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University of Akron Professor Leads Effort to Assess Diversity on Campus

A photo of the University of Akron.
A working group will study diversity and inclusivity at the University of Akron.

A long-time professor at the University of Akron is leading an effort to assess the campus for its diversity and inclusivity. 
English professor Sheldon Wrice is co-chairing a 22-member working group. Wrice has been at Akron for 28 years and says he has seen progress, but there is room for growth when it comes to equality and inclusivity. 
Wrice says the group will look at curriculum, faculty and staff development and recruiting and retaining both faculty and students of color. 
“It’s one thing to recruit a student but it’s another thing to actually have the programs in place to help those students actually become successful so they can matriculate through the university and actually graduate.”

Wrice says the group is expected to complete its work by the end of the fall semester. 
Wrice credits the new administration, including new UA President Gary Miller and Provost John Wiencek, for initiating this effort. Miller has said the university has to examine itself before it can lead the kind of change that’s needed in society.

In addition to the faculty group, the university has also formed a student-based organization called the Inclusive Excellence Action Team.   

Sean Fitzgerald is an announcer/board operator at Ideastream Public Media.