California Becomes First University System to Join STEMM Diversity Program

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JThe University of California system aims to end “systemic barriers” to minorities choosing to study science, technology, engineering, math and medicine, becoming the first higher education institution in join a system-wide diversity initiative that will affect thousands of students.

The STEMM Equity Achievement Change, or SEA Change, program will provide training and reference materials to “develop new strategies to reduce or remove barriers to access and undertake new research on faculty diversity and excellence inclusive” to foster “engagement with communities underrepresented in – and historically excluded from these fields,” the university system said.

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“This program continues our campuses’ intentional efforts to increase diversity and break down barriers to participation in STEMM,” University of California President Michael Drake said in a press release Tuesday. “SEA Change will strengthen our work to train, recruit and retain a diverse faculty, which will ensure that UC continues to be a leader in high-caliber medical expertise, cutting-edge research and education. outstanding while reflecting California’s rich diversity. UC looks forward to working with [the American Association for the Advancement of Science] on this important effort.

The university did not specify at what “institutional barriers” these “underrepresented communities, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and professionals with disabilities, as well as people from lower socio-economic and first-generation backgrounds”, are confronted.

Other universities that have adopted the SEA Change program, launched in 2018, include the University of Florida, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Dallas.

A system-wide group for California will be assembled through the SEA Change Awards process and trained over its next three fiscal years. Each of the 10 California campuses will be represented through a recruitment they will lead.

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The university system announced it was entering the diversity initiative the same day it was reported to have paid a record $700 million settlement to hundreds of women who say they were abused by a linked gynecologist at one of the schools, marking the largest sexual abuse settlement on record for a public university.

The University of California did not respond to the Washington Examiner request for comment.

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