Racial/Ethnic Diversity of Faculty and Leadership at California’s Colleges & Universities Virtually Unchanged in Five years, Hurting Students, the State and our Democracy

(California) ⸺ Today the Campaign for College Opportunity released Still Left Out: How Exclusion In California’s Colleges & Universities Continues To Hurt Our Values, Students, and Democracy, a report that reexamines the mismatch between the racial/ethnic and gender demographics of the state and enrolled college students in comparison to faculty and campus leaders across the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges.

In the five years since the original analysis was conducted, Still Left Out finds that some progress has been made in increased racial/ethnic and gender representation among college leaders and faculty. Yet, despite being the most diverse and populous state in the USA, faculty and campus leaders lack significant inclusion of Latinx, Black, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) Californians.

Nearly three in four young Californians are from a diverse background, and the state’s future depends on the inclusion and success of all racial and ethnic groups. The benefits of increased representation among college leadership and faculty are enormous for students and include: higher student success and a greater sense of belonging.

The good news:

The bad news:

“Despite small increases in the racial/ethnic representation of faculty and college leadership at the UC, CSU and the California Community Colleges, there remain troubling gaps in racial/ethnic parity for positions that have the most direct impact on the success of our diverse students,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “California’s public colleges and universities as well as our Governor and Legislature have prioritizedand invested in efforts to increase the representation of faculty and college leaders but the work is, at best, happening at pace that is far too slow or at worst, only paying lip service to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The Campaign also released a companion brief to this report, Equity-Minded Faculty Hiring Practices: Promoting Fairness, Inclusion and Faculty Diversity that Support Student Success in Higher Education, which provides strategies supporting and increasing the appointment of Latinx, Black, underrepresented Asian American and NHPI, and AIAN individuals to faculty positions. Another resource available to assist colleges is the Redesign the Presidential Search Process for Racial Equity toolkit, designed by Bensimon & Associates for College Futures Foundation.

Still Left Out offers key recommendations for state, college and university leaders, including:

“The biggest obstacles to dismantling outdated hiring practices are lack of will and/or fear of consequences, which in some cases (such as in the state of Florida currently) may be warranted. This does not mean we should give up—if anything, it signals that we must approach the issue with more urgency and tactical consideration than ever. Diversifying our higher education leadership and faculty requires the investment of energy, thought, and time to refashion a system that does not work for the needs of today’s students—or for our diverse nation.”

Estela Mara Bensimon, Ed.D.
University Professor Emerita and Founder,
Center for Urban Education
University of Southern California

To access the full report, go to: Still Left Out: How Exclusion In California’s Colleges & Universities Continues To Hurt Our Values, Students, and Democracy.


About The Campaign for College Opportunity:

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a California bipartisan policy and research non-profit organization focused on a single mission: to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy. For more information, visit / or follow @CollegeOpp.