Report highlights need for inclusion

Last week, a group of senior administrators released the 2015 Campus Climate Report, a compilation of findings about the current state of diversity on the University of Minnesota campus.

The report examined diversity broadly. Its research was extensive, incorporating data from surveys, meetings and small-group discussions from students, employees and faculty.

In most cases, data indicated that students were skeptical of the University’s commitment to diversity and equity issues. Students of color, in particular, felt less welcomed and less respected on campus than non-minorities.

These findings reflect commonly heard criticisms of the University’s handling of diversity problems. The group Whose Diversity?, which participated in several discussions with University administrators in 2014, has complained that there is not enough effort made to recruit, retain and respect diverse students from “historically marginalized communities.”

Given the conclusions of the Campus Climate Report, there is an obvious need to improve the experiences of minority students on campus. The report makes many suggestions for improvement, including the establishment of student climate advisory and expanded scholarship funding.

University administrators must demonstrate their commitment to addressing the needs of minority students and then move to make real changes. We encourage University President Eric Kaler, administrators, students, staff and faculty to keep momentum going in this effort to improve the experiences of all types of people on campus.