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HHSOM Race/Ethnicity: Our Understanding and Actions

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music commits to understanding and changing our role in systemic disadvantaging and reflecting the communities we serve.  The following points summarize our understanding of who we are now, guiding us toward who we want to be.

As a part of actionable efforts by the Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, we are engaging honestly with our data to better serve current and future students.  We continue to listen and act to create a community where all feel welcome to live, learn, and make music.

The HHSOM commits to engaging honestly with our data.  In addition to facts and figures, this page publishes our understandings and actions.  We continue to work toward a community reflective of those we serve, a place where all feel welcome to live, learn, and make music.


  • HHSOM applicants do not reflect the public school population of Georgia.  Yet, 87.9% of all UGA undergraduates are Georgia residents.
    • See Race and Ethnicity Fact Sheet on our website for data comparison.
  • When combined with UGA’s acceptance rate, Black students are rejected more often.  Only 54% of Black students who passed their HHSOM audition were accepted by UGA (12 of 22), and only half of those committed to enrolling (6 of 12).
    • By comparison, 82% of white students who passed their audition were accepted by UGA (125 of 152). 
    • See also this article from The Red & Black: “10 years of UGA admissions data shows minimal growth in minority applicants, slow climb to diversity”
  • The student body that commits and enrolls is less diverse than that which applies and is accepted.
    • Black and Hispanic/Latinx enrollment rates are lower than white students.
    • Hispanic/Latinx enrollment rate is below 50%.
    • We recognize that more diverse representation in our student body and faculty is a major part of this effort.
    • However, recruitment and admission process changes alone are not enough if the environment is not one in which students are able to enroll. 
    • Barriers to enrollment must be part of our larger conversation and decision-making.  These include larger systemic structures, but also our campus and community culture.
    • We must undertake efforts to ensure our community is one that encourages people to apply and enroll based on a sense of belonging, not just welcome or inclusion.
  • Positively:




For the Fall 2021 application/audition cycle, HHSOM has improved its separate music application (via Accept’d platform) by creating ability to identify multiple races and offering an “other” option for those who wish to identify differently.

HHSOM is engaging in active conversation and developing new relationships with UGA Undergraduate Admissions and is involved in the ongoing search for a new Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions.


  • Lack of BIPOC representation within any community encourages continuation of implicit and explicit biases and makes it more difficult to shift the institutional culture.
  • HHSOM graduate student body is more diverse than undergraduates.  We understand that as a correlation with the more autonomous admissions process for graduate students, suggesting that greater involvement in undergraduate admissions could aid in increasing BIPOC representation at HHSOM/UGA.
  • Increasing enrollment in certain majors/minors might invite increased diversity and involvement of students from across the University.
    • Example: increasing participants in the AB, music major, or jazz minor (or elevating jazz to a major).        
  • Our overall goals are intended to promote a pluralistic society that does not ignore any group.  However, we understand that our diversity goals must consider important historical context in addressing representation gaps.
    • Honestly engaging with our data means that we understand our institution’s long history in Athens, Georgia, and the Southern United States. 
    • We also understand contextual definitions of “historically underrepresented,” specifically as they apply to academic major or instrument selection.




DEIB is leading efforts for broad curricular reform that create a more equitable and welcoming community.  Outlines of those efforts are being considered as a part of revisions to the HHSOM mission statement and are currently drafted as DEIB’s statements on Values and Commitments.

HHSOM commits to changes in our website and publicity that better reflect the diversity already present in our School.

HHSOM commits to open and frequent communication with stakeholders in this process.

HHSOM commits to publicly publishing fact sheet summaries of our populations (applicant and current) each academic year.

HHSOM will engage in ongoing faculty discussions about the make-up of individual studios.

This report was compiled as part of the actionable work and commitments undertaken by HHSOM Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

Fact sheets and data related to these efforts are available on our website.





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