Why Winona State's diversity is higher than average

In a review of the local public sector's hiring rate for minorities, the Winona Daily News found that one employer -- Winona State University -- exceeded diversity levels compared to U.S. Census data.

Around the last quarter of the article, under the subtitle The Exception, the paper reported that 5.3 percent of the employees and 14.7 percent of all applicants identified themselves as minorities. (Only 3.7 percent of county applicants said they were members of a minority.)

County and school district officials say the university can offer better compensation, which tends to attract more candidates. But the paper reported that the university might just be aggressively pursuing minority candidates -- something other public employers aren't doing.

Lori Mikl, the Affirmative Action Officer for Winona State, said the university spent about $34,000 on employment advertising last school year, and about half was focused on developing a more diverse applicant pool.

"It contributes to the overall atmosphere of the campus," she said. "Having a diverse campus adds to the overall education environment."

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