Myron Apilado, vice president for minority affairs at the University of Washington since 1990, announced today his intention to step down from that position by the end of the year 2000.
In his ten years as vice president, Apilado greatly expanded the resources and support services for recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority students. Under his leadership of the Office of Minority Affairs (OMA), support for and student use of the Instructional Center grew significantly, the Educational Talent Search Program was restored, and major grant funding for “pipeline” initiatives was secured. These included funds to expand OMA’s Early Identification Program for graduate study, and a $9 million GEAR-UP grant from the Department of Education for K-12 partnerships in the Yakima Valley. Private giving to OMA programs also increased substantially. Endowed scholarship funds rose from $20,000 when Apilado arrived at the University ten years ago to more than $1 million today.
Student success, a top priority of Apilado’s, also improved significantly. Between 1989 and 1997, freshman retention of underrepresented minority students rose from 76 to 87 percent. Students coming through the Educational Opportunity Program accounted for more than half of all underrepresented minority students graduating from the UW. In developing role models and assisting youth in the K-12 schools, this fall OMA placed some 160 UW students in Seattle inner city schools working as tutors.
“Myron Apilado has served this institution with passion and distinction,” said UW President Richard L. McCormick, “and he has had a significant impact on the diversity of the University of Washington. His over-arching goal has always been finding ways for minority students to enroll and succeed, and he and his staff have done a remarkable job in that regard. Myron leaves in place a strong, vital set of recruitment and support programs for minority students, upon which his successor can build.”
A national search for the new vice president for minority affairs will be launched this spring. Prior to that, McCormick will consult broadly with students, faculty and staff on campus and with representatives of the larger community about the Office of Minority Affairs, the Educational Opportunity Program, and diversity at the University of Washington. He wants to hear from many people, within and beyond the University community, before filling this important post. McCormick re-emphasized the University’s long-standing commitment to diversity and its recently expanded efforts to attract greater numbers of students from underrepresented minority groups. He stressed the importance of attracting a person of leadership and vision to carry on the work of OMA and continue the legacy left by Apilado.