President J. W. Peltason
July 24, 1995
I would like to clarify a few points about the two resolutions adopted by The Regents at their meeting last Thursday, July 20. These resolutions prohibit the use of race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin as criteria for admission to the University or in its employment and contracting practices, effective in January of 1997 for admissions and in January of 1996 for employment and contracting.
Obviously, we will comply with the resolutions approved by the Board. It is important to make clear at the outset, however, that they have to do with means, not with goals. As the resolutions adopted by The Regents explicitly recognize, our goal as a university remains what it has long been, which is to reflect within our community California's diverse population. We are committed to diversity as both a powerful tool in educating our students for the world in which they must make their personal and professional lives, and as an essential way of meeting our responsibility to prepare future leaders for California's diverse society. To this end, we will acclerate our outreach efforts.
It is also important to note that the resolutions contemplate that no changes will be made in contracting and employment until January 1996, and in admissions until January 1997. This provides us with ample time for appropriate consultation and orderly planning.
In the meantime, I am taking the following actions:
We are looking into what effect the resolution on contracting and employment will have on the University's programs. Few significant changes are likely, however, because UC's employment and contracting programs are governed by State and federal laws, regulations, executive orders, and the U. S. Constitution, and our practices historically have been and will continue to be in compliance with these various laws and requirements. Further, the resolution adopted by The Regents explicitly stipulates that the University will continue to comply with any federal or State requirements necessary to maintain our eligibility for federal and State funds.
I intend to begin immediately the process of working with the Chancellors and the faculty to determine how we can make the changes called for by the Board's action with respect to undergraduate, graduate, and professional admissions, the area in which we expect the most change to result from adoption of
The Regents' resolutions. Since the resolution on admissions
requires no change until January of 1997, we therefore have 18 months in which to work out how we will implement the resolution.
In consultation with the Chairman of the Board, I will also take prompt action, as called for in the resolution on admissions, to appoint a task force representing the University, the business community, students, other education segments, and other organizations engaged in helping underrepresented minority and other students prepare for a college or university education. The purpose of this task force is to determine new directions in academic outreach and to seek expanded funding for outreach efforts. This is a welcome step, and the task force will be organized soon so it can begin its work.
The only changes to be made now, either in employment and contracting or in admissions, are those I announced in the statement sent to The Regents on July 10. In brief, these changes are:
UCLA and Berkeley will institute a more comprehensive review of undergraduate applicants' background and qualifications.
UC Davis and UC Irvine have discontinued the practice of granting admission to all eligible underrepresented students who apply.
We have modified the Target of Opportunity Program so that, first, it will no longer be used to reserve faculty positions solely for the hiring of underrepresented minority and women faculty, as has been the case on some campuses. Second, a search can be waived to hire any faculty members whose presence would significantly enhance the quality of the faculty.
We have taken action to ensure that all of our Management Fellowships and similar development programs are not restricted to women or minority applicants but are open to all staff.
And I have asked the University's General Counsel, James E. Holst, to assess all of our business activities in light of the recent Supreme Court decision and the Board's resolution, and to come back with specific recommendations if in his judgment any of them need to be modified.
The Chancellors, the Vice Presidents and other University Officers, and I will be working together in the months ahead to make the necessary changes in our programs and to seek new ways to strengthen the University's diversity. I will keep the
University community, The Regents, and the public informed about
our progress.