The University of California, Riverside, will be hosting a free event organized by The Campaign for College Opportunity examining the disparity between student demographics and the lack of diversity among California community college and university leadership.
Changing Faces: The Case for Inclusivity in Higher Education Leadership, scheduled for Friday, March 2 from 2-5 p.m. at the Alumni & Visitors Center, will include a preview of the report, “Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy.” This major report offers an analysis of faculty, academic senates, and college leaders by race and gender within the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems.
Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox will deliver the opening remarks, discussing the commitment to diversity and inclusivity in senior leadership at UCR and the University of California system at large, followed by a presentation of the report by Michele Siqueiros, president of The Campaign for College Opportunity.
“I am pleased to preview ‘Left Out’ at one of our most diverse UC campuses — UC Riverside — where over 80 percent of students are Latinx, black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander, but 60 percent of faculty are white, and 80 percent of the Academic Senate is white,” said Siqueiros. “Every public college and university in our state has work to do to reach racial parity, and I look forward to a robust discussion at UCR that examines opportunities for change.”
Siqueiros also noted why it is important to address this issue in a state as racially diverse as California, stating it has always been a magnet for leaders, dreamers, and risk-takers of diverse backgrounds. However, she noted the same level of diversity is not reflected in faculty and leadership.
Michele Siqueiros, president of The Campaign for College Opportunity.
“This disparity … hurts students’ ability to feel like they belong on campus and makes it difficult to create an inclusive campus culture where policies and practices are informed by a deep understanding of student experiences, challenges, and strengths,” said Siqueiros.
Responding to the findings of the report will be a panel including Siqueiros and University of California leaders Robert Teranishi, professor of education at UCLA; Devon Graves, student regent-designate for the University of California; and Milagros Peña, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Marcela Ramirez, an associate instructor in the Graduate School of Education, will serve as moderator.
The panel will also discuss ideas for how both UCR and the UC system can make higher education more inclusive and representative of the students they serve, an issue that has grown in increasing importance for the UCR community.
“As a faculty member long involved in higher educational leadership, I have seen firsthand how the investments we make in a diverse faculty and leadership translate into effective holistic institutional change — for campus cultural climates; for student and staff confidence, pride, and self-worth; and for all campus community members to feel and know that it is their responsibility to take ownership of diversity work themselves,” said Mariam Lam, associate vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion. “Strong role modeling is one of the most effective pedagogical strategies we have as a society, and it must be empowered at every academic level.”
A reception following the program will be held from 4-5 p.m. with remarks from Dylan Rodriguez, chair of the Academic Senate. This event is open to all interested members of the UCR community and the public at large. Guests may park for free in Lot 24. Registration is required to attend and will close when capacity is reached.