Corporate Recruiters Criticize UW-Madison’s Lack of Diversity

AP, April 9, 2006

MILWAUKEE—The lack of diversity in the University of Wisconsin-Madison student body makes the school an increasingly disappointing campus at which to seek talent, a growing number of corporate recruiters are saying.

Companies frequently target students with diverse backgrounds. But UW-Madison is one of the least diverse schools in the Big Ten.

In 2005, only 10 percent of UW-Madison students identified themselves as black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that figure was 32 percent.

UW-Madison has a larger enrollment of Asians in its College of Engineering, but less than five percent of the other students there are minorities.

In recent years, Alcoa, General Motors Corp. and a division of Proctor & Gamble Co. said the lack of diversity in the school’s College of Engineering is the reason they stopped recruiting there. Proctor & Gamble has since resumed but other corporations are threatening to look elsewhere unless the university increases its minority enrollment.

One reason the university has few minorities is because the state has few minorities.

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