April 20, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

Campuses Gain in Diversity, Says New Report

MONMOUTH - Oregon's public universities are making gains in attracting people of color to the campus as students and staff, according to a new report made Friday to the State Board of Higher Education.

The report, done by the Oregon University System's Office of Academic Affairs, shows increases in the recruitment and retention of minorities over a two-year period from 1998-99 to 2000-01.

The report shows that minority student enrollment for the seven OUS campuses increased by 855 students, or 10.7 percent, from 7,963 to 8, 818. By group, the largest increase occurred among Asian-Pacific Americans, up 523 (12.9 percent) from 4,036 to 4,559. Other groups, except for American Indian/Alaska Native students, showed gains ranging from 10 to 14.7 percent. The total for American Indian/Alaska Native students decreased by 9 students overall, or 2.1 percent.

According to the report, 78 percent of the undergraduate students of color attending OUS universities in Fall 2000 were Oregon residents; 22 percent non-residents.

Among faculty the OUS system also showed a slight increase in people of color. In 1998-99 the number of full-time, ranked instructional faculty of color totaled 223. In 2000-2001 the total grew to 234, up 4.9 percent. Faculty of color now comprise 9.7 percent of total faculty while people of color make up 8.3 percent of all full- and part-time staff at Oregon's public universities.

The report also notes that an increase in the number of degrees awarded to students of color over the two-year period. OUS campuses awarded 1,368 degrees to minorities in 1998-99, or roughly 10.6 percent of all degrees conferred. In 1999-00, the total grew to 1,501, representing about 11 percent of all degrees awarded.

The new figures in the report show that the gains are consistent with similar diversity trends in the state. Census figures cited in report show that minorities made up 13 percent of Oregon's population in 2000, up from 11.2 percent in 1998. Similarly, undergraduate students of color made up 13.5 percent of total enrollment in the Oregon University System in 2000, up from 13.2 percent in 1998.

The report predicts that the trend will continue through 2015. It estimates that minority participation will grow to about 18.5 percent of all undergraduate enrollments statewide - public and private, two- and four-year colleges - by 2015.


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