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On July 20, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead announced upcoming diversity initiatives for university students, faculty and staff via an Archnews email. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

On July 20, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead announced upcoming diversity initiatives for university students, faculty and staff via an ArchNews email.

Morehead announced the establishment of a task force on “race, ethnicity and community” and a planning committee on “diversity and inclusive excellence.” Two additional initiatives include the creation of community conversations held on campus and a forthcoming celebration of the 60th anniversary of desegregation at UGA.

“Embracing our values of diversity and inclusion remains absolutely critical to reaching the heights of excellence we all desire for our great university,” Morehead said in the email. “During my tenure as president, we have taken many steps together in this direction, and we all recognize that much more must be done on this campus and elsewhere.”

Race, ethnicity and community

The task force on race, ethnicity and community consists of 16 individuals in charge of identifying issues and developing recommendations set to “improve our campus culture and strengthen our learning environment,” according to the email. The task force is designed to “foster a more welcoming and supportive learning environment for Black and other underrepresented members of our campus community.”

Morehead said he is committing $1 million of private resources from the UGA Athletic Association “to implement promising ideas developed by this group.”

Vice president for student affairs, Victor K. Wilson will lead this task force as chair, along with Jeffrey Brown, president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council and several professors, undergraduate and graduate students.

Diversity and inclusive excellence

Morehead said the planning committee on diversity and inclusive excellence “will cast a longer vision for the future of our university.” The planning committee will develop a plan of action to build off of UGA’s most recent diversity plan, Morehead said.

The committee will be led by Michelle G. Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives, co-chair will be Kyle Tschepikow, special assistant to the president and director for strategy and innovation, and other professors, staff members and undergraduate and graduate students.

Conversations and anniversary of desegregation

“It is paramount that we engage in open, thoughtful, and constructive dialogue around difficult and complex issues such as race and racism,” Morehead said. “Community conversations of this nature broaden our understanding, lead to new learnings, and promote positive change and unity.

The university is organizing a series of facilitated discussions to take place over the upcoming school year. They will be open to all members of the community and facilitated by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Morehead said.

In the fall, UGA will celebrate the 60th anniversary of desegregation at the university. Through a series of programs and events, Morehead said the university will honor Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton E. Holmes, who were the first Black students to enroll at UGA in 1961.

Morehead said more information about the anniversary celebration is forthcoming.

After highlighting UGA’s first college to be named after a Black alumna, Mary Frances Early, in 2019 and the establishment of diversity grant and scholarship programs, Morehead said the university is not done addressing change.

“Yet, we all recognize that there is more work to be done, and we will do it together. This is an important moment for our university,” Morehead said. “I have high expectations for these new initiatives to further unify us as an academic community and help us build a better, stronger UGA for the future.

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(2) comments

wjabbe

My, my , my isn’t this an inspiring act by UGA President Morehead the current $ 1 million+ worthless President who reportedly earned his stripes by teaching “honor” students in the law school decades ago. Isn’t this a contradiction in terms? The so called senior faculty, with a few exceptions like the late Chaired Professor of Mathematics George Adomian, Ph.D. Physics UCLA, have a long sordid history of secretly shafting anyone from promotion who does not fit in to the bigoted faculty at UGA. Many years ago three members of the physics faculty secretly wrote nasty letters about a highly qualified assistant professor with the intention of sending him walking. The individual was highly qualified of Chinese Ancestry but was a U.S. Citizen, and even studied under a Nobel Laureate in Physics. Even after this top physicist, and another from Korea but also a U.S. Citizen, were recommended for promotion by this committee chaired by Professor Adomian, then President Davision refused to promote them. But later he changed his mind and did promote them at an odd time of year. This act infuriated the prejudiced bigots who sought to kill their careers in secret. This story has been kept a carefully guarded secret along with so many others. Shame on all the gutless cowards concerned. Say a prayer of thanks for the late Professor George Adomian, Ph.D. Physics for demonstrating the guts and intelligence to do the right and honorable thing. Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics, citizen for 54 years.

MikeH

Give it a dang rest. Everything happening in this country is not a racist incident.

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