Purdue University Looks to Boost its Commitment to African American Students

The Equity Task Force at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has defined concrete goals and plans to invest more than $75 million into the support of Black students and programs over the course of the next five years.

The goals of the task force are split into three categories that will measure success in making Purdue a better place for Black students, faculty, and staff: Representation, Experience, and Success.

Among the representation goals of the initiative are to double the number of Black undergraduate students at the university. This will be accomplished by launching new scholarship programs, expanding recruiting, adding summer research programs, and forging partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities. No timetable was given for when the university hopes to reach this goal. In the fall of 2019, Blacks were 3 percent of the 35,000-member undergraduate student body at Purdue University.

To improve the experience of Black students at Purdue, the university plans to invest in mentoring and programs to create better ties between Black students and alumni. The university is also looking to strengthen networking and professional development programs for Black faculty and staff.

Under the success category, the university also aims to boost retention and graduation rates for Black students, improve the placement of Black students post-graduation, and improve retention and promotion of Black faculty and staff.<

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