UC President Outlines Actions in Response to Campus Racism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 04:05:00 PM

University of California President Mark Yudof at a Board of Regents meeting last week outined a series of actions to address recent racist incidents on campus. 

Black students at UC Berkeley staged a silent protest last month to stand in solidarity with their peers at UC San Diego, where an off-campus event mocking Black History Month and other incidents created tension among different student groups. 

The Berkeley students also complained about racist incidents on their own campus, calling for reform in a letter to their Chancellor, Robert Birgeneau. 

Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley was sent to UCSD to advise the president on campus race relations. 

In prepared remarks to the regents March 24, Yudof detailed a series of actions either already in place or soon to be carried out to quell instances of intolerance on UC campuses. 

“We must—and we will—deal with the causes of the offending behaviors, both the immediate and the underlying,” Yudof said. 

He promised to continue working with students to develop appropriate campus hate crime legislation. He also asked campus authorities to cooperate with criminal investigations that resulted from any of the incidents, and also to determine whether any campus codes were violated. 

“The chancellors have done admirable work in addressing these issues with their campus communities,” Yudof said. “And all have my full support. We all know that what affects one UC campus affects us all. Similarly, where we see best practices that promote diversity and tolerance, chancellors will share information with their colleagues.” 

Yudof also issued a “clarion call” for alumni and other supporters of the university to privately launch an effort to raise scholarship funds that would support underrepresented minorities on UC campuses.  

He called for “adjustments to the admissions process to make it ‘more in-depth and fair’ and competent to generate a larger pool of applicants—-changes which will need to have input and oversight from the Academic Council and the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools.