Diversity Group Evaluates UCSD
CONSIDER: The Chancellor's Commission on Diversity released its recommendations last week

UCSD Guardian News
April 13, 1998

The Chancellor's Commission on Diversity released its report to the public last week, addressing several areas in which the university can improve in the fields of outreach and recruitment, retention and campus climate, and administration.

In order to promote campus diversity, the commission recommended increasing funding to the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (O.A.S.I.S.) and the creation of a Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

"Diversity is the goal that all segments of the population should have the opportunity to come to the university," Commission Chair Lu Sham said. "From the university's point of view, the bigger the pool of applicants, the better the quality of the university will become."

The commission reported that the campus needs to promote efforts to increase diversity at UCSD.

"Our recommendations focus on policies to promote better coordination and more efficient implementation of existing resources, augmentation and extension of currently successful efforts, and identification of new initiatives needed to [keep] us competitive with comparable institutions," the committee stated in its report.

The committee addressed many different groups, including underrepresented racial minorities, people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at the student, faculty and staff levels.

The commission recommended systematic reviews of all existing outreach and retention programs.

The committee praised the performance of O.A.S.I.S., the Women's Center and the Cross Cultural Center in promoting diversity at UCSD.

However, the committee also recommended increasing permanent funding levels for O.A.S.I.S., additional support for existing programs such as the Cross Cultural Center and the Women's Center, and the creation of a Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

The committee's report also calls for the full implementation of the Cross Cultural Center's draft two-to-five-year action plan.

Sham said that promoting diversity was an important element in outreach.

"All schoolchildren in California should feel that they have a chance to come to the University of California," Sham said. "They should have a chance to strive for it and that is very important."

In the field of student outreach, the commission recommended that administrators perform a systematic review of existing programs and increase financial aid to make the campus more attractive to members of underrepresented racial-minority groups.

Other outreach recommendations include increased funding to the early academic outreach program and enhanced links to K-12 schools.

The commission called for the dissolution of the Chancellor's Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, to be replaced by a chief diversity officer and a Council for Equal Opportunity and Diversity to administer the campus' diversity efforts,

The chief diversity officer would be responsible for the administration of resources in diversity areas. The diversity council, which would be composed of students, staff and faculty, would channel input from the campus community to administrators.

The 19-member Chancellor's Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, comprised of students, staff and faculty, was formed last year by Chancellor Robert Dynes to develop recommendations on UCSD policies regarding affirmative action and diversity.

A copy of the Chancellor's Commission on Diversity's report is located on the Internet at http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/diversity.