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GOAL 3: Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All8

Bold scholarship requires us to dismantle long-standing exclusionary practices in higher education. We aim to adopt research-grounded practices that drive our campus toward inclusive excellence. To do so, we will invest in the resources, and cultivate the skills, knowledge, and comprehensively inclusive and anti-racist attitudes necessary to ensure that each unit, department, division, and stakeholder clearly demonstrates their contribution to our Principles of Community.

Measure 3.1.1: Campus enrollment (undergraduate, graduate, and transfer students) disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities9

Target: Maintain undergraduate, graduate, and transfer student diversity as we grow to 15,000 students

Measure 3.1.2: Number of academic and administrative staff by school and major disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities

Target: The composition of academic and administrative staff reflects that of the state of California

Example Strategic Initiatives:

  • Establish and implement a university-wide equity and justice strategic plan that engages all campus constituencies, internal and external, in developing collective practices and policies in support of the campus strategic plan10
  • Recruit faculty, including from diverse backgrounds, who are passionate about inclusion, and who genuinely value diversity in their teaching, research, and service
  • Create a sustainable and innovative fundraising approach for diversity work by seeking and expanding individual donors, philanthropic partners, and grant opportunities
  • Continue to develop and implement creative strategies and secure resources for the recruitment and retention of faculty and academic and administrative staff of color (e.g. cluster hires, cohorts, mentoring programs)
  • Provide targeted and equitable professional development for academic and administrative staff within each unit to support recruitment, retention, and leadership cultivation
  • Enhance campus onboarding efforts for academic and administrative staff and ensure succession planning efforts within and across divisions are equitable
  • Build intentional relationships with other post-secondary institutions and community-based organizations to recruit and support faculty and administrative staff of color
  • Integrate nontraditional and creative measures of success to review and evaluate academic and administrative staff (e.g. mentoring)
  • Develop institutional infrastructure and practice to assess and improve the successful inclusion and development of faculty and staff

Measure 3.2.1: Campus climate data by campus stakeholder type disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities.

Target: Improve measures of campus climate and ensure parity among stakeholder groups

Measure 3.2.2: Undergraduate and graduate student retention rates disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities

Target: Improve undergraduate and graduate student retention rates and ensure parity among groups

Measure 3.2.3: All faculty and staff retention rates disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities

Target: Improve or maintain faculty and staff retention rates and ensure parity among groups

Example Strategic Initiatives:

  • Develop inclusive curricula, programming, and services across the student experience
  • Provide inclusive excellence programming to all students, starting with orientation and matriculation
  • Increase opportunities that showcase and celebrate academic and administrative staff efforts that embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g. traditions, awards, celebrations)
  • Evaluate campus communication strategies for inclusivity (e.g. alternatives to text-based communication, print/digital information in multiple languages)
  • Review campus climate and engagement indicators connected to academic and administrative staff sense of belonging and value – and effectively respond to negative and undesired trends
  • Invest in diversity and critical dialogue trainings, curriculum, and professional development within each campus office to drive inclusive culture change
  • Ensure all personnel and campus units, departments, and divisions demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion via statements, goals, values, commitments, syllabi, data visualizations of efforts, and core practices

Measure 3.3.1: Amount of budget and other resources available for diversity and equity-related efforts

Target: Budget sufficient to support comprehensive programming and services that improve academic and student success measures of equity over time

Example Strategic Initiatives:

  • Advance teaching and scholarship about power, privilege, and justice in contemporary and historical contexts so that the injustices of the past do not continue to shape our lives
  • Improve services and foster relationships that support the success and thriving of all students, faculty, and staff, on and off campus, including engaging our city, county, and region
  • Increase data literacy among all campus personnel with an emphasis on disaggregating, triangulating, and responsibly using data derived from mixed-method approaches
  • Develop meaningful opportunities to engage alumni and community-based organizations to advance our institutional mission
  • Integrate a focus on equity and justice into all aspects of the campus’s talent management activities

Measure 3.4.1: Percentage of seniors who have studied abroad

Current Value AY 2024-25 AY 2027-28 AY 2030-31
5.2% 7.0% 8.4% 9.8%

 

Measure 3.4.2: Percentage of international students on campus, undergraduate and graduate.

