Chancellor Emeritus Joel E. Anderson formed the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity in 2006 to create a dialogue on race and racial divides in Arkansas, focusing on black and white communities. Due to the growing Latino/a population, the Chancellor’s Committee was broadened to include a focus on ethnicity.
The Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity is a unique strength of UALR. It is the foundation on which the Institute on Race and Ethnicity was built. A voluntary group composed of some 30 faculty and staff members, the CCRE meets with the Chancellor most Monday afternoons during academic semesters to talk about issues of race and ethnicity. Discussions have included the wealth gap, segregated Sunday mornings, the results of the annual Racial Attitudes Surveys, and topics that were triggered by news reports or scholarly articles. The Committee is a diverse and interdisciplinary group from across campus that has over the years established real trust in one another. These trusting relationships enable honest and open dialogue on sensitive issues. The Institute hopes to replicate this kind of relationship-building in other areas across campus and within the external community.