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March 19, 2001

PCSM begins work on
new diversity survey

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

Discussions regarding an internal campus climate survey were first on the agenda at the Feb. 26 President's Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) meeting.

Chair Brenda Seiton announced at last month's meeting that Emory would not be participating in the Penn State University-based Campus Climate Diversity Survey, in part due to questionable research methods.
However, Seiton said, the other President’s commissions’ chairs have agreed to create another survey. They will begin working with Susan Frost, vice provost for institutional planning and research, to develop questions and research methods. Seiton said the group also is considering seeking help from faculty in sociology and/or public health who may have conducted similar surveys.

“We’ll probably be working on this all summer, and we’ll probably need help on getting the word out about it,” she said, adding that some research gathering has already started, thanks to Human Resources. During recent staff focus groups concerning employment at Emory, questions about diversity and its climate on campus were addressed.

Seiton said she hopes to meet with President Bill Chace to discuss various areas of interest. PCSM needs to have an agenda to present to Chace, she said. Members suggested several ideas, most of which centered on the idea of how diversity is viewed at Emory and how it will fit into the University community in the 21st century. Members decided to recommend Chace create a master plan for diversity over the next two years.

Seiton reminded members to start recruiting and promoting PCSM membership She emphasized that nominees must have the time and dedication for the position. “Nominees don’t have to be people of color,” Robert Lee reminded the group. “They just have to be people of good will.”

In other business, Seiton said the professional development grant winners were notified, and a committee is discussing how to promote the group's annual student scholar contest.

The next PCSM meeting will be Monday, March 26, at a location to be announced.

If you have a question or concern for PCSM, contact Seiton at


Back to Emory Report March 19, 2001