President Lahey fields questions on diversity

The QU Chronicle

Quinnipiac University President John Lahey addressed SGA on Dec. 9, 2009, focusing on the state of the University and the issue of diversity on campus.

Lahey began his address by thanking SGA for their leadership and announcing the addition of 30 full-time faculty members for the 2009-2010 academic year. According to Lahey, QU’s endowment currently stands at over $210 million dollars, the highest in Quinnipiac’s history.

Most notably, Lahey discussed the situation of ethnic and racial diversity in QU’s undergraduate and graduate student populations. This year saw an increase in diversity, according to Lahey. It was this progressive subject that captured the attention of SGA members, who were permitted to field questions.

Junior class Representative Nick Rossetti inquired about the lack of attention given to economic diversity. To answer Rossetti’s question, Lahey mentioned the $7.5 million increase in financial aid. Lahey said that two-thirds of the student body receives financial aid in some form. He also mentioned QU’s attempt to attract lower and middle income students through grant and scholarship opportunities.

Lahey then took the opportunity to discuss the role that the Schweitzer Institute plays in achieving a more diverse student body. He also mentioned diversity regarding sexual orientation, and talked about the support LGBT students receive at QU. With regard to race, Lahey announced that QU recently appointed its third black trustee and mentioned an upcoming appointment of a Latino trustee.

Following that exchange, Representative Dan Dempsey inquired about the dynamics between increasing enrollment and the possibility of quotas for ethnic minorities. Lahey responded by citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision which outlawed quotas, saying that QU maintains no specific racial quotas. According to Lahey, the percentage of students at QU who consider themselves part of a racial minority group stands at an all-time high of 15 percent.Lahey fields questions on diversit.

Aside from questions about ethnic diversity, Lahey answered a question regarding increasing enrollment and its possible effects on academic standards. Lahey insists standards will not suffer withStaff Writerincreased enrollment, claiming that graduate programs will see much of the growth and the undergraduate numbers will not change dramatically.