The University of California, San Diego has announced the launch of the Black Academic Excellence Institute. The goal of the initiative is to increase the number of Black students and faculty on campus and to make the campus environment more welcoming to African Americans. The latest U.S. Department of Education data shows that African Americans are just one percent of the 25,000-member undergraduate student body.
As one facet of the initiative, the university will seek funds for the privately administered Black Alumni Scholarship Fund so that more Black students can afford to enroll at the university. Academic support services on campus for underrepresented students have been enhanced.
Becky Petitt, vice chancellor of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, San Diego, stated that “diversity improves the depth and breadth of the academic experience for the entire campus community. We believe strongly that black students and faculty — both groups that have been historically underrepresented at UC San Diego — can benefit from and add to UC San Diego’s rich teaching and learning environment.”
Dr. Petitt joined the staff at the university last year. Previously, she was associate vice president for diversity at Texas A&M University. Dr. Petitt is a graduate of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and holds both a master’s and doctorate in education from Texas A&M University.
Below is a video announcing the initiative’s launch: