Group Recommends Ways to Improve Racial Climate at UNH

Apr 18, 2018

Credit Facebook - All Eyes on UNH

A UNH task force on campus climate has released its final report roughly a year after a series of racially charged incidents embroiled the campus.

The task force makes fifteen recommendations in the report, including one to make the group permanent as an advisory council to the UNH president.

Members of the task force include university administration, faculty, staff, students, and outside groups like the Seacoast NAACP.

Recommendations from the task force include: increasing attention on the hiring and retention of minority faculty, making data on minority student graduation and retention rates more public, and offering social justice education during orientation for first-year students.

The report also highlights some of the work UNH has already done, including providing diversity training to nearly 2,000 employees. It says the University is also developing a plan to address this year's Cinco de Mayo celebrations on campus.

Incidents of cultural appropriation at UNH during the Mexican holiday last year were a major catalyst for the ongoing discussion on campus climate.

The task force says UNH has responded to all fifteen student demands that were made last May. It says five demands have been met, five are in progress, and five have been deemed unattainable "in accordance with the students."

The report adds that "as of April 4, 2018, students who were directly involved with developing demands felt that meaningful progress has been made."

Elsewhere the report acknowledges there are UNH community members who continue to "suffer day-to-day indignities."

As part of its work, the task force reviewed graduation and retention rates for minority students at UNH. Data included in the report shows a 14 point gap in the 6-year graduation rate between white and black students (78%-64%).