UA trustee talks about South Carolina

According to the AP, The University of Mississippi’s board is the most diverse — three out of 12 voting members are black. Three of 15 trustees at the University of Alabama and four of 23 at the University of Tennessee are also minorities. …University of Alabama trustee and Judge John England Jr. echoed that, saying said it is a disservice not to have minorities fully engaged in operating schools because a monochrome board may not spot problems. England, who is black, recalled raising the alarm on a report about a sharp decline in admissions for black men who weren’t athletes.

“Once those figures were pointed out, and board members saw the disparity, they agreed it needed to be looked it,” he said. The trend, he notes, has turned around as officials mimicked the successful community outreach efforts of other universities.

Part of the issue in South Carolina is how people get appointed to the board. At Alabama and other SEC schools, governors or the boards choose members, with legislators sometimes confirming their choices. …But Cleopus Thomas Jr., the first black man to serve on University of Alabama board when it was integrated, said he is astonished by South Carolina’s predicament.

“To have black folks from South Carolina dying in Iraq and Afghanistan so minority interests there are represented in all facets of government, and not be represented in South Carolina? That’s incredible,” he said. “Field a football team, a basketball team like that, and see what happens.” (read the entire AP report embedded below)

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