Representatives from the Gevirtz School, along with other faculty and staff from UC Santa Barbara, took part in a UC Hispanic-Serving Institutions Retreat on November 29 in San Diego. The event, hosted by the UC Office of the President, featured conversations about best practices for HSIs as well as advancing equity and faculty diversity.
In 2015 the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities named UCSB a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), so recognized for achieving a Hispanic enrollment that is 25 percent or more of its total enrollment. The campus was the first HSI that also is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
The contingent from the Gevirtz School included Dean Jeffrey Milem and professors Andrés Consoli, Richard Durán, Melissa Morgan-Consoli, and Laura Romo.
“This was a landmark meeting,” professor Durán said after the event. “It brought together campus stakeholders face-to-face from across the UC system, Regents, Legislature, and California higher education advocacy organizations to also share forward looking institutional development plans and data centered on equity as central to the role of UC.”
The Retreat, which followed a UC Chicanx/Latinx Leadership Summit, was an opportunity to provide a space for exchange between campuses that promoted learning, shared values, organization change, and a culture if inquiry. By discussing promising UC HSI practices and initiatives aimed at advancing student access, retention and success, while also improving campus climates and increasing faculty diversity, the goal was to promote greater understanding and awareness of the UC’s standing as an HSI with both internal and external stakeholders.
This work is particularly crucial as the California Department of Education reports that Latinx/Chicanx students make up nearly 55 percent of all K-12 students and that 39.1 percent of California’s population is Latinx, according to the United States Census Bureau.