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September 08, 1988 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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Page 20- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988


Daily staffers Donna Iadipaolo
and Veronica Woolridge interviewed
Moody in his office last summer.
D: What exactly does your job
M: After I've been here for a year
now, I can answer that question a
little better than I think I could a
year ago. I guess realistically this
job entails my giving some guid-
ance, leadership, consultation, and
support to the various deans, de-
partment chairs, staff and students,
to change the corporate culture of
this institution, to make it fair and
equitable... to work for social jus-
tice. To do the kind of thing that is
necessary to help people believe that
as individuals... they have some
control over some part of the
D: What do you do working for
the University in terms of recruiting
minority staff?
M: Well, what my basic senti-
ment in all this is not so much what
I do in at Office of Minority Affairs
but what we can get the schools and
colleges and departments to do. Ev-
eryone has a responsibility and I
don't want to fall into the trap of
people saying "Well, we have an
Office of Minority Affairs over
there, and so that's where you go and
that's who does it." The colleges,
the departments have been able to do
a fair and decent job this year in hir-
ing minority faculty. In fact, we've
signed 14 new Black faculty for the
fall and are still negotiating with
several others.
D: Could you explain a little bit
about what the Target of Opportu-
nity program is?
M: What it says is the provost
takes one percent of the money of
the schools and colleges money and
says "Look, we're gonna centralize
this and you go out and you find
minority faculty so in later days we
have the money to use it; it's there."
D: How else do you encourage
M: When I talk about changing
the corporate culture, I guess it's
just saying to people, "Hey look,
:this institution is great, not in spite
:of its diversity, but because of it."
-It's not just having role models for
minority students, but white stu-
dents need to have people of color in
positions as faculty as role models
for them, so they don't grow up
suffering under the "rightness of

B e


A talk with
Vice Provost
for Minority

ple to change and to work for a so-
cial justice, is to be able to see if in
fact social justice is a part of their
value system. You know, it's one
thing to give out your theoretical
values; it's another thing to look at
your operational values. I think Di-
versity Day is something that is
crucial, that it's a starting point. It's
a way to develop some things that
will be integrated into the system.
People might use some of the
workshops and test out some of the
courses that they may be developing.
They'll be different cultural and
artistic things that people can learn
about. I just think it necessary, its
needed, and people might say its not
perfect, but you never start out with
a perfect thing. You grow, you de-
velop, you refine, you fine tune it
and you move.
D: But right now faculty and
staff don't have the day off, although
students do.
M: I don't think the faculty is
gonna remain in session (that day). I
would hope they would be involved.
I would hope staff would be in-
volved. And I know the president and
others are urging the supervisors
within departments and units to
make sure that every effort is given
that in fact staff can attend and par-
ticipate. And we're asking students,
faculty, staff to begin to develop
workshops and activities and things
that they would like to have, not
only through that day, but through-
out the month and longer.
D: What do you think of the
University's student code (anti-ha-
rassment policy)?
M: I don't think people can
operate in an environment where
there are no consequences for behav-
ior. I don't think that (the code) is
the only way to make this environ-
ment more conducive and hospitable.
I think that education has to go
along with it, and people have to do
some assessment to see how they
behave. I think each of us has to be
willing to look and. challenge our
friends and colleagues when we feel
and see them doing things, rather
than sitting silently by or even par-
ticipating in it. I don't think the
code is the cure-all or the only thing.
I think we have to begin to look at
ourselves. As I said earlier, is social
justice, is fairness a part of our value
system? I mean, you have some
control over you. I have some con-
trol over me. I mean, do I want to

say and do a racist act? If people
conduct themselves in such a way
that they never have to use the pol-
icy, I would be more than happy.
D: Can you give some advice to
incoming first-year students?
M: There is not utopia, and if
one is looking for a utopia and they
find it let me know because I'd like
to be there also. But I guess on an-
other level, I guess what I say to
students, come to where you can be
involved and make a mark. I guess
another thing I try to say to stu-
dents, particularly minority students,
is that nobody is doing you a favor
by letting you be here, this is yours.
I don't see anybody going to the


whiteness." I don't know if you've
read that little book put out in the
late '60s by a fellow by the name of
Abe Citron called The Rightness of
Whiteness. It deals with the most
dimensionless of things, that min-
ority students need minority faculty,
as role models. But white students
need minority faculty as role models.
D: Can you comment on the sta-
tus of efforts to recruit minority
M: Now the only thing I can say
is that I know the number of gradu-
ate minority Black students accepted
is up about 25 over the number ac-
cepted last year, and the number for
undergraduate students is about 25
percent higher also. For the last
several years there has been an in-
crease, so if if we can keep each year
the increase and keep it going up, I
think we will be able to reach our
goals. Some of the things we are
doing people will not see the effects

of this year, next year, or even the
next year. Because what we're work-
ing with are kids in seventh and
eighth grade... We're working with
eighth grade teachers running into
the ninth grade in our incentive
scholar program. So before we begin
to see any of the impact of those
programs, it's four or five years
down the road. But, we're doing
some things that will have some
immediate kinds of impact, because
were working with the community
colleges... they're working with
some of the schools and colleges to
develop some different kinds of pro-
grams. For instance, the School of
Natural Resources and Wayne
County Community College and the
Department of Interior have devel-
oped a program in land use manage-
ment. This starts in the fall. And so
students will do two years at Wayne
County and they'll do two years here
and we'll probably have some other

exchanges and talk with some of the
presidents on campus. Then we're
working with the historical Black
colleges... and some of these stu-
dents will becoming here as graduate
students. So we're beginning to do
some things.
D: Can you comment on Presi-
dent Fleming's proposed "Diversity
Day" for the University to hold on
Martin Luther King Day?
M: I think it's a crucial place to
start, that people begin to focus on
the notion that Dr. King's life was
an impact for more than just Black,
but he liberated and freed this coun-
try and the world. We ought to be
teaching and doing and learning
about that. I hope that one day we
can stop talking about the dream and
talk about reality... We start with
the notion that people take that day
to teach, to learn, to understand each
other, to understand themselves -
mean, its crucial. I think one of the
big things that is necessary for peo-

state legislature and saying 'don't
give me any money that's raised
from taxes for minorities'. So this is
your institution. And walk tall, and
be proud, and carry your head up
high. And I know some people are
going to say you're cocky. That's
okay. Be cocky, Be confident. Be
involved. You might as well be ac-
tive. Try to bring about social jus-
tice and change. And I still believe
that I would rather get fired from this
job, for the right reasons, then to be
able to stay in for the wrong rea-
sons. I'm not gonna sit around and
not call it like I see it. If you bring
me raggedy stuff I'm not gonna do
anything, but if the stuff is right,
I'll fight the devil for you. We can't
drop out and say well I paid my
dues, I did a little bit my five years
and if it doesn't work for five years,
we're through. This is a lifetime
commitment, and you're in this

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