We value a diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
Faculty diversity is an important issue for our college that is receiving some welcome assistance from the State of California in the form of a $2 million budget appropriation to the University of California.
The UC Office of the President decided the best way to leverage this appropriation was in a competitive awards process. Nine proposals were submitted, and one of the successful ones was from UC Davis. We received a $600,000 award. Two other awards were made to UC Riverside and UC San Diego to invest in programs designed to attract more faculty from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
This is great news and a validation of our values. We were selected because of our track record with programs, commitment to diversity, and the high number of recruitments underway in our college (41 currently). Some of the ways in which we are investing these resources include:
• A special seminar series this spring for presidential and chancellor fellows
• Second visits for candidates and their families
• New communication methods to attract candidates
• Diversity workshops for faculty and search committee chairs
• Additional investments in faculty startups.
This will help us build upon existing efforts to improve recruitment, mentoring, development, career satisfaction, and opportunities for non-majority faculty members. It’s worth noting that we have made advances in this area, particularly in regards to women. In the past four years our college has hired 75 new faculty members (59 professors and 16 specialists in Cooperative Extension). Approximately half the new hires are women.
UC Davis was ranked number one on a Forbes Magazine list of the most important universities for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). UC Davis also has advanced its Latina representation on STEM faculty by 50 percent. We intend to broaden the base of our faculty in all areas of the college.
We want faculty who, regardless of their race and ethnicity, are committed to mentoring and educating students from the broadest cross-section of communities and countries. A diverse faculty better represents our multicultural student body and is also vital to the success of higher education and to society as a whole. I believe that diversity strengthens our college, expanding our worldview and our ability to fulfill our mission.