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LSU Law Center Diversity Task Force Submits Report

The LSU Law Center’s Diversity Task Force has submitted its recommendations to interim co-deans William Corbett and Cheney Joseph, Jr.

The task force was appointed in October 2014 by Jack Weiss, former Chancellor and Dean of the LSU Law Center, to make recommendations for how the Law Center could create and cultivate a better understanding of diverse cultures and help minority students succeed.

“The Task Force went about its work thoughtfully and diligently, devoting much time and effort to the process and the product,” said Corbett. “The Report and Recommendations provide the Law Center community with an opportunity to deal with important issues in a way that improves the Law Center environment by encouraging greater respect and sensitivity among all members of our community.”

The Law Center Task Force, chaired by Darrel J. Papillion, was comprised of faculty, students, alumni and community leaders. It commended Weiss for prioritizing diversity in the Law Center community, and added that the issues it considered are not unique to the LSU Law Center.

“They are interwoven with our nation’s still unresolved struggle to reconcile the effects of past discrimination with our democratic ideals,” the report said.

The report makes 17 recommendations to the administration and faculty of the Law Center, and states that work on this issue must be ongoing to continually “challenge how people relate to each other in institutions for years to come.”

The recommendations are:

  • Revise the Law Center Diversity Statement
  • Revise the Law Center Mission Statement
  • Promote the Law Center’s Diversity Statement
  • Endorse the LSBA Diversity Statement
  • Create a Diversity and Professionalism Committee
  • Create a Student Handbook
  • Update the Student Code of Conduct
  • Create an Office of Student Affairs
  • Recruit Diverse Practitioners and Scholars to Participate in Law Center activities
  • Encourage Faculty to Adopt a Diversity Statement in Course Syllabi
  • Implement Training and Enhance Curriculum
  • Create an Orientation Day of Service
  • Expand Student Opportunities to Promote Diversity Issues
  • Improve Faculty Recruitment and Retention
  • Encourage Diversity Through the Hiring of Adjuncts
  • Develop Standards for The Civilian
  • Publicize the Task Force Report

“The next stage in the process is consideration and implementation of the recommendations,” said Joseph. “The Law Center’s Diversity and Professionalism faculty committee will begin this work immediately.”

The report focuses on both quantitative and qualitative diversity. It states that, “Quantitative diversity reflects an institutional commitment to the recruitment of historically marginalized groups. Qualitative diversity, on the other hand, emphasizes the value of building a culture of inclusiveness, openness and mutual respect.”

The full report, outlining the recommendations, can be found here.