Cal Poly releases plan for increasing diversity, inclusion

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 19:59:50-04

Cal Poly has come up with a comprehensive plan to increase diversity and inclusion on campus.

The newly created Office of University Diversity and Inclusion has released a 30-page document titled Diversity Action Initiatives that spells out what Cal Poly has done and plans to do in order to reach its goals.

Here are some of the changes touted as successes:

  • In 2011, the campus was 63 percent Caucasian; in fall of 2017, it was less than 55 percent
  • Applications from underrepresented minority students doubled between 2008 and 2018
  • The university is more diverse now than at any time in its 117-year history

Here are some of the university’s future goals:

  • Expand Cal Poly Scholars from supporting 300 low-income students (many first-generation and underrepresented) to 3,000 within five years
  • Implementing a pre-enrollment diversity training for new first-year and transfer students
  • Creating "Cal Poly Core Pre-Orientation" for Black, Latino/a and Native American students
  • Investing $150,000 in funding from the CSU for a cluster hire of up to 10 faculty positions that focus on diversity and inclusion
  • Increasing the hiring of diverse faculty utilizing cluster hires every other year
  • Evaluating the implementation of teaching related to diversity and inclusion within each General Education subject area

"One of our major future goals is to move toward becoming an Hispanic Serving Institution," said Vice President of University Diversity and Inclusion Jozi De Leon, Ph.D. This would require 25 percent of more Latino/a enrollment.

"In addition, we will continue to work on finding ways to increase our student diversity so it more closely resembles the demographics of the state, provide additional support and opportunity for our first generation and low-income students, and continue to advance equity in our graduation rates."

The action initiatives come after calls from members of the campus community to change the culture and climate on campus following numerous recent racial incidents.

The tension began earlier this year when a picture of Kyler Watkins with his face painted black at a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity event was circulated on social media. He later penned a letter to the media apologizing for the incident.

The students held several protests at Cal Poly’s Open House. Armstrong initially suspended the fraternity and, later, all Greek life after more pictures from other fraternities were posted on social media.

Armstrong sent out a sharply worded open letter promising to make changes on campus and aggressively investigate all racial incidents.

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