UALR holds open discussion about racial climate on campus

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This week UA-Little Rock administration has hosted an online open forum to discuss the racial climate on campus. 

Over a zoom call, UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale and others addressed more than 200 online participants.

The topic of discussion was the racial climate at the university for black and brown facility and staff members. 

“We have a snowball of problems within the university and really I don’t feel as though the university is addressing that,” Assistant Professor of History Dr. Brian Mitchell said. 

During the meeting, Dr. Mitchell vocialized a list of concerns and issues drafted together by minority staff members. 

“UALR consistently discriminates against black and brown faculty on the terms of tenured promotions and committee assignments,” he said. 

Chancellor Drale was able to respond to the campus climate and inequity concerns with how it will be addressed in the future. 

“Those things certainly need to be reviewed and exposed and addressed,” Chancellor Drale said. 

Employees were able to ask questions anonymously or publicly. One person asked why the university didn’t have a Chief Diversity Officer and if there was a plan to hire one. Chancellor Drale says right now is not the time to create a new administrative position, but instead start internally with committees. 

“At some point, probably sooner rather than later, we need to have a Chief Diversity Officer and we need to build that infrastructure, Drale said. 

The discussion, which lasted nearly two hours, hit on a number of different topics. 

The Chancellor says she hopes to have more discussions like this to create an open campus for all.  

“I think the thing we do need to focus on is how can we create an environment that is more equitable and is more supportive,” Chancellor Drale said. 

Thursday, Chancellor Drale had a similar discussion with students at UALR. 

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