Richarde M. Talbot(email@example.com)
AU SPECIAL PROGAMS OFFICE ABSORBED BY MINORITY ADVANCEMENT
AUBURN -- Auburn University's Office of Special Programs has been absorbed by the Office of Minority Advancement to improve diversity in all areas of the campus, says James Brown, executive director of Minority Advancement.
"Auburn University is addressing concerns made in the Murphy (federal court) decree which stated that the recruitment and retention of African-American students, faculty and staff is integral to minority advancement at Auburn," said Brown. "We hope t o provide the necessary stimulus to ensure students, faculty and staff are provided with the kind of assistance that will enable them to be the best they can be."
Assisting Brown will be Vivian Larkin, associate director of Minority Advancement, Student Services; and Daryl Hale, assistant director of Minority Advancement, Student Services.
The old Office of Special Programs served international students as well as minority students.
Brown said the new strategy will involve recruiting quality black students, developing programs to aid in the retention of those students and recruiting renowned black faculty who will serve as role models and mentors.
Larkin said AU must create an atmosphere where minority students are empowered to ask questions, seek information and establish networks so they can be successful in their college careers, as well as in the transition from high school.
"We're going to work with the Office of Admissions to recruit African- American students," she said. "Once they arrive, we're going to be putting on educational programs, leadership seminars -- programs to help them understand how to be successful on a majority campus. To support the academic system, we're going to have social events such as speakers for Black History Month and art exhibits to help expose the culture of African Americans.
"Knowing our office is here will make African-American students feel more comfortable coming to Auburn and parents will feel more comfortable knowing there is a support system in place for their children," Larkin added. "Feeling comfortable to ask qu
estions and to express your opinion is very significant. We want to feel we can impart our ideas without being unjustly questioned. We want to feel comfortable that we can share our ideas."