An open letter to Mark Yudof

Final chancellor candidate list needs to represent women, underrepresented minorities

Sucharitha Yelimeli/Staff

Dear UC President Mark Yudof,
We understand that you are coming to a final decision on the chancellor search at UC Berkeley.As a group of UC Berkeley faculty who remain unconditionally committed to achieving racial diversity on the campus, we want to reaffirm our expectation that each of the final candidates must have a proven track record of promoting faculty, staff and student diversity, especially in promoting faculty of color to senior management positions. We expect that the successful candidate will not only provide an estimable record of effective commitment to progress in equity and inclusion but will also, in final interview, articulate a faculty diversity plan for the Berkeley campus that is clear and measurable.

As you know, under the leadership of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Vice Chancellor Gibor Basri we have made significant gains in the campus diversity goals. As the position announcement notes, “The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund recognized UC Berkeley as a national model for equity, inclusion and diversity in 2010 with a pioneering $16 million, 10-year grant that engages Berkeley students, faculty, and staff across all disciplines in research, teaching, and public service.”

We must be assured that this funding commitment will be sustained and deepened in order to ensure that we make Berkeley a more accessible campus for underrepresented students. We must also be assured that minority staff members will be encouraged and nurtured to assume leadership positions on the campus. And, with respect to faculty hiring and retention, we have a long way to go in ensuring greater success in placing minority faculty across all departments and colleges, not to mention their appointment as departmental chairs, divisional deans and senior administrators. We therefore would expect that the final candidates have a clearly demonstrated commitment to and record of leadership in the hiring, promotion and administrative placement of underrepresented faculty.

To this end, we also want to make clear that the final pool must itself demonstrate the university’s commitment to diversity by ensuring that underrepresented minority presidential candidates will be in the final interview group and — we should be able to expect — on your short list. We remind you of the selection criteria, as noted in the campus website, on the search process. “Both the (search) committee and the president should be mindful of the university’s commitment to hiring women and underrepresented minorities.”

We only wish to substitute “must” for “should” in the final selection moment for the next UC Berkeley chancellor.

Signed by:
Gibor Basri, Astronomy; Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Education; Genaro Padilla, English; Malo Huston, City & Regional Planning; Charles Henry, African American Studies; Clair Brown, Economics; Alice Agogino, Mechanical Engineering; Shari Huhndorf, Native American Studies; Tyrone B. Hayes, Integrative Biology; Keith Feldman, Ethnic Studies; Rucker Johnson, Public Policy; Michael Omi, Asian American Studies; Steve Raphael, Public Policy; Marcial Gonzalez, English; Juana Maria Rodriguez, Women’s Studies; Victoria Robinson, Ethnic Studies; Donna Jones, English; Adrian Aguilera, Social Welfare; Janelle Scott, Education; Garrison Sposito, ESPM; Elaine Kim, Asian American Studies; Kurt Organista, Social Welfare; David Weisblat, Biology; Bertrall Ross, Law; Ugo Nwokeji, African American Studies; Jeff Romm, ESPM; Ian Haney-Lopez, Law; Richmond Sarpong, Chemistry; Rodrigo Almeida, CNR; Margaret Wilkerson, African Amer. Stud. Em.; Abena Osseo-Asare, History; Richard Busbaum, Law Em.; Patricia Baquedano-López, Education; Frank Worrell, Education; Laura Enriquez, Sociology; Mary Ann Mason, Social Welfare; Ivonne del Valle, Spanish & Portuguese; Jason Corburn, Public Health; William A. Lester, Chemistry; Ula Taylor, African American Studies; Rachel Morello-Frosch, ESPM; Ruth Love, Education; Lee Riley, Public Health; Margaret Conkey, Anthropology; Caroline Kane, MCB Em.; Greg Aponte, Nutritional Science; Tyler Stovall, History; Taeku Lee, Political Science; Rodney Hero, Political Science; Zeus Leonardo, Education; Catherine Ceniza Choy, Ethnic Studies; Na’ilah Nasir, Education; John Powell, Law; Tina Trujillo, Education; Beatriz Manz, Ethnic Studies; Kim TallBear, Native American Studies.

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