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Most California Public College Students are Minorities, but Professors are Mostly White

New report highlights lack of diversity in teaching and mentoring positions remains an issue.



A recent report issued by the Campaign for College Opportunity found that 69% of students enrolled in public colleges across California are ethnically or racially diverse, but more than 60% of college faculty and senior leadership on California’s campuses and 74% of Academic Senators are white.

According to an analysis by the Sacramento Bee, in the University of California (UC) system, nearly 40% of undergraduates are Asian American and Latinos account for more than 40% of enrollment at California State Universities (CSU) and community colleges.

Those numbers make it clear that leadership and teaching positions are not diversifying as quickly as those seeking a quality higher education.

The Bee found some promising trends among the data:

Women, who make up a majority of California college students, also comprised fewer than half of executive and leadership positions across all three systems. They were, however, well-represented among faculty ranks. (A notable exception was tenured professors at UC, two-thirds of whom are men.)

The report noted some bright spots in the data: Nearly half of CSU campus and community college presidents are now women. The number of African Americans in leadership roles generally exceeds their proportion of student enrollment. The proportion of Asian American professors at CSU and the community colleges has grown to match the student body.

The Campaign for College Opportunity drew this conclusion from their report:

California’s standing as the sixth largest economy in the world depends on producing more college graduates. Key to improving student success is ensuring centers of power and leadership at California’s public colleges and universities understand the needs, experiences, and strengths of the current and future student body so that policies and practices better serve them. That work starts with racially and gender diverse leaders and faculty.

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