get the attention of prospective students and raise the profile of the effort with
key audiences, including high school guidance counselors.
One other recent initiative of note was the launch of our American Indian
Center to help strengthen, nurture, and coordinate research and scholarship
related to this population. Our state has one of the largest Native American
populations in the Eastern United States, so we felt creating the center was an
appropriate way for the university to serve as a resource for American Indian
communities. This followed the construction of a significant academic building
to house the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History in 2004.
Completion of that building was made possible by a commitment from the
administration and our Board of Trustees to use a significant portion of a
major multimillion-dollar bequest for construction.
There’s one other campus example that I’d like to highlight today from our
University Libraries. As Sarah Michalak says, research libraries cannot wait for
schools to make changes in their programs to attract a more diverse student
population. Libraries must act. I’ve been pleased to learn that our own
libraries have had an active Diversity Committee that has taken on ambitious
efforts to survey our staff and think about future needs.
Our libraries also recently made an important hire, funded by a private gift
to the university from former Duke University President, Nan Keohane, to
honor her mother, who attended Carolina and dearly loved it all her life. As a
result of that gift, Holly Brown has joined our Southern Historical Collection
as the Grace McSpadden Overholser Archival Fellow for African American
Studies. This postgraduate, two-year position works with the African
American archives in our Southern collection. Among the duties are to reach
out to the historically black colleges and universities across North Carolina to
strengthen documentation of the African American experience in our state.
Our goal is to provide direct assistance in preserving, cataloging, and
digitizing especially valuable materials being held in other locations.
This is another example of a modest initiative that can help lay the
groundwork for continued progress in the libraries. I hope that some of
these examples from UNC will prompt you to think of initiatives and ideas
from your own campuses that might help other colleagues attending this
meeting. It is the cumulative effect of many initiatives that makes the
difference we seek.
My hope is that each of you will go back home looking for opportunities to
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APRIL 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Diversity in Research Universities
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