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The U. of South Carolina Wants Its Share of Black Students to Mirror the Black Population in the State. There’s a Long Way to Go.

The president of the University of South Carolina at Columbia, as part of a commitment to a recently approved strategic plan, pledged to increase the number of African American students enrolled at the flagship institution.

What’s the goal? For the share of Black students at the university to be “approaching” the share of Black residents in the state — about 27 percent — by 2025, said Robert L. Caslen, during a virtual town hall for students and families early this week. Black students make up 9.5 percent of undergraduate enrollment at South Carolina now.

Black students are “hugely underrepresented,” said Caslen during the town hall, where improving the institution’s low numbers of African American faculty was also discussed as part of diversity and inclusion efforts underway. “That has to be looked at, and that has to be addressed.”

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