Fifty years after the East Los Angeles Walkouts, the struggle for educational equity continues in California higher education with a lack of diversity among faculty and leadership

Despite a racially and gender diverse student body at California’s public colleges and universities, centers of power remain White, threatening California’s ability to produce more college graduates and remain economically competitive.

(Los Angeles, CA) — Today, on the 50th anniversary of the East Los Angeles Walkouts, the Campaign for College Opportunity released a new report “Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy” that shows the drastic disparity between California’s public college and university students and higher education leaders and faculty when it comes to race and gender.

Fifty years ago in East Los Angeles, Latinx students led the protests over unequal conditions and practices in their high schools as part of a movement to improve the quality of their education and ensure they were prepared for college. Today Latinx make up 43% of undergraduate students in California and 69% of all undergraduate students are racially diverse. Despite this diversity, over 60% of college faculty and senior leadership on California’s campuses and 74% of Academic Senators are White. And, although 54% of college students are female, women are underrepresented among tenured faculty, academic senators, college leadership and in statewide governance.

California’s standing as the sixth largest economy in the world depends on producing more college graduates but persistent gaps in college access and success for African-American, Latinx, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students hinder progress. Racially and gender diverse college leaders and faculty are key to improving success for all students.

“The findings of this report are not about demographics, they are about helping our education leaders and state policy makers understand that this issue of a lack of diversity is tied to student success,” said Paul Granillo, President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

Left Out looks at data from 2016-17. Major findings include:

  • Within the University of California (UC) system, where 26% of the student body are Latinx, there are ZERO Latinx leaders in the UC Office of the President. Additionally, only 11% of college leaders, 7% of tenured faculty, and 5% of Academic Senators are Latinx… read more.