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College of Arts and Sciences receives first President’s Diversity Vision Award

March 17th, 2008

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Members of the African Student Union performed at the ceremony.

The University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences received the first President’s Diversity Vision Award at a ceremony March 17.

The award is intended to recognize cumulative efforts to advance diversity and inclusion at UofL since the 2003 inception of the university-wide diversity plan “Achieving Our Highest Potential.”

“All of our (seven) nominees were special,” said President James Ramsey at the award ceremony, “but Arts and Sciences was the unaminous choice because it made the greatest progress toward diversity goals on campus and in the community.”

The college will receive a monetary award of $10,000. First runner up was the Brandeis School of Law, which will receive $5,000. The School of Nursing was second runner up and will receive $2,500.

Recipient selection was based on how well each nominee met award criteria, including how well they’ve met their own diversity goals and advanced diversity on campus, Taylor-Archer, said.

Several screening panels, including an outside panel of experts, were involved in the process.

As an economist, Ramsey said, “when I began working on diversity, I saw everything as numbers. I learned from Dr. Willihnganz, (College of Arts and Sciences Dean) Blaine (Hudson), (diversity vice provost) Mordean (Taylor-Archer) and others that diversity is far more than numbers. It’s about a way of life, a culture. It’s about creating a campus community that is welcoming, celebrates diversity and promotes diversity.”

“If we stop with the celebration today, we will be remiss,” Ramsey said. “Today is about much, much more than celebration. It𔃺s a recommitment to what we stand for as a campus community.”

The university as a whole and each unit have diversity plans, said Provost Shirley Willihnganz.

“Talk about having an inclusive campus community doesn’t mean anything until you get it down to a concrete level of what are you going to do, what are your goals and how are you going to measure progress,” she said.

Every year since their development, units have looked at their plans, made necessary revisions, calculated the progress they have made in achieving their goals and determined what work still needs to be done, she continued.

Members of the African Student Union opened the ceremony with a dance.

UofL sophomore Patrick Henry Hughes played piano and sang at the ceremony. He and his father, Patrick John Hughes, talked about his experiences with the UofL Marching Band and how he has used music to overcome being blind and physically challenged since birth.

“I’ve always used the acronym PAT to describe the things you need to get through the tough times in life,” Patrick Henry said. “‘P’ stands for passion, patience and perseverance. ‘A’ stands for ability and a positive attitude. ‘T’ stands for trying and trying again to achieve what you can.”

Related Links
UofL Diversity Vision Statement
Achieving Our Highest Potential (pdf)
Arts and Sciences Diversity
Brandeis School of Law Commitment to Diversity

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