Happy Martin Luther King Day.
The cover of the Seattle Times today featured an article "Bigger black enrollment still only a dream for UW." My friend Terryl Ross has probably studied black enrollment at the UW more than any single person. He tells me that low black enrollment isn't the end of it. The bigger problem is black attrition: a high percentage of black students don't stay. As far as I know, nobody gathers good stats on how many of these students transfer out to other institutions, and how many just leave higher education altogether. The former is a loss for the UW community. The latter is an economic disaster for the individual and a loss for our community as a whole.
Why do Black students leave the UW? The Times article gives some reasons. Black students don't feel welcome at the UW. They often don't feel safe. Most of all, they feel lonely. Seattle's black population is small, but the UW's shortage of black people, relative even to the community it serves, is depressing.