Diversity at UMBC

Although UMBC never had a segregated student body, whether by race or gender, our campus has struggled in many ways to increase its diversity of the student body. UMBC is now promoted as a diverse institution and this is part of the defining narrative of the school and a point of pride for many administrators, faculty, students, and alumni. UMBC has been recognized as having the second most diverse student body (Princeton Review, 2008) and as one of the top 25 most diverse national universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2012). What does a racially diverse student body mean at UMBC? During the 2014-2015 academic year, 44.2% of the student body self identified as white, 16.4% as African American or Black, 20% as Asian, 5.9% as Hispanic or Latino, and less than 1% self identified as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Students that identify with two or more races made up 3.6% of the student body, while 4.8% did not self identify. International students were separated in this data and made up 4.6%. This data is distributed each year in several sources, including the annual Progress Report on Institutional Programs of Cultural Diversity, available through the Provost’s Office.

Proposals for Achieving Significant Integration of Minority Groups at UMBC
Proposals for Achieving Significant Integration of Minority Groups at UMBC, May 13, 1969. Albin O. Kuhn papers, Collection 44. View larger

In response to a 1969 University of Maryland report on integration, Dr. Kuhn appointed a committee chaired by English professor Philip J. Klukoff to draft a report making specific recommendations for UMBC to attract more minority students. The report states that UMBC must demonstrate active concern for the causes and implications of social inequity and actively participate in ameliorating those causes.” A series of recommendations by the committee form the substance of the report, including publicizing UMBC’s desire to be inclusive to the African American community and advertising for residence hall counselors at historically black colleges and universities; waiving application fees and making available work-study programs to make college more affordable; providing tutorial services to ensure student success; hiring African American admissions officers and a greater number of African American faculty; and establishing an African American Studies program.