Dear Representative Melanie George Smith & Senator Harris McDowell, III
Co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee:
We are writing in regard to the issue of Racial Disparities at the University of Delaware in Newark -UD Campus. We have spoken to the President of the UD College Chapter of the NAACP and she expressed concern about the retention of underrepresented low income students at college. The University of Delaware initially started an initiative to decrease the Racial Diversity gap on December 10, 2011 when the African American population at UD was 5.2 percent of the undergraduates at UD. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education cited the University of Delaware for its lack of racial diversity. At that point, the African American population was 21 percent of the state population.
On the Newark Campus in the Fall of 2014 the student population was 17, 412 undergraduate enrolling in the 4 year programs as reported by University Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness with:
897- African Americans
12- Native Americans
1,530 – Other (two or more races or non-specified)
For White females who started in 2009, rate was (73.3%) graduated in 4 years. Black females who started in 2009, rate was (50.9%) graduated in 2009 -White men graduated at rate at (61.2%) and Black men graduated at a rate of (39.3 %). The disparity was the relative same rates for 5 or 6 yeas to graduate. The Center for Diversity doesn’t address the fact of disparity. Hispanic and Blacks are very low on all reports. Minorities are much less likely to graduate within 6year than white student at UD.
The 6 year graduations rates for black woman versus white woman is 85.9 % versus 65.6% and the graduations rate among white men (80.6%) versus black men (59.8 %). The rates are even more dramatic if you look at 4 year graduation rates.
The UD Comparison Diversity Index, according to the U.S. News & World Report, for the 2013-2014 school year was .35, which is very low. The rates are based on a 0 to 1 scale and UD is way down the list. In comparison, Rutgers Diversity Index, according to the U.S. News & World Report, in the same period in 2013-2014 was .75. The University of Delaware has to do better.
Gary Hayman, President
Newark DE Branch