A Brief History of the Commission on the Status of People of Color

     On June 12, 1997, the Campus Journal wrote, "Recognizing the need to support people of color through specific programs, additions in the curriculum, and the evaluation of policies and services, the university administration has taken a critical step in creating the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color."
     Today, inequities and disparities still exist, and the Commission works to fulfill the promise of full inclusion and equity.  The mission of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color is to promote diversity at the University of New Hampshire, to support people of color and to foster an inclusive university community through education, assessment, advocacy and activism.  The Commission makes recommendations to the President of the university on issues for people of color.  It actively monitors the status of people of color and the environment of inclusion and equity and communicates its findings and concerns with the UNH community.  In addition to policy work, the commission supports educational and cultural opportunities to raise awareness; it recognizes accomplishments; and it advocates for change.
     The members of the Commission work with other organizations, individuals, offices, departments and administrative groups at UNH to recommend both policies and programs promoting diversity of culture and curriculum, and diversity among students, faculty, staff and administration at UNH.  Recent Commission projects have included supporting the continuation of a Chinese Lectureship Series, supporting additions to the curriculum, working with Admissions, to monitor the recruitment and retention of students of color, advocating for the recruitment and retention of faculty of color, offering a promotion and tenure workshop for under-represented groups, hosting a speaker series to promote discussion of issues, and offering receptions for faculty and staff of color.  The Commission has also supported a grant program, New England Center for Inclusive Teaching (NECIT), which seeks to provide voice and identity for faculty through the sharing of experiences that support inclusive teaching and learning.  It also explores how the scholarship of pedagogy can foster the success of diverse students.  It's goal is to build a supportive network of faculty who engage in diversity-related initiatives.
     A Tangible commitment to enhancing diversity at UNH was made in July 2004 with the appointment of a Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity Initiatives.  This office was charged with developing a comprehensive diversity plan and serving as a resource to deans, department chairs, Faculty Senate Agenda Committee and university administrators in matters related to the advancement of the University's diversity goals.  Subsequently, a Diversity Strategic Planning Task Force was established in September 2004 to develop a five-year strategic plan for enhancing diversity at UNH.
     In January 2005, the members of the Diversity Task Force and other key leaders supported the creation of the Office of the Office for Diversity Initiatives and the appointment of Dr. Wanda Mitchell as Vice Provost for Diversity.  The office was created to provide leadership and resources for the fulfillment of the University's Strategic Plan for Diversity.  The Strategic Plan solidifies the University's commitment to excellence in providing the highest quality, broad-based education for students in a diverse, inclusive and welcoming setting.  It identifies seven comprehensive strategies, to be implemented over the year few years.  These strategies deal with organizational structure, recruitment and retention, curriculum, community climate and outreach and engagement.  To view the 2004-2009 Diversity Strategic Plan