  Current Value AY 2024-25 AY 2027-28 AY 2030-31
Undergraduate 0.2% 2.5% 4.3% 6%
Graduate 36% 36% 36% 36%

 

Measure to be developed:

  • Cultural enrichment

Example Strategic Initiatives:

  • Facilitate international research, educational, and cultural partnerships
  • Increase undergraduate participation in international experiences.
  • Increase the profile of study abroad at UC Merced
  • Improve curricular integration of courses taken abroad to increase the number that fulfill degree requirements
  • Implement mechanisms to increase affordability of education abroad (e.g. scholarships, financial aid packaging, new program models)
  • Develop an international student recruitment plan involving key campus stakeholders (e.g. Admissions, International Affairs)
  • Develop mechanisms to address the material, academic, and socio-cultural needs of international students and better facilitate their inclusion into the campus community

 

For each objective for Goal 3, the supplemental measures provided below will help the campus better understand progress on the primary measures in the plan and/or areas that require attention in order to advance the primary measure.

  1. Grow our academic and administrative staff demographic composition to be more representative of our state, as research shows that students succeed when they can see themselves in the institution.
    • Academic and administrative staff promotion rates disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Academic and administrative staff retention rates disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Percentage of graduate students supported by GSRs and external fellowships disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Timely degree completion, undergraduate and graduate, disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Student feedback on quality of educational experience disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Percentage of institutional budget allocated for academic and student success services with an equity and justice focus
       
  2. Transform campus culture by ensuring that all members of the community thrive as their authentic selves through equitable and inclusive structures, policies, and practices.
    • ion rates disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities
    • Number of professional development opportunities by campus constituency type
    • Number of equity and justice awards and recognitions by campus constituency type
    • Percentage of institutional budget allocated for academic and student success services with an explicit equity and justice intent
    • Number of equity-focused policies changes or additions by department/unit/office/division
       
  3. Build our collective capacity to remove structural barriers negatively impacting success through equity-informed administrative and educational decision-making
    • Ratio of personnel to students disaggregated following ethical data management protocols applied to all the data we legally collect
    • Percentage of institutional budget allocated for academic and student success services with an equity and justice focus
    • Fiscal and other resources available for equity-related efforts per academic year
    • Number of grants received to advance DEI efforts by campus department/office/unit
    • Number of unique equity and justice initiatives by unit/department launched and/or sustained per academic year
    • Percentage of university offices/units demonstrating commitment to advance diversity work through a diversity statement
    • Percentage of institutional budget allocated for academic and student success services with an equity and justice focus
    • Percentage of student debt disaggregated by different lived experiences and social identities

Footnotes:

1 For Goals 1 and 2 an asterisk (*) next to a measure indicates the measure was adopted from academic planning, specifically the measures established by the Academic Planning Work Group.

2 For this and other measures specifying disaggregation, data will be disaggregated per the footnote associated with Measure 3.1.1.

3 E.g. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

4 Includes post-docs and non-faculty research staff with a Ph.D.

5 The current (Fiscal Year, FY 2020/21) undergraduate student to faculty ratio is lower than the FY 30/31 goal as a result of two factors. First, the campus hired a large number of new faculty, including an atypical number of spousal hires, in fall 2020 which resulted in a net increase of 36 Senate faculty. Second, the campus missed its Fall 2020 student enrollment targets, in part due to the COVID pandemic. The combination caused the ratio to fall sharply. For comparison, the FY 2019 ratio was 29.7 (8151/274). The 2030 target brings the ratio back to the average of our UC peers (27.7).

6 The National Survey of Student Experience (NSSE) gathers data on student participation in the following HIPS: service learning, learning community, research with faculty, internship/field experience, study abroad, culminating senior experience.

7 The percentage of students starting a PhD that complete them within seven years; calculated using projected growth in the number of graduate students advised per a faculty member.

8 For all Goal 3 objectives, Appendix II provides a set of supplemental measures that are essential to understanding progress on these primary measures and which the campus must develop the capacity to measure.

9 The University of California Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement states: “Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – 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, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.” As UC Merced’s data capacity grows, we anticipate data disaggregation by these lived experiences and social identities to assess our progress with integrity. See the full statement here.

10 Will support Goal 3 objectives 3.1 through 3.3.