Academy board wants to diversify
COLORADO SPRINGS – The Air Force Academy risks falling behind elite universities in recruiting a diverse student body unless it invests in sophisticated, data-driven techniques to find qualified students, a former Air Force leader said.”Competition for top talent nationally, especially in math and science, is getting fiercer,” Robert Goodwin, former deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force, told the school’s Board of Visitors on Friday.Goodwin, a 1994 academy graduate who left the Air Force in March, led a yearlong study of academy recruiting and admissions processes after an audit in 2005 criticized the institution’s efforts.”The academy has achieved success to date, but they are not well-postured with proper staffing, sophisticated data tools and data, and involvement of senior Air Force leadership in academy marketing and recruitment,” he said.Goodwin said the academy needs more admissions staff and more money to gather demographic information, and that the school must do a better job of analyzing the information to identify nontraditional students who might make good leaders.His report suggests changing criteria for screening recruits so that a student with a job and helping raise his siblings in a single-parent family is recognized for leadership along with the straight-A student who is an Eagle Scout.Goodwin’s group urged Air Force leadership to get personally involved by reaching out to potential cadets in their communities.
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