In its story Fewer students of color at WSU, the Spokesman Review reported today that while enrollment is up at Washington State University, the number of African-American students on campus is down.
The African-American student population dropped to close to 13 percent this fall. Although the drop accounts for only 67 fewer students than last year, the decline has grabbed the attention of WSU’s Board of Regents, for which I’ve served since 1998. As the Spokesman Review reports:
Regent Ken Alhadeff, a Seattle-area business leader, said the school needs a pipeline for students of color.
“We must look at everything we can do individually and collectively,” he told fellow board members.
Regent President Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer, echoed his concerns. “I’m interested in seeing what went wrong and why,” he said.
WSU’s executive director of enrollment services, Janet Danley, isn’t wasting any time trying to find ways to get those numbers up. Her plans include moving multicultural recruiters who have worked off-site this year to her own office to work alongside the general student recruiters. She also plants to talk to African-American students already on campus, as well as those who applied and received scholarships but decided not to attend.