By Judy Piercey
LA JOLLA–As the new academic year begins at the University of San Diego, California, the campus is making steady progress to improve the campus climate, including funding the appointment of a new diversity development officer. In addition, $41,000 has been raised for the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund (BASF), which provides scholarships for African American students at UC San Diego.
“A very important part of what we do as a university is to increase the opportunities to support a diverse student body,” said Sandra P. Daley, M.D., UC San Diego associate chancellor and chief diversity officer, and professor of Pediatrics. “It is equally important to have a diverse community of individuals supporting the students on our campus.” She added, “It is our job to find these new and emerging philanthropic groups and provide vital information to them so that they can make good decisions about where they give their support.”
The San Diego Foundation administers the BASF account, and the new funds, received as gifts from The James Irvine Foundation, the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Fund and the San Diego Alpha Pi Boulé Foundation during the fiscal year ending June 2010, have been added to the scholarship endowment. Proceeds of the endowment are distributed annually to African American students at UC San Diego.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, BASF awarded through The San Diego Foundation $40,500 to a total of 25 students. Fifteen of the scholarships were new and ten were renewals. Retired UC San Diego faculty and staff, as well as UC San Diego alumni, comprise the BASF committee which raises money each year for the fund. There are two scholarship funds in the BASF endowment, one for students studying the arts and humanities and one for students studying engineering, mathematics and science.
Recent diversity-related actions taken by UC San Diego include:
Twenty students from Compton High School participated in a hands-on, three-week summer course at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The program, “Focus on the Future: The Compton – UC San Diego Connection,” was a specially designed set of activities at Scripps for the students presented through UCSD Extension’s Academic Connections Program.
The campus has authorized 33 new faculty searches for the 2010-2011 academic year. Twelve of these searches (36 percent) are specifically identified to contribute to diversity, equity and climate of inclusion at UC San Diego – a number above and beyond the six unfilled faculty positions that UC San Diego originally agreed to reactivate to advance diversity. Funding for the new faculty positions is from the Academic Affairs division operating budget.
As part of its ongoing focus to enhance diversity system wide, the University of California has asked that each of its ten campuses establish advisory councils on climate, culture and inclusion. The UC San Diego Council on Climate, Equity and Inclusion will be advisory to the Chancellor and will comprise individuals with substantive expertise in diversity from represented constituencies including faculty, students, alumni, staff and administrators and community members.
UC San Diego is celebrating California Native Americans with 10 diverse activities over three months. The series of events are part of the university’s ongoing commitment to honor and recognize the heritage, culture and traditions of our Native American tribes, to educate the campus and community about California’s rich and dynamic history and culture, and to promote and enhance the relationship between local tribal communities and UC San Diego students, staff and faculty.
In addition, as classes get underway, UC San Diego reports that a record number of underrepresented new students will attend the university this year, up a significant 23 percent for both freshmen and transfer students, compared to last year.