year minority students in an effort to eliminate the disparity in retention and graduation rates between minorities and nonminority students on the campus.
(f) Minority Affairs Impact Analysis. The Office of Minority Affairs should be charged to be available to consult in a formal manner with other offices that have responsibilities for recruitment, retention, and quality of life programming. All of the offices with recruitment, retention, and quality of life programming should be charged to consult with the Office of Minority Affairs when issues are identified for potential modification, in order to assess whether the proposed modifications are consistent with the University's minority affairs and diversity policy, and will improve the implementation of that policy.
(g) Assistance in Resolving Staff Problems. The Office of Minority Affairs should be charged to be available, and to serve as a resource provided by the Chancellor, to assist EPA-NonFaculty and SPA Employees to resolve informally employment problems and concerns that these employees believe are related to their racial/ethnic backgrounds.
(h) Direct Link to Intellectual Climate Activities. The Office of Minority Affairs and those entities implementing the recommendations of the Intellectual Climate Task Force should be charged to consult to assure the development of programs and activities that will promote the improvement of the intellectual climate for minorities at the University and to assure that programs support the University's diversity and minority affairs efforts.
Minority Affairs Review Committee
Ms. Elaina Blanks
Mr. Jacob Brayboy
Professor Charles E. Daye, Chair
Dr. Melissa Exum
Dr. Archie W. Ervin, Staff and Consultant
Mr. Chris Faison
Mr. Larry Keith
Dean Anthony Locklear
Dr. Carolyn Mayo
Ms. Shirley Ort
Ms. Barbara Polk
Dr. Cindy Wolf-Johnson
Mr. Harold Woodard