Graduate Student Diversity Task Force Report Announced

July 8, 2020

Dear campus community,

In September 2019, the university formed a Graduate Student Diversity Task Force to assess, develop, and implement a coordinated campuswide strategy to expand the diversity of the Berkeley graduate student body. Over the past nine months, this committee has evaluated evidence-based research and set forth preliminary recommendations — both broad and specific — to increase the enrollment of underrepresented, low socioeconomic status, and first-generation graduate students and to improve the campus experience and academic outcomes for underrepresented academic and professional graduate students across all programs. 

We encourage you to visit the Graduate Student Diversity Task Force’s implementation webpage to review their preliminary recommendations and provide feedback.

In developing these recommendations, the committee assessed three specific areas — outreach and recruitment, admissions processes and practices, and campus experience — to identify best practices at individual, department, school, and division levels and to recommend both short- and long-term goals.

We use “diversity” broadly to refer not only to underrepresented demographics and protected classes, but also to be inclusive of the experiences of disabled students, LGBTQ+ students, and undocumented students and the intersections across them. There are already many dedicated faculty, staff, and students who are working to address the issues highlighted in our proposal. We hope to build on their successes and help to expand their work across campus.

Below, we highlight three broad recommendations proposed by the committee:

  1. Institute meaningful accountability mechanisms at the college, school, and department levels that improve the infrastructure, support, and assessment of climate for graduate students. 

  2. Invest resources in programs, institutions, and initiatives that support academic preparation, retention, and holistic well-being.

  3. Articulate a consistent message of inclusivity and belonging that places diversity at the very heart of our academic excellence.

We recognize that these recommendations will require significant collaboration across campus departments and all levels of administration, including the Graduate Division and Academic Senate. We look forward to working with faculty, staff, and student leadership to refine our guidance and begin implementation this fall.

With sincere thanks,
Carol Christ
A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division

This message was sent to all UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty.