Thursday, December 22, 2011

Equity and access at UC Berkeley

Promising "disruptive progress," the engineering college at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, has named an associate dean, Oscar Dubon, for equity and inclusion to help it increase the number of students and faculty members from underrepresented groups.

The college's first step will be to improve its "yield"—the percentage of students who actually enroll after being admitted into either the undergraduate or graduate engineering program. The Dean Sastry believes that more money would make a big difference. "Fellowship support is the primary factor in improving yield" at the graduate level, he says. Winning over high school students is more complicated, he admits, and the college plans to try everything from overnight visits to summer research experiences. The plan also discusses various approaches to improving student retention rates, as well as a long-term strategy for recruiting more minority and female faculty members.