Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE) is a joint program overseen by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Graduate Division. Faculty Mentors and graduate student Representatives collaborate to improve Ph.D. and terminal M.A. program climate, equity, and diversity.


  • Share best practices in graduate admissions and work with programs to recruit students who contribute to UCI's diversity
  • Serve as an additional resource for graduate student concerns
  • Collaborate with graduate students to put on professionalization workshops and community-building events that focus on equity and inclusion
  • Work with other Mentors and Equity Advisors to address systemic inequities impacting graduate student success in their units
Starting in 2023, the Office of Inclusive Excellence will offer competitive awards to current and former DECADE Mentors to implement a specific plan to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in their graduate program(s). See UCI Mentoring Awards for details.

For graduate students DECADE resources and events, visit: Graduate Division DECADE.

History of DECADE Mentors

Founded in 2010 by Graduate Dean Frances Leslie, DECADE was originally funded through a Department of Education grant. The grant combined student programming with faculty mentorship into a comprehensive program aimed at improving the overall climate in graduate education at UCI. Provost Enrique Lavernia institutionalized the DECADE program in 2015. In 2016, the Office of Inclusive Excellence appointed Professor Roxane Cohen Silver to direct the DECADE Faculty Mentor Program. Starting in 2021, Sharon Block, Associate Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, oversees the DECADE Faculty Mentors.

Since its inception, DECADE has involved more than two hundred faculty Mentors and hundreds of graduate student Representatives. It has hosted a variety of programs, including lecture series, a book club, and numerous workshops.