Students across the state, like Theresa Jean Ambo, understand the need for more racial and gender diversity in higher education leadership because of their individual experiences. But, the data we collected in our latest report, Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy proves that the lack of racial and gender diversity is a systemic problem that must be addressed.
Left Out found that 69% of California college students come from diverse racial backgrounds, yet the faculty, senior leadership, and Academic Senates in California higher education are over 60% White. And, while 54% of college students are women, women are underrepresented across higher education leadership and faculty.
The stark racial and gender inequities reported in Left Out underscore the experiences students have felt for generations. And it reminds us time and time again of the need for good data, disaggregated by race and gender, that can tell us the scale of a problem, groups affected, and pinpoint areas for improvement.
Collecting and reporting data on race and gender that reveals systemic shortcomings in higher education is not easy to do. That is why, during our Changing Faces lecture series, we honored four California leaders as our 2018 “Beacon of Light” award recipients. These leaders shine a bright light on the importance of racial equity through their research. Read more.