Mobilize the whole university to promote Black student success, degree completion, and advancement in UCI’s academic programs
The transformation of the professoriate and knowledge workforce of the future depends on the success of Black undergraduates and graduate students thriving in academic programs across the campus. This means increasing total enrollments, growing participation in undergraduate and graduate degrees programs, expanding involvement in high impact campus programs, and eliminating differences in undergraduate graduation or graduate degree completion rates. The below items explore why achieving these outcomes will require a whole university approach.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Making UCI a First Choice for Black Students
Increasing the enrollment of Black undergraduates and graduate students is an essential condition to building a thriving culture for Black people at UCI. Over a ten-year period, enrollments for undergraduates and graduate students have grown, but the proportion of Black students has remained steady or only modestly increased. Unless there is a substantial change in our strategy, the proportion will largely remain unchanged. This will contribute to a profound sense of invisibility and hyper-visibility for enrolled Black students while contributing to Black deserts in our academic programs.
Faculty: From Black Deserts to a Thriving Academic Culture for Black Students
Of the 15 academic or professional schools, only two deans are Black: Business and Law – both firsts. In addition to Engineering, there have been three Black deans of academic schools in the entire history of UCI. Outside of the Department of African American Studies, there are 2 Black chairs in the 86 departments. The overall number of Black faculty has doubled in a decade, and their proportion of the total faculty has increased to 3.9% in 2019 currently from 1.9 in 2009. Nonetheless, Black students are less likely to encounter a Black faculty member in their major course of study during the four-year career – outside of a small number of departments.
Staff: Drawing upon Evidence-Based Practices for Staff Leaders
Staff members represent a mainstay to support the research productivity and student learning and development at UCI. However, Black representation across all staff has stagnated at 3% for over a decade and specifically it has dwindled among senior management group leadership to a current low of 14% at a time when the university is using various programs to diversify faculty and students. Alongside all Office of Inclusive Excellence certificate and other programs open to staff, the office will pilot three efforts during the coming year to bring additional scholarship and tools to bear on approaches that interrogate anti-Black racism and equip staff leaders with cross-cultural proficiencies.