For decades, higher education served as the leading voice on diversity issues, with many institutions fostering initiatives that became the gold standard for equity and inclusion. There was great promise in the practice, and college campuses served as not only the impetus for social progress and civil rights, but also a springboard for some of the movement’s most influential voices.
Ironically, as the nation’s population became more diverse, higher education went from the cutting edge of these issues to the back of the class. Today in California, for example, as the state enters its second decade as a “majority-minority” state, numerous organizations in both the public and private sector have implemented diversity initiatives far more effective than those on some college campuses.
It should be no surprise then that faculty, staff and students of our nation’s universities have begun to protest this trend, accentuating the fact that underrepresented communities continue to be impacted by historical and social inequities. And when you consider that Orange County is today what America will be tomorrow, as evidenced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s assertion that the entire country will be “majority-minority” by the year 2043, it becomes clear that Cal State Fullerton is ideally suited to address these inequities and lead higher education in the purveyance of a welcoming and inclusive academic environment for all by all.
With this in mind, in 2013 — some three years before equity and inclusion issues exploded on campuses around the country — Cal State Fullerton made a commitment to decrease the achievement gap, leverage our diversity to prepare all students for participation in a global society, and increase faculty and staff diversity. Since then, we eliminated the achievement gap for transfer students, decreased the achievement gap by 3 percentage points for first-time freshmen, facilitated a 20 percent improvement in six-year graduation rates, and hired 163 tenure-track faculty members whose diversity better aligns with the student body.
Cal State Fullerton is hard at work building upon these achievements and to create a campus environment where all differences are not only welcomed and embraced, but valued and harnessed for greater good of our community, the nation and beyond.
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); nationally accredited in art, athletic training, business, chemistry, communications, communicative disorders, computer science, dance, engineering, music, nursing, public administration, public health, social work, teacher education and theater. Designated as an Hispanic-Serving Institution.