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Kent State University has achieved six percent of its ‘anti-racism’ goals

An analysis of the ‘Anti-Racism Task Force Data’ finds many promises remain unfulfilled

A public university in Ohio recently held a town hall to share updates on its achievements and efforts to combat racism.

But a College Fix analysis of Kent State University’s promises on its “Anti-racism dashboard” found that only six percent of its stated goals as of May 20 were completed.

The Fix reached out to Eric Mansfield and Emily Vincent, media relations directors for Kent State, twice via email in the past three weeks to ask for verification on the statistics. Neither responded to the requests for comment.

The Fix also asked about the costs for implementing all of the goals.

Kent State succeeded in the “Anti-Racism Task Force” goal to hire a “chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer to the Strategic Hiring Team.” It also expanded its safety escorts program to help fight racism on campus.

“We have been able to expand the number of safety escorts that are in that program, and the hours to be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation for our campus, which was huge for us,” Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Lamar Hylton told attendees at the virtual town hall on April 21.

The university also “revamped its Community Oriented Police Services Program” according to KentWired.com.

The six goals that are 100 percent completed account for 5.66 percent of the team’s short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives.

The Fix analysis concluded that 79 percent are under 50 percent completed and 44 percent are less than 1 percent complete.

MORE: University ‘anti-racism’ task force issues 50 recommendations

The chief diversity officer and the safety escorts are two of the task force’s achieved goals. The other completed goals are to appoint an officer to develop a “best practice handbook” for faculty recruitment, create a “syllabus statement on diversity,” and communicate progress on efforts so far on racism.

Kent State also met its goal to update the definitions used for “gender-based discrimination and harassment within the Code of Student Conduct.”

Another goal of the Task Force is to mandate faculty and staff take a “gender-based discrimination or harassment course” called Beyond Compliance.

Of the 106 goals, some are broadly defined, such as “[f]oster a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all students” and “[f]oster an inclusive and anti-racist mindset for all students.”

MORE: University of Michigan on track to hire 20 new ‘anti-racism’ faculty

IMAGE: DanielAllanWhite/Flickr

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About the Author
William Diaz-Berthiaume -- University of Ottawa