New Vice Chancellor to ‘Wage War’ on Diversity Issues

    Frequenters of the Chancellor’s Complex may have noticed the
    arrival of a new neighbor last month — a fresh-faced woman sporting Sun Tzu’s
    The Art of War as a metaphor for the task she was hired to complete. According
    to the campus’ newest associate vice chancellor, Sandra Daley, her office is
    gearing up for a long-awaited war: one to change the impoverished state of
    diversity at UCSD.

    Daley recently succeeded theater professor Jorge Huerta as
    associate vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at UCSD, a dual position
    created by Chancellor Marye Anne Fox according to the recommendations of the
    Chancellor’s Diversity Council and the Senate-Administration Task Force on
    Underrepresented Faculty.

    As chief diversity officer, a position first held by UC
    President Robert C. Dynes while he was UCSD’s chancellor, Daley will act as the
    primary link between the campus community and its administration by gathering
    information for Fox regarding the state of campus diversity.

    To illustrate the goals of her new position, Daley carries
    around The Art of War, which she received in graduate school. She said she
    finds it a fitting itinerary for her position because she sees any change to
    the status quo as an act of war.

    “When we talk about equity, we are at war,” Daley said.
    “Society is a system and all systems seek to be at rest … So it resists
    change because that is not a state of rest. So if you want change, you have to
    go to war.”

    Daley relocated to her new post from UCSD’s School
    of Medicine
    , where she served as
    assistant dean of diversity and community partnerships, as well as a professor
    of pediatrics.

    “I stopped seeing patients and transferred that excitement
    and commitment to students,” she said.

    After only one month in office, Daley said she is just
    beginning to explore diversity as it stands at UCSD. Although she does not yet
    have any concrete goals, Daley plans to take a community-based approach to
    diversity issues, which she calls her trademark strategy.

    “We need diversity of thought,” Daley said. “We need
    diversity of action. We need diversity of experiences. And I think UCSD as a
    place is paying attention to it. We’re speaking; the students are speaking.”

    Daley highlighted UCSD’s progress in this field, offering
    student-supported scholarships aimed at promoting diversity such as the I
    Pledge Student Scholarship. In addition, the campus has many organizations and
    committees designed to promote tolerance, she said.

    Daley said her overarching goal is to create an inclusive
    atmosphere for all potential members of the UCSD community. She believes that
    the power to attract people comes from welcoming them into their new positions
    as students, faculty and staff members.

    A report recently released by the Ralph
    J. Bunch Center

    for African American Studies at UCLA criticized UCSD for its low enrollment of
    black students due to admissions policies that exclude students’ educational
    backgrounds.

    However, the number of black students admitted to the campus
    has been rising over the past nine years. For the entering class of 2011, 350
    black students were admitted. In addition, the percentage of underrepresented
    ethnic minorities was at its highest in 10 years, comprising 16.1 percent of
    admitted students.

    Daley said percentages of one ethnicity or another on campus
    are not her primary concern.

    “To create a diverse group of people … you don’t need a
    bunch of people who look like me or think like me,” Daley said. “All you need
    is enough diversity to feel like there is room for me.”

    Her next step is to engage UCSD community members to find
    out what students feel they need for their education and how to best facilitate
    the work of the staff and faculty. Daley said she believes community members
    already know the problems and the best way to approach them.

    “When you enter a community, just be quiet and listen,”
    Daley said. “You shut up and listen to the problems. You shut up and listen to
    the solutions. Then you ask, ‘What resources do I have to help?’”

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