The University Record, February 20, 1996

Award for diversity commitment named for Harold Johnson

By Kahli Randall
News and Information Services

The Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award has been established to honor the contributions of faculty who are working to create a more culturally and ethnically diverse campus, Lester P. Monts, vice provost for academic and multicultural affairs, has announced.

"I am honored to have my name associated with the diversity service award," says Johnson, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Social Work. "This is another important step to institutionalize University initiatives designed to provide equal opportunities to faculty, staff and students on our campus."

Awards will be given annually to as many as five full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members on the Ann Arbor campus to recognize their demonstrated commitment to diversity. The $5,000 awards will support personal research, education and creative activity.

"The award honors a great leader of our University community who exemplified his commitment to cultural diversity during his distinguished career and service to the University," Monts says. "The University recognizes that many faculty members play a key role in efforts to enhance institutional diversity, and this award has been established to acknowledge their commitment and participation."

President James J. Duderstadt believes the award is aptly named for Johnson, due to his efforts in making multiculturalism an integral part of the U-M education.

"The Diversity Service Award is a fitting tribute to a leader whose personal and professional life exemplifies fairness, tolerance and an appreciation for the viewpoints of others," he says.

Paula Allen-Meares, dean of the School of Social Work, agrees that the honor is well deserved.

"Harold Johnson was a visionary with unbelievably outstanding intellectual ability who sought to diversify faculty and the student body because he loves this University and cares deeply about its future," she says.

Johnson, who served as dean of social work from 1981­1993, was a professor of social work and of health education and health behavior in the School of Public Health, director of the Institute of Gerontology, interim secretary of the University and special counsel to the president.

He has a distinguished record of scholarship on gerontological, organizational and human services issues, and has served in numerous state and national leadership roles in the areas of aging, the elderly and minorities.

In 1993, the Office of the Vice Provost for Minority Affairs presented Johnson with the Dreamkeeper Award during the Martin Luther King Symposium for his contributions to the University's commitment to cultural diversity.

Johnson joined the faculty in 1969 after serving in leadership positions with a variety of public and voluntary social welfare agencies. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1950 and a master's of social work from Wayne State University in 1957.

Nomination forms for the award are available from the Office of the Provost for Academic and Multicultural Affairs, 3084 Fleming Building. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. March 18.