These efforts represent a renewed commitment by the administration and campus community to advance diversity, inclusion and academic excellence, and they have been made possible through collaboration among Academic Senate leadership, students, staff, faculty and administrators.
Some important steps have included:
After the Moreno Report recommended establishing a discrimination investigator role, the implementation committee determined that our campus would be best served by two positions with responsibilities for education, compliance and investigation. The committee helped draft job descriptions and participated in the selection process. I am pleased to announce the appointments of UCLA’s discrimination prevention officers, Dion Raymond and Lillie Hsu, who began their work in September and are already investigating a number of discrimination complaints. They also will initiate a review of anti-discrimination policies and procedures, and take steps to streamline and develop policies and practices aimed at preventing discrimination and bias.
A national search for the campus’ first vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion was launched in June. The implementation committee helped shape the requirements for the new position, aiming to affirm, redefine and advance institutional priorities raised in the Moreno Report. The search committee, chaired by Vice Chancellor Carole Goldberg, has made excellent progress and completed campuswide consultations through town hall meetings with faculty, students, and staff, as well as interviews with a variety of stakeholders. Although the search and application review process is confidential, the committee reports that it has a strong pool. We anticipate inviting candidates to campus early in 2015.
After the results of the UC Campus Climate Study were published last spring, UCLA’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion requested a preliminary analysis by respondent groups for UCLA faculty, staff and students. Although the report found that 80 percent of our campus community overall were satisfied with the campus climate, a detailed look at the responses showed that we can do better to strengthen the campus experience for many in our community — especially women and underrepresented minorities.
Each dean and division was asked to appoint equity advisors or diversity specialists by October 2014. The function of these positions is to serve as a focal point for strategy, policy and practice related to increasing diversity and enabling a climate of inclusion within the school or division. The advisors and specialists assist deans and department chairs in developing plans for diversifying the faculty, staff and graduate student body; fostering an inclusive, respectful environment for faculty, staff and students in their academic units; and facilitating the resolution of problems related to climate. They also will act as resources and liaisons to the discrimination prevention officers and the vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion.
UCLA’s academic and administrative leadership has participated in Chancellor Block’s diversity lecture series. To date, lectures have been given by UCLA Professor and Associate Provost Jerry Kang on implicit bias and by University of Michigan Professor Pat Gurin on engaging diversity in higher education. In 2015, lectures will be delivered by UCLA Professor Daniel Solórzano on micro-aggressions; Claude Steele, executive vice chancellor and provost of UC Berkeley, on stereotype threat; Frank Wu, chancellor and dean of UC Hastings College of the Law, on equality and diversity; and UCLA Professor Sylvia Hurtado on excellence, diversity and higher education.
In November, the Academic Senate’s Legislative Assembly voted to approve the College diversity requirement — an important enhancement to the quality of undergraduate education at UCLA. Chancellor Block and I deeply appreciate the commitment of our faculty and students in working to design and achieve this requirement.
In addition, the Academic Senate has taken the initiative to formulate its own response to the findings and recommendations of the Moreno Report related to bias. These activities provide a glimpse of what we have achieved thus far, and in the months ahead we expect to report new initiatives for the benefit of our entire campus. We are working hard on a range of issues including improving policies and procedures related to discrimination, harassment and bias, improving time to degree for all undergraduates, and increasing the diversity of all ranks at UCLA.
We have a great deal of work to do, but we are fortunate to have on campus a wealth of scholarly, legal and practical expertise related to creating a community of inclusiveness. We also will strive to better communicate the resources, programs and opportunities for diversity and academic excellence. I look forward to providing you with future updates on our progress.
Scott L. Waugh Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost