Diversity requires national
By Kim Kelly
Daily Cougar Staff
UH continues to build on its recognition
as a melting pot of ethnic diversity, both in minority enrollment and faculty.
While the number of minority
enrollments and graduation numbers increase,
it is not because the University intentionally recruits minority students.
Rather, UH's diversity is reflective of
Houston's growing minority population, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment
Ed Apodaca said.
A large percentage of its growth is a result
of Asian immigration, specifically from countries such as Korea and India,
associate professor of
sociology Jacqueline Hagan said.
UH's Fall 2000 enrollment for Asian/Pacific
Islanders was 17.7 percent, compared to 17.5 percent for Hispanics and
13.5 percent for
The Business-Higher Education Forum expressed
concern that while minority enrollment on the collegiate level is increasing
growth is not representative of the nation's
increasing minority population.
"Diversity is an invaluable competitive
asset that America cannot afford to ignore," said Stephen G. Butler, co-chair
of the BHEF Diversity
A report released by the BHEF titled "
Investing in People: Developing All of America's Talent on Campus and in
the Workplace" offers several
suggestions for encouraging diversity
among campuses, such as supporting more minority organizations and monitoring
the effectiveness of
"Our university has multiple outlets for
minority outreach programs, cultural, academic and social resources, in
addition to training seminars for
staff and faculty on diversity issues,"
UH President Arthur K. Smith said.
Asian-American Studies and the Center for
Mexican American Studies are two minority groups that have been making
ethnic strides at UH.
CMAS has even implemented a bridge program
designed to help students make the transition from high school to college,
for CMAS Tatcho Mindiola said.
The program is intended to encourage minority
students to attain a higher degree of education, Mindiola said. This is
an important effort since
the BHEF acknowledges that "a large number
of the people who will be available to work (in the future) will be minorities
-- who currently lag
behind whites in their training and educational
More importantly, the report encourages
universities to employ more minority staff and faculty.
"We need more minority faculty members
to serve our highly diverse student population. We need to provide the
best academic environment,"
said Dr. Yali Zhou, director of the Asian
American Studies Center. Mindiola agreed, saying that more minorities are
needed to teach at the
A report prepared by Apodaca titled "Revisiting
Crisis In the Ranks: The Underrepresentation of Hispanic Faculty and Administrators
Higher Education" states that many institutions
include adjunct professors and retired faculty as full-time active faculty
in the Hispanic category.
It also mentions that Hispanic faculty
seeking promotions and leadership positions are sometimes discouraged from
embracing their ethnicity
and are told to instead trust the "system"
which encourages merit and hard work.
Though most administrators would agree
the University needs more minority faculty, the problem persists because
minorities with higher
education are at a minimum and many of
them decide to work at other universities, Hagan said.