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February 4, 2002

PCSM debuts proposal for diversity study

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld


Members of the President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) held their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 3 p.m. in 400 Administration. The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the group’s recently drafted Strategic Plan for Diversity proposal.

Chair Brenda Seiton asked members to comment on the draft and to offer any ideas that need to be expanded or added. As it reads, the proposal identifies Emory’s challenge to increase "multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial populace" at the University and recommends the creation of a committee "for the purpose of creating diversity leadership" and understanding across Emory’s divisions.

Seiton said the project requires a seasoned and judicial chairperson to work with a presidentially appointed executive committee, consisting of faculty, staff, students, administrators, trustees and alumni. In its timeline, this committee would convene in March and present a final report to President Bill Chace by March 2003.

Ideally, Seiton said she would like to have a final draft of the project proposal ready by early this month and invite Chace to the next PCSM meeting to discuss it. Proposals also will be given to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and the LGBT Commission.

Prior to that discussion, John Ford, senior vice president for Campus Life, met with members to outline his office’s role and its concerns for diversity at Emory. "We need to set for ourselves the goal of maintaining the diversity we have [at Emory] and increasing it," Ford said, adding that he would like to see Emory’s number of Latino and other minority students, faculty and staff increase.

In other business, members voted to continue sponsoring a student writing contest and professional development awards. Members also voted to give $700 to the Black Student Alliance for the group’s upcoming trip to Ghana.

Seiton reminded the group that her term as chair expires at the end of the year and that Nagueyalti Warren has accepted a nomination for chair. Nominations for general PCSM membership also are being accepted.

PCSM will meet again on Feb. 25 in 400 Administration at 3 p.m

If you have a question or concern for PCSM, e-mail Brenda Seiton at