Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Kickoff
January 23, 2006
I want to welcome everyone for being here to kick off this important new partnership between the great research universities of our state.
We have several speakers and many guests, and I’d like to take a moment to recognize two very important people. First — Dr. James Hicks of the National Science Foundation, for his leadership as director of the national network of LSAMPS, and for being here to support the Michigan LSAMP. We deeply appreciate the support of the NSF.
And second — Dr. Levi Thompson, for the critical role he has played in building the Alliance. Levi, you are doing a fantastic job as project director, and I know your enthusiasm and dedication will take us in the right direction.
I think our kickoff today can be summed up in one word: More.
We need more students, especially African American, Hispanic and Native American students, pursing degrees in the fields where we most desperately need graduates: math, science, technology and engineering,
That means more underrepresented minority students who graduate from high school enrolling in our colleges.
It means more transfer students from community colleges.
More graduates with bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
And more students going on to graduate school for advanced studies.
Where “more” doesn’t apply is to how much time we have. We have a lot of work to do and the clock is ticking!
America is not producing enough graduates right now to replace the scientists and engineers that will retire by the end of this decade. And the next generation of scientists and researchers must be as diverse as our nation.
Our state and our country need many more minorities and women to join these ranks, or we will be out-paced and out-performed in the global arena. Diversity in our workforce and among our scientific community is crucial for the country’s future economic vitality. And that diversity will not happen in the workforce unless it happens at our universities.
By coming together as the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, our universities are building a strong network of talent and resources to ensure that tomorrow’s scientists, mathematicians and engineers look more like America.
I want to thank my fellow university presidents for their leadership and support of this important undertaking. I know many faculty and staff on our campuses are contributing to LSAMP, and I applaud their efforts.
Together, we are going to make a difference in the lives of our students — those enrolled today and those who will walk through our doors tomorrow. And we are going to make a difference in diversifying the economy of our state and our nation.