How Furman Approaches Diversity & Inclusion in its Admissions Strategy
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Prioritizing different elements of diversity is part of a complex challenge for the Admissions Department.
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Last summer, a group of Black alumni sent a petition to Furman that called for the university to take several actions to address racism on campus. One action that the petition called for was that an institutional commitment to "increasing total enrollment of African American students to at least 12% of the total student population." In its response, the University agreed to develop "a strategy to increase enrollment of Black students that builds on existing efforts while adding new initiatives." Our latest "Deep Dive" examines that strategy. In the video interview above, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Evan Myers discusses how Furman approaches diversity and inclusion in its admissions policies with Brad Pochard and Allyson Brown.
Here are some highlights:
- "Are we where we want to be? No. Are we happy and proud of our progress? Yes, and we're encouraged by where we're going but it does take a little bit of time."
- "Its a matter of seeing what we do with an incoming class four years down the road... that is the work that we do... not just meeting the number and to be able to say that this percentage of our incoming class identified this way, but it really is overall retention and how they become alumni"
- "There's no secret that we have under resourced high schools... many of which reside in our home state. We are intentionally recruiting in some of those high schools... We review within the context of the high school. We want to see students taking the highest level curriculum they can take within their high schools."
What I Learned
- Prioritizing different elements of diversity is part of a complex challenge for the Admissions Department.
- Progress in diversity and inclusion is happening at Furman, just not at the pace that many understandably want.
- The Admissions Department sees itself as part of a broader project at Furman that includes all aspects of the student experience.
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