Minority services are essential

The MCAE and the GLBTA Programs Office will be hiring new directors soon.

Daily Editorial Board

With a new president, an incoming provost and dwindling state support, the University of Minnesota is experiencing a lot of change. ItâÄôs starting to feel like the administration is launching a new search every week.

Currently, the Office of Equity and Diversity needs to fill two director slots. We often criticize the University for the number of administrative positions, but in this case, weâÄôre glad the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and the GLBTA Programs Office are getting the staff they need.

Higher education is a magnet for people of different experiences and beliefs. Over the course of a personâÄôs undergraduate career, he or she will encounter people who introduce him or her to new perspectives. When it comes to learning, this is invaluable.

But the truth is campus often seems homogeneous. WeâÄôre 84.3 percent white, according to fall 2011 statistics. The majority call the Midwest home. And conventional wisdom says 9 out of 10 people are straight. So on a campus this large, itâÄôs important that the University invest resources in services that support students who could spend an entire day here and never encounter members of a group they identify as.

The University has set up public forums where candidates for the directors of MCAE and the GLBTA Programs Office will answer questions, and administrators say theyâÄôre looking for feedback from the campus. ItâÄôs important that students and faculty take the time to consider what these programs should do for students and who would do it best.

WeâÄôre glad to have these crucial programs and services on our campus, and we hope faculty and students help decide who the new directors will be.