July 2020

In September 2019, the university formed a Graduate Student Diversity Task Force to assess, develop, and implement a coordinated campuswide strategy to expand the diversity of the Berkeley graduate student body. Over the past nine months, this committee has evaluated evidence-based research and set forth preliminary recommendations —both broad and specific —to increase the enrollment of underrepresented, low socioeconomic status, and first-generation graduate students and to improve the campus experience and academic outcomes for underrepresented graduate students across all of our graduate programs.

Acknowledgements

We use “diversity” broadly to refer not only to underrepresented demographics and protected classes, but also to be inclusive of the experiences of disabled students, LGBTQ+ students, undocumented students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and first-generation college students.

There are already many dedicated faculty, staff, and students who are working to address many of the issues we raise and implement strategies we recommend. We hope to further build on their successes and raise the bar across campus.

Finally, while most of the recommendations are geared towards central campus administration and departments, the Academic Senate has significant policy and cultural influence on campus and thus must be a critical stakeholder should the university aim to achieve its goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Broad Recommendations

  1. Institute meaningful accountability mechanisms at the college, school and department level that improve the infrastructure, support, and assessment of climate for graduate students.
  2. Invest resources in programs, institutions, and initiatives that support academic preparation, retention, and holistic well-being.
  3. Articulate a consistent message of inclusivity and belonging that places diversity at the very heart of our academic excellence.