Minority enrollment up at MSU; progress made on diversity goals

Contact: Paulette Granberry Russell at (517) 353-3922; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 355-2281, oswald@msu.edu

Apr 12, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Minority student enrollment at Michigan State University is up more than 5 percent from one year ago, the university's chief affirmative action officer reported today.

The enrollment figures, as well as the university's progress toward increased workforce diversity, were outlined in the 2000-01 annual Progress Report on Affirmative Action and Diversity Within Community, which was presented to the MSU Board of Trustees at its April 12 meeting.

"Last's year progress is a direct result of the efforts of campus units and individuals committed to the principle that MSU's core mission includes assuring equal access to educational and employment opportunities," said Paulette Granberry Russell, director of the Office of Affirmative Action Compliance and Monitoring and senior adviser to the president on diversity issues.

The 2000-01 report details programmatic efforts to achieve and support campus diversity, as well as looks at the representation of the diverse groups within the campus population. Among the conclusions of the report:

  • Total domestic minority enrollment increased 5.3 percent from a year ago. The 7,132 black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian students represent 16.1 percent of the total MSU student population.
  • Female students represented 54 percent of the total student population, a slight increase from a year ago.
  • For the second consecutive year, the total enrollment of minority freshmen increased to a historic high. Minority freshmen represented 20 percent of the freshmen class.
  • Within the academic personnel workforce, 39.2 percent were women, an increase from last year's 38.4 percent. With a net gain of 70, minorities represented 17.9 percent of the total academic personnel system.
  • Among support staff, the numbers of minorities and women were up from last year.
  • While the overall academic tenure system faculty declined, the numbers of women and minorities continued to increase slightly.

Granberry Russell said that her office would continue to emphasize proactive recruitment to achieve increases in the diversity of faculty and staff but also focus on the retention of minorities and women within the university.

"We recognize that we are not where we want to be with respect to our overall campus diversity," she said. "But our efforts have produced continued growth in the representation of women and minorities within both our employment ranks and student body.

"Campus programming over the last year also reflects our responsiveness to the needs of an ever-increasing diverse community," she said.

Efforts and activities over the past year have included the installation of state-of-the-art traffic signals at several campus intersections that make it easier for those with visual and hearing disabilities to safely cross the street. During the 2000-01 school year, more than 17,000 people visited the Multicultural Center, an increase of more than 4,000, and the Purchasing Department's Supplier Diversity Program continued to expand, providing economic growth for local minority- and women-owned businesses.