UT Looks to Increase Diversity

As UT’s student body continues to grow, the question of its diversity is still an issue – so what is UT doing to increase diversity amongst its campus?

According to Dean of Students Bob Ruday, UT is doing all it can to diversify not only the students, but the faculty as well.

“Diversity is so important for a number of reasons. We want to meet the needs of all our students. We are committed to bringing in students of many different races, different religions, older students, men and women alike,” said Ruday.

“So many minorities are being hired in the business world, so I think that’s why we lack a lot of minority professors.”

Although the number of Hispanic/Latino and African American students has increased by 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively, over the last four years, African Americans still only make up 6 1/2 percent of the student body, while Hispanic and Latino students make up 9.3 percent of the student body.

In the fall of 2006 UT had a total of 3,011 Caucasian students enrolled, accounting for 63.6 percent of total undergraduate students.

UT senior Melissa Wadley has noticed the diversity gap on campus.

“I feel that UT is not diverse. It’s a predominately white school. But it’s good that we have a substantial international student population,” said Wadley.

“But within the diversity of our school, there isn’t a complete understanding or respect pertaining to the different ethnic groups [at UT]. Since that respect isn’t there, it’s hard to celebrate diversity in general.”

Vice President of Enrollment Barbara Strickler ensures that UT is playing a part in targeting minority students.

According to Strickler, UT purchases mailing lists of SAT, ACT and other test takers who are minorities.

UT also sends special e-mails, operates phone campaigns and reaches out to groups in minority communities.

As far as minority scholarships are concerned, Strickler further mentioned the Supreme Court ruling declared several years ago that state universities are not allowed to reward minority scholarships or to give minority students special consideration in their admission decisions.

–Primary Colors:UT’s Ethnic Makeup as of Fall 2006–

The statistics provided below were contributed by UT Vice President of Enrollment, Barbara Strickler:

– 3,011 White, non-Hispanic

– 442 Hispanic/Latino

– 309 African-American

– 88 Asian/Pacific Islander

– 20 American Indian

– 3 East Indian

– 7 Native Hawaiian

– 547 Not indicated/ Unknown

– 307 Non-resident aliens

– 355 International Undergraduates

– 90 International Graduate Students

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