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UD President Targett: diversity my "top priority"

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media
University of Delaware interim president Nancy Targett speaking at a September rally after students reported "noose-like" objects hanging from a campus tree

University of Delaware acting president Nancy Targett calls increasing and supporting student diversity the “top priority” during her tenure.


Targett made the comments during an early state budget hearing Tuesday. None of the new money requested in their $120.1 million operating fund proposal would go toward that mission.

But Targett says her office is putting together recommendations to spur more recruitment and admission of minority students to the Newark campus.

“We are looking at seeing whether or not we have to add more resources, shifting some resources to ensure that we can get to the kind of outcomes that we need to be at,” she said.

She offered no specifics on what those changes may look like or how much they would cost.

One aspect university officials touted include freshmen retention rates among minorities as one area that’s improving.

“We need to look at and make sure that we can continue that retention all the way through and so I think that we are focused on that and it’s not a one-time or one type of thing," said Targett. "We’re trying a bunch of different approaches all aimed at that outcome of enhancing diversity.”

Targett mentioned changing the culture of U-D following a September incident when a group of students reported noose-like objects hanging from a tree on campus. They were later found to be discarded lantern hangers from a previous event.

She will make formal recommendations to the school’s Board of Trustees in January.

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