Kicks Off Year-Long Study of Diversity at U.Va.
Diversity" web site on Feb. 18 for a live-stream of the
Cable will broadcast Friday's sessions live on channels 13 and 49.
(Ch. 13 feeds the dorms, channel 49 is on broadband).
4, 2000 -- The University of Virginia is launching
a year-long initiative to deepen understanding of diversity and
foster new ways of responding to the changing needs of its community.
University will kick off the year of introspection and study with
a symposium and workshop. The symposium, "Charting
Diversity: Commitment, Honor, Challenge,"
which is free and open to the public, will be held Feb. 18 in Old
Cabell Hall. A related workshop will be held Feb. 19.
recent years, public universities around the country have been grappling
with legal attacks on their affirmative action admissions policies
-- policies put in place as part of an effort to rectify past racial
discrimination, particularly against African-Americans.
admissions policy is just one of several challenges that U.Va. faces
as it strives to reflect an increasingly diverse country and an
increasingly integrated global economy, according to conference
the last three decades the University of Virginia has witnessed
a marked diversification in all its various sectors," said University
President John T. Casteen III. "Diversity is an issue that has received
ongoing scrutiny and we have been challenged to do better."
symposium and workshop on diversity come at a critical juncture
in our history," Casteen said. "Across the country, institutions
of higher learning face challenges to traditional means of achieving
diversity. Launching this year of self-study, the symposium seeks
to discover ways to meet those challenges and to set the stage for
continued discussions across Grounds. We expect these discussions
will lead to an academic landscape that reflects the rich diversity
of our country."
leaders in higher education from around the country will speak on
18. Speakers include:
E. Kirwan, president of Ohio State University, and a leading
proponent of diversity on college campuses, who dealt with an
affirmative action lawsuit in his previous post as head of the
University of Maryland
C. Bollinger, president of the University of Michigan, who
is spearheading program initiatives on diversity and is involved
with a lawsuit challenging the universitys affirmative
E. Oh, a commissioner with the Los Angeles City Human Relations
Commission and a former member of President Clintons Commission
on Race, who brings a national perspective on race relations.
Saturday, Feb. 19, eight roundtables, made up of U.Va. faculty,
staff and students, will discuss different aspects of the educational
experience and how each affects and is affected by diversity.
discussion topics are: Community; Curriculum and Pedagogy; Faculty
and Staff Recruitment, Hiring, Retention and Promotion; Governance
and Leadership; Physical Space and Environmental Assessment; Policy
and Procedure; Student Development; Student Recruitment, Enrollment,
Retention and Graduation.
roundtable groups will undertake in-depth studies of their topics
over the coming year and in the spring of 2001 will prepare reports
for Casteen containing their findings, analyses and recommendations.
second conference is planned for the fall of 2001 to discuss the
roundtable reports and evaluate the recommendations.
goal of both conferences and the intervening year of study is to
chart a path for U.Va.s future that takes into account the
Universitys history, current law, and best practices at other
leading institutions around the country.
its simple to say that the University supports diversity and
values it as a priority, it is much harder to articulate what that
means in our day-to-day activities," said Karen Holt, director of
U.Va.s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and a conference
co-chair. "We hope this program inspires and provokes us to look
at our practices and interactions, and see where changes and improvements
are warranted. We are proud of our accomplishments, but must continue
to promote an educational community where everyone feels supported
as conference co-chairs with Holt are Glenna Chang, assistant dean
of students, and Linda Bunker, Parrish Professor of Education.
reexamination is part of U.Va.s efforts to redefine itself
for the 21st century. It is one of several aspects of the broad
self-examination launched as the Virginia 2020 initiative.
in 1819, the University of Virginia will enter its third century
in 2020. Envisioning the Universitys future and planning for
the change and opportunities that lie ahead are the goals of Virginia
2020: Agenda for the Third Century.
2020 is focused on five key areas: the fine and performing arts,
international activities, public service and outreach, science and
technology, and athletics. Strengths exist in all five areas, but
each area offers potential for achieving higher standards of excellence.
The success of Virginia 2020 will help ensure the Universitys
success as an institution dedicated to the fundamental principles
of teaching, research, and service, and at the same time, devoted
to the changing educational needs of people who will face unique
challenges and questions in the 21st century and beyond.
more information about the diversity conference, call Karen Holt,
director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, at (804) 924-3200,
or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Television
reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
the "Charting Diversity" web site: http://www.virginia.edu/chartingdiversity
the 1994 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Daniel J. Podberesky
v. William E. Kirwan, President of the University of Maryland
at College Park, the court ruled the Benjamin Banneker Scholarship
Program unconstitutional because it was open only to African-American
the 1996 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Cheryl Hopwood
v. State of Texas, the court ruled that the University of Texas
law schools affirmative action policies were unconstitutional.
Center for Individual Rights, the conservative, non-profit, public
policy law firm that won the 1996 Fifth Circuit Court of Apppeals
case, Cheryl Hopwood v. State of Texas, is currently pursuing
lawsuits against the University of Michigan and the University of
these lawsuits, the Center for Individual Rights is arguing that
the race-based admissions policies of the two state universities
violate the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case, Regents of the University
of California v. Allan Bakke. In that case the court struck
down a university admissions policy that relied solely on racial
quotas to increase diversity, although the court allowed the university
to continue to consider race as one of several factors used to create
a diverse student body.
Center for Individual Rights has notified other public universities,
including the University of Virginia, that their admissions policies
may be challenged in court.
Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858