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College says it has met many goals in hiring minorities, women


Howard Community College has reached or exceeded many of its goals for attracting more women and minorities to the staff and faculty, according to the college's most recent six-month hiring report.

Faculty and administration are now turning their attention to the student body, with programs intended to promote greater sensitivity to the importance of racial and gender diversity on campus.

"We are very proud of the diversity program," said Ronald Roberson, a faculty member and chairman of the college's diversity committee, a 12-member board that includes two students. "We still see new frontiers in diversity."

The college conducts a diversity survey every six months and determines the availability of faculty and staff positions for blacks, all minorities combined, and women.

Goals differ for each group and job category.

According to the six-month report released last week, the college had reached or exceeded its goals in recruiting women and minorities in five of nine job categories.

Those categories include executive-administrative-managerial, nonsenior faculty, counseling faculty, secretarial-clerical and service maintenance.

The college still falls short of its goal in the recruitment of women and minorities to its senior faculty ranks. Administrators have said that it will take time to reach goals in that area because faculty members must follow the promotion process.

However, the representation of minorities within the rank of senior faculty has nearly doubled, from 5.3 percent of all senior faculty in January 1993 to 9.8 percent in January 1994. The school's goal is to have minorities make up 26.9 percent of the faculty. There is no deadline for meeting that goal.

The college also failed to meet some goals in the job categories of professionals (nonfaculty), technical-paraprofessional and skilled crafts.

The college remains the state's leader among community colleges in the percentage of female full-time faculty, with 71 percent, according to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges' latest figures from 1993.

Howard is second in the percentage of minority full-time faculty, at 24 percent. The state's leader, Baltimore City Community College, has 13 percent.

Mr. Roberson said the impact of a diversified faculty and staff on students remains to be seen.

Some instructors have begun surveying their students at the beginning and end of each course to determine whether they are more sensitive to minority and women's issues, said Carol Copenhaver, vice president and dean of instruction.

"We're beginning to collect that data so we can see where the curriculum is falling short of its goals," Ms. Copenhaver said. "This institution has always had a commitment to diversity."

Efforts to increase racial and gender sensitivity among members of the 5,050-member student body include seminars and discussions, such as the college-sponsored viewing of Spike Lee's movie, "Malcolm X."

After the movie, the college held a discussion of the film with a member of the Nation of Islam.

The college also is making plans for students and faculty to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., this year, and to hold a discussion about genocide and humanity, with an emphasis on reducing prejudice, Mr. Roberson said.

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