- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2008

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia administrator who monitors progress on diversity says there are few minorities in leadership positions at the school.

Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are significantly underrepresented among school leadership, according to a report by William B. Harvey, the school’s vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity.

The report states that of the 436 top executives, administrators and managerial faculty, 28 are black, 10 are Asian, three are Hispanic and none is American Indian.

“We have a clear underrepresentation of what we’d hope to have among our leadership positions,” Mr. Harvey told a committee of the school’s Board of Visitors last week.

A 2003 survey by the American Council on Education found that of the country’s full-time college administrators, 9.7 percent were black, 2.7 percent were Asian, 3.9 percent were Hispanic and 0.4 percent were American Indian. Of University of Virginia leaders, 6.4 percent are black, 2.3 percent are Asian and 0.7 percent are Hispanic, with zero percent American Indian.

According to Mr. Harvey’s report, Virginia’s School of Medicine was the most diverse because four of its 35 top leaders are black.

Three schools — the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences — have no racial or ethnic minorities in leadership positions.

Blacks are represented only in assistant or associate dean jobs responsible for promoting diversity in three other schools — the Curry School of Education, the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Warren M. Thompson, chairman of the Board of Visitor’s special committee on diversity, called the lack of diversity in Virginia’s leadership positions a “dismal picture.” He and other board members said they expect the situation to change.

The numbers could change fairly soon with pending job searches to fill the vacancies of six deans and two vice provosts.

Provost Tim Garson said blacks and Asians were represented in every finalist pool so far, including for the deanships of the College, the School of Law, the School of Nursing and the vice provost for research.

President John T. Casteen III criticized Mr. Harvey’s report for not including women, a traditionally underrepresented group in higher education administration.

“There is a substantial deficiency in what overall appears here,” he said.

Mr. Casteen told the board committee the school is frustrated in its efforts to promote racial and ethnic diversity among its top jobs because it cannot use certain successful practices prevalent in the private sector.

One example, he said, is hiring “understudies” for jobs, which can provide yearlong on-the-job training for potential hires.

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