By Joel Cruz |Staff Writer|
CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales was presented with a special resolution by the Association of Latino Faculty, Staff and Students in support of his commitment to diversity during the organization’s annual winter celebration.
The resolution recognized Morales’s efforts in establishing the Office of Diversity as well as the university’s new Strategic Plan, which will serve as a guideline that will take CSUSB from 2015 to 2020.
“By the year 2020, we would like to see a four-year graduation rate of 15 percent or higher and six-year graduation rate of 50 percent or higher,” stated Morales in an email.
“Even more exciting, we want to reduce the graduation achievement gap between traditionally underrepresented segments of the college student population and non-underrepresented segments to zero percent,” continued Morales.
The strategic plan, which was adopted by CSUSB in May of 2015, focuses on five strategic goals, along with a clarification of the campus’ mission, vision and core values.
“The Strategic Plan began with a vision: CSUSB will be a model for transforming lives. As we asked ourselves how to achieve this, it was clear that inclusivity must be a core value,” stated Morales.
Along with the plan, Morales’ commitment to diversity was also honored.
“Our two co-chief diversity officers, Jacqueline Hughes and César Portillo, are enhancing our efforts to build a diverse faculty and staff at CSUSB,” said Morales. “This means helping everyone understand why recruiting diverse candidates for new positions is important.”
A total of 18,952 students enrolled for the Fall quarter of 2015 compared to 16,400 enrolled in the Fall quarter of 2010, according to the CSUSB Office of Institutional Research.
This provides the campus with opportunities to reach out to the diverse population through various clubs and organizations such as ALFSS and the University Diversity Committee.
“The University Diversity Committe ensures that diversity is an ongoing part of the campus dialogue, through training sessions, workshops, campus events, and a wonderful guest speaker series,” said Morales.
“I do think there is enough diversity on campus,” said student Marie Valenzuela. “I feel like our campus does an excellent job at exhibiting a strong presence of diversity on campus.”
Despite the growing number of students attending CSUSB, some students believe that there is not enough diversity on campus.
“Being an African-American senior, I noticed from the time I started to now, the number of African-American students has decreased,” said student Devon Dean. “It’s to the point that I’m placed with nervousness to raise my hand to ask a question because I’d be the only color in class.”
A total of 1,247 African-American students enrolled for the Fall 2014 quarter, compared to 2,077 enrolled for the Fall 2008 quarter, according to the CSUSB Office of Institutional Research.
“I am a big believer in keeping diversity issues front and center in order to foster a safe and inclusive culture for everyone who studies and works here,” said Morales.
“I should add that our aim is not to view ourselves as members of isolated communities within CSUSB. I am confident that the common objectives shared by all-including respect, dignity and fairness can be the hallmarks of this campus,” concluded Morales.