On June 16, UC President Mark Yudof named the 17 members that will comprise his UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the group tasked with determining effective methods for maintaining tolerance and inclusiveness across the UC system.
Formed after acts of racial, religious and cultural discrimination shook several UC campuses, the council draws on the experience and varied perspectives of student, faculty and administrative representatives from the 10 campuses.
Members also include: Alice A. Huffman, president of the California NAACP, Uri D Herscher, president and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center, Henry Der, senior program officer of the Four Freedoms Fund, Imam Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs for the Islamic Center of Southern California and Shannon Price Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
The group, chaired by Yudof, will seek to identify “promising practices” from national and state universities conducive to preserving and strengthening diversity and equal opportunity for campus communities, according to a June press release.
“This council will bring us experience and reasonvoices that will help enrich our campus climate so that every single member of the UC community feels welcome, comfortable and safe,” said Yudof in the press release.
While appointed members will serve a three-year term, slated to end June 30, 2013, student members will serve until their graduation and will subsequently be replaced. The Council first met on June 30 and plans to coordinate their efforts with local Campus Climate Councils.
Teenie Matlock, associate professor of cognitive science and UC Merced affiliated member, said she felt the commitment of her fellow council members in addressing the challenges toward tolerance in light of the recent incidents.
While she expects the three-year effort will take time to coordinate and identify appropriate approaches to the issues, Matlock hopes that open communication will facilitate progress.
“We should ensure that all students feel included and feel their voices are heard,” Matlock said. “And that they’re valued regardless of color, race, sexual orientation or gender.”
The Advisory Council’s next meeting will occur in late October at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
LESLIE TSAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.