The University of North Carolina at Pembroke ranked second in the category of "campus diversity"among Southern regional universities in an annual poll of colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report magazine released last week.
On a scale from 0 to 1.0 UNCP with 1.0 being the most diverse, UNCP earned a ranking of 0.58, compared to number one ranked Barry University of Florida with a ranking of 0.62. U.S. News used a mathematical equation based on the proportion various groups comprised of the 1996-97 undergraduate student body at their schools.
The report was released Friday, Aug. 21, 1998 on the magazine's world wide web site ( www.usnews.com ) and at news stands last week.
UNCP's study body was 58% white, 25% Native American, 14% African American, 1% Asian and 1% Hispanic and 57% of UNCP's students are female during the 1996-97 school year. A detailed profile of UNCP was sent to U.S. News & World Report prior to releasing the rankings.
Chancellor Joseph B. Oxendine said he is pleased by the report because student diversity is an important asset for the university.
"We are very pleased to be recognized by this prestigious magazine for the diversity of our student body," Chancellor Oxendine said. "Diversity is a quality we hold in very high regard."
"I note that among the other 15 institutions recognized, UNC Pembroke is the only one with a high percentage of American Indians," he said. "Given the heritage of this institution, we are pleased with this continuing presence."
Chancellor Oxendine added that campus harmony and student attitudes about diversity are also important factors.
"UNC Pembroke is not only diverse, but we are also a friendly, interactive campus," he said. "I wish U.S. News had also asked the question: ‘Do students get along?' The truth is -- we get along very well as evidenced by the diverse composition in all educational and social clubs and activities on our campus." "It is no surprise that in a recent UNC system wide study, 92.6% of all UNC Pembroke students expressed appreciation for racial equity," he said. "This is compared to a UNC system wide average of 82.1%."
U.S. News & World Report also apparently believes that campus diversity is an important asset saying, "If you view going to college as a chance to learn from people who have different backgrounds from your own, then diversity is important for you in choosing a school."
Other universities in the region which fared well in the specialty ranking for campus diversity were Fayetteville State University at 5th and Francis Marion University at 12th. A regional university is defined for the purposes of the survey as one with a full range of undergraduate programs and master's degrees but few, if any, doctoral programs.