Diversity and Inclusion: Discussions with LiberateMSU Students

During the past several weeks, MSU leadership has held several meetings and forums with students concerned with issues of race, diversity and inclusion on our campus. These discussions, though sometimes difficult, are a part of the ongoing dialogue necessary to ensure a vibrant, intellectual community that includes and respects a broad range of ideas and perspectives.

On November 30, 2015, President Lou Anna K. Simon and Vice President Denise Maybank met with representatives from LiberateMSU, a group including both graduate and undergraduate students of color, to share and discuss a response to a list of demands presented to President Simon on November 18. At the Novemeber 30 meeting, LiberateMSU presented an expanded list of demands. All three documents are included here:

LiberateMSU original demands (November 18, 2015)
MSU response (Novemeber 30, 2015)
LiberateMSU updated demands (November 30, 2015)

MSU is committed to long-term progress in support of the university’s core value of inclusion. To have informed dialogue and honest assessment of progress over time and areas in need of continued attention, shared facts are important. To that end, the MSU response includes a number of attachments providing a variety of data. It is also helpful to set some of that data in context. Key information items, with additional context, include:

• Percent of entering class African-American: 9.4% in 2015, up from 9.1% in 2006
• Percent of entering class students of color: 24.5% in 2015, up from 19.2 in 2006
• 6-year graduation rate: African-American 59.3% in 2015, up from 53.4% in 2006
• 6-year graduation rate: students of color 67.1% in 2015, up from 59.7% in 2006
• Faculty and academic staff: African-American 5.7% in 2015, up from 5.5% in 2006
• Faculty and academic staff: persons of color 20% 2015, 14.8% in 2006
• 5-year average annual budget growth rate for AAAS: 20%; Arts and Letters: 4.8%

On Decemeber 1, 2015, President Simon drafted a letter to the leaders of LiberateMSU following the November 30 meeting.

As a further follow-up and consistent with her promise, on December 7, 2015, President Simon sent a response to the additional items raised during the November 30 meeting to the leaders of LiberateMSU.

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