Black Staff, Faculty Form Association To Serve As 'Change Agent' After months of informal conversations, a handful of black administrators on the Homewood campus have created a more structured association to serve as a forum for issues, interests and concerns facing black faculty and staff. More than 60 people attended their first meeting on Thursday. Vernon Savage, an associate director in the Counseling and Student Development Center and one of the association's founders, said that membership in the association is not only for African Americans, although he noted that those attending the first meeting all were people of color. "This forum was created in the mold of the NAACP, which is open to anyone who can embrace our mission and support our goals." In the association's draft of its by-laws, it describes itself as a "visible and viable change agent dedicated to promoting and enhancing identity, sense of community, professional welfare and development among black faculty, staff and students" at Homewood. "We are focusing on Homewood because we don't feel we are in a position to speak for the concerns of East Baltimore," Dr. Savage said. "We can always expand." On the Homewood campus, Dr. Savage hopes the association can achieve the following eight goals: 1. Exert influence and participation of the black community, both in terms of black concerns and the total structure of the university; 2. Advocate for the employment of a more representative number of black faculty and staff, particularly at the senior staff level. 3. Promote professional excellence, scholarship and cooperative research among black faculty, staff and students; 4. Urge the university to provide equal educational and career opportunities for professional growth and upward mobility for all members of the black community; 5. Provide Hopkins with a comprehensive and representative black perspective on institutional, societal and programmatic development on campus and in the community; 6. Serve as a resource bureau for Hopkins and the black community; 7. Provide both leadership and supportive service on the administrative and academic levels to facilitate the delivery of efficient and effective service to all elements of the university; 8. Stimulate a sense of social responsibility and cultural sensitivity to improve communication among black faculty, staff and students. If the current by-laws are accepted by the membership, students will be admitted only as associate members, meaning they will not have a vote. Dr. Savage and his co-founders, however, do expect and intend for the group to "interface with students" in a variety of ways, he said.
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