NACME President to Speak on Affirmative Action and Diversity in Science and Engineering Education

John Brooks Slaughter, president and CEO of The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) will be the keynote speaker for the Woodruff Annual Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, April 10. His talk is titled "The Search for Excellence and Equity in Higher Education: A Perspective from an Engineer."

NACME was founded in 1974 and has become the nation's largest private source of scholarships for minorities in engineering. The organization champions efforts to bring the talents of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans to the nation's engineering workforce.

Slaughter's address will focus on the goal of diversity in higher education, particularly in the disciplines of science and engineering. He is expected to touch on topical issues, such as the legal case contesting affirmative action admissions policies at the University of Michigan and the decisions of Princeton University and MIT to open programs originally designed for underrepresented minorities to white and Asian students.

"Historically, matters of diversity and pluralism have not been highly visible on the radar screens of science and engineering departments in our nation's colleges and universities and the relative absence of women and minorities in and in front of the classrooms and laboratories is one indication of this reality," Slaughter writes in his keynote synopsis.

Slaughter has a long and illustrious career as a leader in the education, engineering and scientific communities. President Emeritus of Occidental College in Los Angeles, he also served as assistant director and later as director of the National Science Foundation and chancellor at the University of Maryland. Slaughter is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The lecture, which is sponsored by the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, will be held Thursday, April 10, 2003 at 3:30 p.m. in the Van Leer Building on the Georgia Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public.