Applicant Diversity Statements

Applicant Diversity Statements*

California is famous for its cultural and ethnic diversity. And as a public institution, the University of California is committed to promoting and serving our state’s citizenry by educating our diverse student body and responding to the pressing needs of our diverse society.   As stated in UC Regents Policy 4400:

“The diversity of the people of California has been the source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments throughout the state’s history into the present. Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.

“Because the core mission of the University of California is to serve the interests of the State of California, it must seek to achieve diversity among its student bodies and among its employees. The State of California has a compelling interest in making sure that people from all backgrounds perceive that access to the University is possible for talented students, staff, and faculty from all groups. The knowledge that the University of California is open to qualified students from all groups, and thus serves all parts of the community equitably, helps sustain the social fabric of the State.

“Diversity should also be integral to the University’s achievement of excellence.”

UC Santa Cruz requires a diversity statement from any candidate being considered for a Senate faculty position, to allow evaluation of their past and potential contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. The statement should address the candidate’s vision for contributing actively to diversity, equity, and inclusion at UC Santa Cruz through their research, teaching, and/or service. As relevant, the statement should also detail the candidate’s past contributions through research, teaching, and/or service.

University policy states that a candidate's race, gender, ethnicity or other personal characteristics may not be considered in the evaluation of academic appointments. However, search committees can consider past or proposed contributions to diversity as part of the overall review process.


What is the purpose of a Diversity Statement?

According to University of California academic personnel policy , to preserve and foster the quality of UC as one of the nation’s leading public institutions, peer review committees are expected to evaluate the contributions to diversity of all faculty in view of the critical need for equity and excellence.

 “In addition to research, teaching, and general professional and public service, service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications. Examples include, but are not limited to, developing strategies for the educational or professional advancement of students in underrepresented groups; efforts to advance equitable access and diversity in education; and activities such as recruitment, retention, and mentoring or advising of underrepresented students or new faculty.” -- APM 210-1-d

 The purpose of the statement is to identify candidates who have professional skills, experience, and/or willingness to engage in activities that would enhance campus diversity and equity efforts. 


What should be included in a Diversity Statement?

The Contributions to Diversity Statement should describe your past experience, activities and future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with UC Santa Cruz’s mission to reflect the diversity of California and to meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population. Some faculty candidates may not have substantial past activities. If that is the case, we recommend focusing on future plans in your statement.

If the statement references a candidate’s work with people from particular demographic groups, such as women or people of particular ethnic or racial backgrounds, it would be helpful for the statement to indicate the degree to which these groups are underrepresented in the candidate’s field.  If relevant, attention to their degree of underrepresentation at particular levels or ranks within the field (graduate student, assistant professor, etc.) would also be informative.

 Past Experience:  

Describe any past experience or background that has made you aware of challenges faced by historically underrepresented populations.

Past Activities:

  • Mentoring Activities: If you mentored students, post-docs, staff or faculty from underrepresented groups, describe the specific context and objective of the mentoring, including your personal efforts. Include details that may be relevant, including the number of people who benefited, duration, and outcomes (i.e., success and progress of mentees during and after mentoring, including employment, educational success, etc.).
  • Committee Service: If you served on a committee or board that focused on diversity, equity, climate and/or inclusion, describe the committee’s accomplishments and your role in helping achieve them. Include your position on the committee, its duration, and other relevant details.
  • Research Activities: If any of your theoretical or applied work addressed questions of diversity, equity and/or inclusion, describe the work and any impact or positive outcomes it has had on the university or broader community.
  • Teaching Activities: If you developed course content or pedagogy focused on diversity, equity, and/or inclusion, describe your approach, its context, and its impact on learning outcomes.
  • Other Activities: Describe the activity and its context (e.g. a specific conference or organization, student retention or outreach activity, course development to reach a specific group, outreach to a local school, or work with a diversity-related non-profit). What was your role and personal effort? How did these activities relate to campus or community needs?

Planned Activities:

The first step is to gather information on activities you would like to pursue while at UC Santa Cruz and how they might fit into the research area, department, campus, or national context. You may consider but are not restricted to current or ongoing campus activities.

For each proposed activity you include, describe the role you envision having and what you would like to accomplish in the next two to five years. Who would you like to engage in your efforts, and how would you plan to engage them? Be as specific as possible, but realistic in terms of your effort and time commitment.

If you are not sure how you can contribute to diversity while at UC Santa Cruz, you may discuss your philosophy of the value of diversity, and your commitment to working toward achieving equity and enhancing diversity as a UC Santa Cruz faculty member.


How are Diversity Statements used?

Candidates may be evaluated on their past and/or planned contributions to diversity during the selection process. The search committee, Dean, and Academic Senate may view the Contributions to Diversity Statement in combination with the entire application file.

Applications that do not include a Diversity Statement will not be forwarded to the search committee for consideration.


*sources: UC Santa Cruz Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity
and UC San Diego: