Administrative Response

Before finalizing their response to the recommendations of the Black Student Affairs Report, the University trustees set up guidelines for recruiting more black students and administrators. Thirty black students were enrolled in the fall of 1969 and two black administrators were hired. UNH had hired several black faculty members.

Myrna Adams, the first black administrator at UNH, was hired as assistant to the Academic Vice President. Mrs. Adams, who came to UNH from Chicago City College (Malcolm X University), counseled black students and helped facilitate financial aid for them.

Adams saw her responsibilities as both providing educational opportunities for black students and integrating cultural differences present nationwide into the local community of UNH. Both the students and UNH should benefit from the experience.

James Johnson, former guidance counselor at an all-black high school in Virginia, took the position of Assistant Director of Admissions. His charge included the recruitment of black students as requested in the Black Student Affairs Report.

Johnson emphasized that he was not creating a special program for black students. His goal was to empower black students to thrive in "regular University pursuits." Many of those students did thrive. Among those former students are now a director of human resources, a director of behavioral medicine, and an advertising executive who recruits minorities in his industry.

In January 1970, the trustees issued operating guidelines for the recruitment program:

  • Students admitted must be capable of meeting the academic standards of UNH
  • Financial support should not be taken from other programs already in operation
  • A larger number of "Negro students" should be admitted, but there should be no quota
  • "Strenuous efforts" should be made to see that black students are provided with the assistance they need to succeed in their college programs

Myrna AdamsJames Johnson