In an address in the Rotunda last night, University Chief Diversity Officer William Harvey discussed the current state of Latino/Hispanic affairs at the University as well as his plans for increasing diversity at the University in the near future.
Harvey said progress is being made toward increasing the number of Latino/Hispanic students at the University, noting that the number of Latino/Hispanic applicants and accepted students are both increasing. Approximately 37 percent of Latinos and Hispanics who apply to the University are accepted, Harvey said. According to the Office of Admission Web site, 38 percent of students who applied for admission in the fall of 2004 were accepted.
Despite these gains, Harvey added that the University must continue its efforts to increase Latino/Hispanic enrollment, since this particular population nationwide will double or triple over the next few decades.
“What we want this institution to do is to mirror society,” Harvey said.
Harvey noted that Latinos and Hispanics currently comprise approximately three percent of the University undergraduate population, while Latinos and Hispanics make up approximately seven percent of the Commonwealth’s population.
Harvey said as one-third of University students are not from the Commonwealth, the University should actively recruit students from states with large Latino/Hispanic communities.
The number of Latino/Hispanic faculty members at the University is also considered inadequate, Harvey noted.
Harvey said he is instituting new programs in order to increase diversity and tolerance at the University.
A University-wide diversity council with representatives from all administrative and academic departments will begin meeting soon, he said.