Left Out: Academic Senates Are Not Reflective of the Student Bodies they Serve

California’s colleges and universities are among the most diverse in the nation. More than two-thirds of our college students are Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI), African American, and Latinx. Without question, California’s present and its future are dependent on the success of our diverse student body. But that success will not be achieved unless we see equitable representation within our college leadership to serve the needs of our diverse student body.

College leaders set the tone, values, and direction of their institutions. When campuses are inclusive and reflective of their students, the culture, practices, and policies align with the needs of African American, AANHPI, and Latinx students. Inclusive college environments improve success for all students. However, a lack of inclusivity holds tremendous implications for all, especially students and faculty of color whose voices and interests are limited by their lack of representation on critical leadership bodies.