Wilson Hopes Racial Climate Report Is Out ‘Very Soon’

UMass President Wilson called UMass the indispensable

UMass President Wilson called UMass the “indispensable university.”

Gintautas Dumcius

A much-anticipated racial climate report is hoped to be put out “very soon,” according to UMass President Jack Wilson.

Speaking with reporters shortly after a press conference announcing Dr. J. Keith Motley, vice chancellor of student affairs and the first person of color to lead UMass Boston, as interim chancellor, Wilson said he has had two briefings on the report, which he labeled as “pretty positive,” but added that it contains some suggestions on how to improve the racial climate.

“We hope it will be out very soon,” Wilson said.

Members of the campus community want Wilson to get the report out as soon as possible in order to get any problems and concerns out of the way before a permanent chancellor arrives.

The report will be the result of a campus climate task force, created last September in response to heightened racial tensions, caused by the dismissal of a special assistant to the chancellor on urban affairs, the arrest of an Africana Studies professor, and the resignation of a popular college dean.

The task force is headed up by Karl E. White, an up-and-coming member of the UMass Board of Trustees, who was head of the now-defunct Gora evaluation team, and member of the UMass presidential search committee which picked Wilson. His term expires in 2007.