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Contributions to Diversity

Diversity is a defining feature of California's past, present, and future. Increasing diversity to better reflect the population of California is fundamental to UC San Diego's mission as a public institution and imperative to achieving its full potential.

According to the UC Diversity Statement, diversity refers to “the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more."

One way in which the AVC-FDEs—with the help of the Faculty Equity Advisors—support the university’s commitment to advance diversity and equity is by promoting best practices for faculty recruitment. These include broadening the candidate pool, agreeing on criteria to judge all applicants before the search begins, guarding against biases in decision making, and treating all candidates respectfully and equally.

University policy states that a candidate's race, gender, ethnicity or other personal characteristics may not be considered in the evaluation of academic appointments. However, search committees can consider past or proposed contributions to diversity as part of the overall review process.

What is the purpose of a Contributions to Diversity Statement?

According to University of California Academic Personnel Policy (APM), to preserve and foster the quality of UC as one of the nation’s leading public institutions, peer review committees are expected to evaluate the contributions of all faculty in view of the critical need for equity and excellence.

Since 2010, UC San Diego has required that faculty candidates submit a statement on their past contributions to diversity or equity and future plans for continuing this effort as part of their application for an academic appointment.

In addition to research, teaching, and general professional and public service, service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications. Examples include, but are not limited to, developing strategies for the educational or professional advancement of students in underrepresented groups; efforts to advance equitable access and diversity in education; and activities such as recruitment, retention, and mentoring or advising of underrepresented students or new faculty.” -- APM 210-1-d

The purpose of the statement is to identify candidates who have professional skills, experience, and/or willingness to engage in activities that would enhance campus diversity and equity efforts. 

Are there any guidelines for writing a statement?

The Contributions to Diversity Statement should describe your past experience, activities and future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with UC San Diego’s mission to reflect the diversity of California and to meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population. Some faculty candidates may not have substantial past activities. If that is the case, we recommend focusing on future plans in your statement. A more developed and substantial plan is expected for senior candidates.

Past Experience:  

Describe any past experience or background that has made you aware of challenges faced by historically underrepresented populations.

Past Activities:

  • Mentoring Activities: If you mentored students, post-docs, staff or faculty from underrepresented groups, describe the specific context and objective of the mentoring, including your personal efforts. Include details that may be relevant, including the number of people who benefited, duration, and outcomes (i.e., success and progress of mentees during and after mentoring, including employment, educational success, etc).
  • Committee Service: If you served on a committee or board that focused on diversity, equity, climate and/or inclusion, describe the committee’s accomplishments and your role in helping achieve them. Include your position on the committee, its duration, and other relevant details.
  • Research Activities: If any of your past research effort specifically contributed to diversity, equity and inclusion, describe the work and any impact or positive outcomes it has had on the university or broader community.
  • Other Activities (e.g. recruitment/retention/teaching/community): Describe the activity and its context (e.g. a specific conference or organization, student retention or outreach activity, course development to reach a specific group, outreach to a local school, or work with a diversity-related non-profit). What was your role and personal effort? How did these activities relate to campus needs?

Planned Activities:

The first step is to gather information on activities you would like to pursue while at UC San Diego and how they might fit into the research area, department, campus, or national context. You may consider but are not restricted to current or ongoing campus activities.

For each proposed activity you include, describe the role you envision having and what you would like to accomplish in the next two to five years. Who would you like to engage in your efforts, and how would you plan to engage them? Be as specific as possible, but realistic in terms of your effort and time commitment.

Are there any examples and resources?

There are many examples of activities that contribute diversity and equity, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Service that increases the participation of historically under-represented groups in science, engineering, arts, humanities, education, social sciences, medicine, management and other fields. This could include involvement in outreach, tutoring, or other programs designed to remove barriers facing women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities or other individuals who are members of groups that been historically excluded from higher education.
  • Teaching, advising, and/or mentoring of students who are under-represented or under-served in higher education.
  • Development or use of pedagogies that address different learning styles and/or learning disabilities.
  • Research that contributes to understanding the barriers facing women and under-represented minorities in higher education or that otherwise contributes to diversity and equal opportunity, including artistic expression and cultural production that reflects culturally diverse communities or voices under-represented in the arts and humanities.

These examples of Contributions to Diversity Statements may provide additional guidance on identifying contributions to diversity and preparing a personal statement.

If you are not sure how you can contribute to diversity while at UC San Diego, the following campus resources may help.

Knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is required of all candidates for a Bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego. The Academic Senate has approved a list of courses to satisfy the DEI requirement, which may help you identify courses you could teach or develop.

The Diversity Initiatives Database allows faculty members and candidates to search for volunteer activities that contribute to diversity in the areas of research, mentoring, teaching and community outreach, both on and off campus.

How are statements considered?

Candidates may be evaluated on their past and/or planned contributions to diversity during the selection process. The search committee, Dean, and Academic Senate may view the Contributions to Diversity Statement in combination with the entire application file.

Once a member of the faculty at UC San Diego, contributions to diversity are recognized through the file review process and the Diversity Awards Program. Newly hired faculty who propose innovative ideas for programs or initiatives in their Contributions to Diversity Statements may be eligible for an EDI Excellence Award. Additional EDI funding is available for faculty initiating activities that advance diversity and equity.