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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
The Quest

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Q: What can you tell us about the chancellor’s recent decision to enhance faculty diversity?

A: The chancellor has allocated additional faculty positions that will be a great help as I work with the deans, chairs and directors to meet UCLA’s diversity goals. As associate vice chancellor, I have to consider the diversity needs of the entire campus. I have an annual budget that I leverage to enable hires and retentions.

Lately, I have been focusing on how to increase diversity in areas with an underrepresentation of women and minorities — in particular, the sciences. We have African-American and Latino graduate students in the sciences who have received STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grants from the National Science Foundation. We are interested in attracting science faculty members to UCLA who have a commitment to and history of mentoring a diverse pool of graduate students so that we can increase the pool of students in these fields.

These new faculty positions will not, in any way, solve the problem, but they are — in these budget times — a significant commitment in the right direction.

Q: You seem to be involved in many different areas.

A: Supporting diversity isn’t just about hiring faculty. It’s about building a welcoming environment where all faculty want to come and stay. We have difficulty competing with salaries that the elite private universities offer. So UCLA has to be a place that supports faculty interests, recognizes their contributions and welcomes them into its community of scholars. Accomplishing all this is a large task. And we obviously cannot move as quickly as I and others might want us to. But we are making progress. One day we won’t need my position any longer, because enhancing diversity in all aspects of the campus community will be occurring spontaneously.

Cynthia Lee is associate editor of UCLA Magazine.

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