A California university is looking to slash its number of white students in a drive to boost diversity on campus.
California Polytechnic State University recently released a 30-page report which stated that it was hoping to reduce its percentage of white students from 55 per cent to less than 40 per cent.
The percentage of Caucasian students has already fallen from 63 in 2011, to 55 in 2017, but there is still much work to do,’ the report states.
The Diversity Action Initiatives document, which focuses on how to increase the numbers of students of color, states that the school plans on recruiting applicants heavily based on race.
Techniques include introducing new scholarships ‘aimed at recruiting more African-American and other underrepresented minorities’ and working to recruit low-income and first-generation students from high schools with a high percentage of minority students.
They were also working on boosting the number of faculty members of color – the university has received $150,000 from the Cal State University system ‘for a cluster hire of up to 10 faculty positions that focus on diversity and inclusion in a variety of scholarly areas throughout the university’s six colleges.’
Cal Poly SLO has also eliminated applicants’ ability to apply in Early Decision because the report stated it ‘disadvantaged low-income students.’ Early Decision students enjoy better admissions odds at their first-choice colleges but have to accept that school’s financial aid package – even if a better offer would have come along from another university.
Cal Poly SLO was especially focused on increasing diversity in ‘traditionally male-dominated majors’ such as STEM and Architecture and Environmental Design.
Other initiatives that are being proposed are ‘pre-enrollment diversity training for new first-year and transfer students’ as well as mandatory diversity training for Cal Poly ambassadors because ‘unconscious biases could inadvertently come into play’ when they gave tours, The College Fix reports.
News of the report came shortly after Donald Trump’s administration announced it was rescinding multiple policies by former President Barack Obama which encouraged race as a factor in college admissions as a way to increase diversity in schools.
A joint letter by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Divisions stated that the seven Obama-era guidances went beyond legal limits and were ‘unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.’
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the HuffPost last week: ‘The Supreme Court has determined what affirmative action policies are Constitutional, and the Court’s written decisions are the best guide for navigating this complex issue,’ DeVos said. ‘Schools should continue to offer equal opportunities for all students while abiding by the law.’