Newswise — What does it mean to be an inclusive university? At UC San Diego, we believe education should be accessible to all talented students. We believe learning means approaching issues from all perspectives. And we believe in cultivating a campus where community comes first.

This fall, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) launched the first-ever Inclusive Excellence @ UC San Diego: 2018 Progress Update that reflects important diversity developments on our campus—the programs, people and policies that are transforming UC San Diego.

The university’s equity, diversity and inclusion accomplishments focus on key areas for students, faculty and staff, which are supported by accountability data. “This progress would not be possible without each of us doing our part to live up to our vision of a campus where all members of our community can thrive,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

“An invigorating movement is underway,” added Vice Chancellor-EDI Becky Petitt. “Throughout UC San Diego’s periods of turbulence, growth and revitalization, we have remained steadfast in our dedication to cultivating a community with heart.”

Student Access and Success

The number of new freshmen from underrepresented groups has more than doubled since 2012

UC San Diego offers students from all perspectives and backgrounds an opportunity to achieve their aspirations through programs such as the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program and the Black Academic Excellence Initiative to provide affordable access to a world-class education. At present, UC San Diego is considered an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), serving a population of 20 percent full-time Latinx/Chicanx students. Our goal is to better reflect the diversity of our state and become a qualified HSI, which requires at least 25 percent full-time Latinx/Chicanx students.

Our campus is committed to supporting student success through a variety of services and programs. For example, new undergraduates are connected to a student success coach from their undergraduate college who is familiar with the resources and opportunities to help them succeed. In addition, the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS), one of the largest learning communities at UC San Diego, empowers students personally, academically and professionally. And UC San Diego is committed to creating more living and learning spaces where our diverse population of undergraduate students can connect with each other, with the university and with the community.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to be part of the first group of students working to create a vision and a sense of belonging for the Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American (APIMEDA) populations at UC San Diego,” said Sanika Moharana. “It was a great opportunity to learn how to process and articulate my own thoughts on difficult topics.”

Inclusive Teaching and Research

Ladder-rank faculty from underrepresented groups have grown 30 percent since 2012

Faculty collaboratively cultivate an academic culture of inclusive excellence at UC San Diego, where all can succeed and advance through their teaching and research in educational equity, immigration, healthcare in minoritized populations and much more. Their mentorship and commitment also promote student access and success.

Gentry Patrick is a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences and was a first-generation college student. One of his goals is to support and empower the next generation of underrepresented students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Patrick’s brainchild, the PATHS Scholars Program, is a four-year program that pairs students of color—many of whom are the first in their families to attend college—with counselors, mentors, summer internships, scholarships and other support resources.

Yến Lê Espiritu began her academic career in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies. She has published extensively on Asian American identities and politics, gender and migration, and U.S. colonialism and wars in Asia. Lê Espiritu’s most recent book charts an interdisciplinary field of critical refugee study, which reconceptualizes “the refugee” not as an object of rescue, but as a site of social and political critiques.

And to ensure that equity and inclusion are considered in all aspects of faculty affairs—including recruitment, retention and advancement—Faculty Equity Advisors work with deans, department chairs and search committees. Advisors are available for consultation and guidance on EDI-related faculty affairs.

UC San Diego Staff

The number of career staff from underrepresented groups has increased by a third since 2012

New UC San Diego staff initiatives include a critical examination of the staff appraisal process, in which equity, diversity and inclusion are being incorporated into core values through honoring the Principles of Community; fostering respectful engagement; building a positive climate; and recruiting, promoting and retaining diverse work teams. The employee onboarding initiative supports the goals of advancing EDI by aiming to increase the sense of community and overall positive employment experience, boosting the employee retention rate and creating a welcoming environment for all new employees.

UC San Diego is the largest employer in San Diego County. According to the most recent [email protected] survey, the top strengths of working at UC San Diego included feeling validated for contributions, feeling welcomed and promoting the Principles of Community.

Mary Wickline agrees. “The DisAbility Counseling and Consulting Department, and Jeanette Richards in particular, were indispensable in helping me navigate work accommodations after I became disabled. This was a solid indicator to me that my employer truly does value me and my work at UC San Diego.”

VC-EDI Highlights

In the past year, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion set out to create a Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence. The vision is to create a learning and working environment where campus community members feel welcomed and valued, which in turn leads to excellence in the classroom and workplace environment. In addition, over two dozen exciting programs have been launched since 2016, from first-generation student transition programs to the creation of the Faculty of Color Network to funding promising UC San Diego projects that advance equity, diversity and inclusion. Learn more here.

We are proud of the strides our campus has made to shape our inclusive future. Please visit the Inclusive Excellence @ UC San Diego: 2018 Progress Update website for details about our accomplishments, programs, profiles, diversity data and more.