Commission on Campus Diversity to convene Nov. 12

By Ed Blaguszewski
The special Commission on Campus Diversity will meet for the first time Nov. 12-13 to review its charge and establish procedures. During next week’s private sessions, the 22-member panel expects to establish a date for a public campus forum in December, according to commission chair Orlando L. Taylor.

“We are eager to get to work on this most important topic and provide a service to the university,” said Taylor, who serves as vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. “Although we are on the eve of the holiday season, the commission members are committed to making significant progress in their work, with an eye toward submitting a final report in February 2005.”

“The University of Massachusetts Amherst is to be congratulated for implementing this bold initiative to examine its current programs, policies and practices that are designed to create a campus culture that maintains and celebrates a diverse educational community,” said Taylor. “The selection of the distinguished individuals to address this issue from both inside and outside the university assures that the results of this effort will take full advantage of the history and legacy of diversity efforts at UMass Amherst, while considering simultaneously the best practices that have emerged from across the country in recent years.”

The commission’s charge includes presenting a specific set of recommendations, campus guidelines, organizational structures, and funding models as it finds appropriate.

To provide accessibility to the commission, in addition to the meetings scheduled at the commission’s request, a specific e-mail address has been created for campus correspondence with commission members: campusdiversity@umass.edu. Official documents associated with the commission’s work will be posted at www.umass.edu/campusdiversity. A complete list of commission members can also be found on the site.