It’s a valid question given the awkwardness of the image and its pairing with a headline that asks, “Why follow when you can lead?”
The illustration features two exultant white men — dressed like missionaries for some reason — well ahead of a woman in heels wearing what looks to be an ensemble from “Dynasty” and a black male in more casual attire who appears to be struggling to finish the race.
I thought the cover was a parody, a sort of Mad Men meets Peachtree Road Race. It’s not, although there are some mad men and women commenting on the cover on Facebook.
The illustration has inspired some social media lampooning.
Among my favorites:
-If you look a bit further back, you’ll see the starting line for the winners was 20 yards ahead of the official starting line for everyone else.
-I guess the person with the physical disability is just plain way back of that pack.
-The two guys in front are SAE members running for the bus.
I asked the University of North Georgia about the cover. Here is what Kate Maine, Associate Vice President of University Relations, responded:
We are aware of the reaction to the image you noted. After looking into the issue, we determined that this is an isolated case of poor judgment, and was not intentional. However, the image was not representative of UNG’s commitment to diversity, and this will serve as an opportunity for increased dialogue about diversity issues and we expect that to better inform our processes and publications.
The image has been removed from the department’s website and social media pages, and the catalog will be reprinted before further distribution. Additionally, we have taken steps to provide for broader review of publications like this to ensure they fully meet institutional expectations and reflect our community and our values.