WWU too white, says college president

BELLINGHAM — Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard says he’s being deliberately provocative when he says the university is too white. The lack of diversity on college campuses a national crisis, he says.

His comments have attracted widespread attention, KOMO reported Wednesday.

Most of the email and calls he receives on the issue support diversity but some critics use hate language and racial epithets, said Shepard, who is white.

In a convocation speech, referring to the racial make-up of the school, Shepard said, “…if in decades ahead, we are as white as we are today, we will have failed as a university.” He made a similar comment in a blog posting.

On the university’s website, he posed the question, “How do we make sure that in future years we are not as white as we are today?”

Conservative blogs, publications and commentators have picked up on the story on campusreform.org, said Caleb Bonham, editor-in-chief of the media organization for conservative college students.

“I think he’s being very insensitive to how people are perceived based on the color of their skin,” Bonham said.

Shepard makes no apologies.

“I needed to provoke some attention,” he said. “It’s really important to understand the issue facing all of American higher education and that is, our country is changing.”

WWU must attract minority students to remain competitive, economically healthy, and because it’s the right thing to do, Shepard said.

Shepard says he welcomes a vigorous and respectful debate on the issue of diversity.

The university in Bellingham has about 15,000 students.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Most Read