Faculty Diversity Serious Point of Contention During UC Regents Meeting

"It definitely goes way beyond the university" said Governor Brown, addressing regents during discussion on faculty diversity at their Jan. 16 meeting.

Photo by Annalise Domenighini

During the Committee on Education’s annual accountability sub-report on diversity, University of California Provost Aimee Dorr provided little evidence that significant progress has been made in diversifying the faculty of the UC system.

According to the report, UC does have a higher average of underrepresented men and women on its faculty than other colleges like Stanford and Harvard, with 8.6 percent of male faculty and 30.5 percent of female faculty identifying as of underrepresented men and women

According to the report, 76.6 percent of the faculty at UC identify as white, 14.8 percent identify as Asian or Asian-American, 5.4 percent identify as Chicano, Latino or Hispanic, 2.6 percent identify as African-American, and 0.5 percent identify as American Indian or Native American.

These numbers, while an increase from previous years, were still not enough to impress many of the regents.

“We should be doing more,” said UC President Mark Yudof. “Much more.”

“In a state where almost half the students graduating from high school are Latino, a faculty that is less than 5 percent Latino is embarrassing,” said Regent Eddie Island. “The [state] demographics are already here, how much longer do we have to wait to make the UC faculty demographics look like the state?”

Student Regent Designate Cinthia Flores called for a campus by campus break down of faculty diversity on each campus and Regent Bonnie Reiss went further, asking for an additional list of positions being vacated within the upcoming years so as to better understand how quickly faculty diversity can be improved.

“When students can’t see themselves in our faculty, that disinclines them to go into academia,” said Student Regent Jonathan Stein.

Throughout the criticism, Dorr maintained that many people throughout the university are continually committed to increase faculty diversity not just by looking at overall numbers, but by looking at what specifically is the best for UC.


  1. The statements made by Regents who think the people of the state of California are upset because the faculty mix does not mirror the state population mix are deluded.

    The people of the State voted for merit based hiring and enrollments, THAT is what they want. They have a lot more wisdom than the UC administrators who have used every dishonest trick you can imagine to get around this, in their arrogant assumption that they know best.

    The critical function of UC in our society is to be a place where you can find the best in each field, not some phony non-random diversity mix.

  2. If we want a more diverse faculty and students – we need diversity in management and on the Board of Regents. The buck stops at the top. I urge everyone who reads this article look at senior management on all ten campuses and the medical centers. Then look at the Board of Regents. We only reflect what the leader’s look like…

    We also need to thank Ward Connerly for the passage of Proposition 209 which creates further roadblocks on the road to diversity. (Sorry for the cliche!)