Students sitting together outside
Photograph from University Archives, 1970

Despite the formal end of the Black Student Program at UNH in 1972 and a consequent lag in recruitment of black students, the issue of diversity in education remains a high priority at the University of New Hampshire.

The problem of race in American culture appeared at UNH in 1968-1972 with all the symptoms and pains also present across the nation. Whites saw blacks as too impatient; blacks saw whites as too cautious. Racial perspectives and issues still engage the UNH community, but they now accompany concerns for other members of the community as well.

  • 1972: Commission on the Status of Women was established.
  • 1985: Dr. Carmen Buford became the first high-ranking African-American administrator.
  • 1990: The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs was founded.
  • 1991: An affirmative action plan was created to increase numbers of women and minority faculty and staff.
  • 1997: The President's Commission on the Status of People of Color was established.
  • 2001: The President's Commission on the Status of GLBT Issues was created.
  • 2005: The first Vice Provost for Diversity, Dr. Wanda Mitchell, was appointed.

As San Francisco State University noted in its action plan for multicultural perspectives in the curriculum, multicultural education is not a "fixed fact." The scholarly mission of a university is to prepare its students to engage in critical inquiry and collaborative pursuit of knowledge in a changing and diverse world. Sharing and understanding perspectives of race, class, gender, ability, and age are essential to that process.

A process that began with black studies and black students at UNH has evolved to promote greater understanding of all human differences in the University community. All of us bear the responsibility for continuing that effort.