News coming out of other Higher Education Campuses is very interesting to our work on diversity and inclusion. In this section, we highlight the efforts of Rice University, USC, and UCSD in promoting racial equity on their campuses as examples for MIIS in moving forward.
Rice University to offer free tuition to low-income and middle-income undergraduate students
Regarded as a “‘bold step’ in making education at Rice [University] accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds”, President David Leebron has enacted an initiative to offer free tuition for students from low- and middle-income family backgrounds starting in Fall 2019. Under this initiative, US students with a total family income of less than $130,000 a year who are seeking an undergraduate degree at the university will not pay tuition. If the incoming student’s family income is less than $65,000, the university plans actually to subsidize their education, providing aid to cover school fees, as well as room and board. As tuition continues to rise, Rice’s administration sees this as the opportunity to continue offering access to higher education for all students. “Talent deserves opportunity,” President Leebron says, launching a $150 million fundraising campaign to support the initiative.
USC Race and Equity Center Unveils PRISM
As many faculty of color on campuses across the United States have already recognized, it can be an isolating experience being a minority in higher education. Dr. Shaun R. Harper of the Race and Equity Center at USC responded by creating PRISM. PRISM is an online platform for people of color who are faculty, administrators and career-switching professionals where they can “create profiles, search for jobs, form or join virtual groups and access professional learning sessions and resources.” His hope is that the platform can foster mentorships between people of color in higher education, thereby setting them up for success in the future. The center also hopes that PRISM can help universities move from passive promises of hiring more people of color to recruiting them actively, using the platform to market their open positions specifically for professionals of color. Subscription is free for individual members, while institutions will pay a small fee to fund the platform. For more information, visit PRISM at https://race.usc.edu/prism/.
Welcoming California’s Fastest Growing Population — UC San Diego launches the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative
In California, 55% of K-12 students are Latinx/Chicanx, meaning that our next generation of students will be as well. Amongst bans on Mexican American studies, the University of California, San Diego is, instead, actively preparing for these students by promoting culturally-responsive programming for the Latinx/Chicanx community. The Office for Equity, Diversion and Inclusion at UCSD has named this the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative, aiming to encompass the entire campus in programs for the Latinx/Chicanx community. Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla hopes that this will change the campus for the better. “Imagine a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multilingual community, all together at UC San Diego learning from each other, challenging each other about what the world’s going to look like,” Chancellor Khosla says. “The Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative brings us closer to defining this vision for our university.” The university is also hoping soon to be named a national Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) through this initiative.