Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.80
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Merced
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.92 / 3.00 De Acker
Director of Campus Climate
Office of Campus Climate
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and university policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access and treatment in University programs and activities.

Inquiries regarding the University’s student related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to Student Conduct staff in the Office of Student Live.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

The University of California, Merced does have a discrimination response policy. Any acts of discrimination can be reported to the Office of Campus Culture and Compliance. This office receives and responds to reports of bias, discrimination, hate crimes, as well as sexual violence incidents and ethics/compliance concerns. Individuals who have been the victim of, or witnessed discriminatory acts may submit a report, file a complaint, or seek resources and support through Office of Campus Culture and Compliance. Additionally, reports may also be made to the UC Merced Police Department and the Office of Student Conduct.

The Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form can be used to file a complaint on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.

There are several teams on campus who respond to incidents involving students, staff and faculty. The Student Response Team provides response and support to students of concern and students in crisis. The Case Management Team and Behavioral Intervention Teams respond to behavioral cases (including violence) involving students, staff, and faculty.

Students who are victims of, or witnesses to bias/hate related or discriminatory acts/incidents may receive support via the Counseling and Psychological Services office. Staff and Faculty may use the Employee Assistance Program for support. All community members may also seek support services through the Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE) office for incidents involving sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking, and the University Ombuds office to find out about reporting options and impacts.

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The campus recruits a significant number of students from the central valley, where UC Merced is located. The central valley is one of California's most underrepresented regions.

The following are programs offered by the campus to recruit underrepresented students:
*UC Merced Transfer Initiative Program (CU-TIP) is a first-generation, low-income transfer preparation initiative that provides both summer preparation programs and advising to students at community colleges.
*Vice Chancellor advocate for African American applicants – A staff member coordinates programs to recruit African American students in Sacramento area high schools.
*Recruitment efforts in partnership with UMOJA, MESA, and PUENTE at regional California Community Colleges. Activities include presentations, tabling, and appointments for targeted groups.
* One-time funds for LCFF++ schools – provides counselor visits, student group bus tours, promotional items and publications designed for URM’s.

The following is a faculty focused program. Led by UC Santa Barbara, with sub-awards to San Diego State University, CSU Channel Islands and UC Merced, the Center for Research, Excellence, and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS) is a program targeted at women and underrepresented minorities at the assistant professor and associate professor stages of their careers, in addition to nascent diverse scientific teams. It also targets Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Through a five-year program that targets institutional leadership and policy-making, as well as individual women and underrepresented minority faculty researchers in the UC and CSU systems, CREDITS will: a) strengthen Team Science leadership and membership capacity among women and underrepresented minority faculty members; b) provide evidence-based research that will influence higher education leaders in California to improve policies and activities related to hiring and promotion in STEM fields, and c) catalyze collaborations among diverse scientific teams among institutions in California, particularly HSIs.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The Office of Student Life supports student groups on campus focused on academic, cultural, and peer support for affinity groups. Examples of department programs include: Social Justice Initiatives (provides training's, workshops, discussions, and retreats for students, staff, and faculty around a broad spectrum of social justice issues), Women’s and LGBTQ Programming (provides training's, workshops, discussion series, and other events specifically in support of women and those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community). Student Clubs and Organizations (supports over 200 student led clubs and organizations), and Student Conduct. Student led clubs and organizations that support underrepresented groups include Black Student Union, Hermanas and Hermanos Unidos, Hmong Student Association, Muslim Student Association, Best Buddies, Lambda Alliance and several others.

The Calvin E. Bright Success Center at UC Merced also provides several programs that support underrepresented groups to include the Fiat Lux Scholars Program, the Guardian Program, and the DARTS Program.

The Fiat Lux Scholars Program at UC Merced serves to provide assistance and support to first-generation and income-eligible students at UC Merced through a structured system of resources and intrusive advising that promotes campus engagement, familiarizes participants with the culture of higher education, and motivates them to achieve academically and persist in College.

The Guardian Scholars Program provides a sustainable network of academic and personal support services that promote degree attainment for foster youth at UC Merced.

The Degree Attainment for Returning and Transfer Scholars, DARTS Program, provides support to transfer students who are often underserved in regards to the communication of resources, opportunities for mentorship, and social/networking opportunities. The DARTS program assists transfer students in acclimating to the university and locating necessary resources within it. The DARTS program also engages transfer students in the campus community while they prepare for their future in graduate studies, professional schools, and internships.

Student Affairs also provides support for veteran students and students with disabilities.

Staff have the CAMP program. https://hr.ucmerced.edu/Develop-Your-Career

The Staff and Faculty of Color Association was started in 2017. Sfca.ucmerced.edu The Staff and Faculty of Color Association at UC Merced (SFCA) provides opportunities for members to develop a sense of community and strengthen their professional and social networks. Memberships are prioritized to staff (excluding student staff members) and faculty members who identify as People of Color (people from historically marginalized backgrounds). The goal of the group is to empower staff and faculty to engage in conversation about campus climate issues and to foster professional development.

The Faculty Equity Advisors were developed to work with faculty during recruitments.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

The training program that most explicitly prepares members of underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members is our National Science Foundation funded AGEP grant. AGEP stands for Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, prepares graduate students for careers in the professoriate, and especially in institutions that highlight teaching as much as research. Our students are being mentored by faculty in the CSU system.

Please see
https://graduatedivision.ucmerced.edu/deans-corner/grants/nsf-agep for more information about this grant.

We also have President’s Dissertation Fellows, and they participate in many of the same professional development activities as President’s Postdoctoral Fellows. Contributions to a diverse faculty are a key factor in selection of fellows at both the dissertation and postdoctoral levels.

The campus also has four other training grants for doctoral students that give primacy to students from underrepresented and under-served populations—a NSF-funded National Research Training Innovations in Graduate Education grant in Interdisciplinary Computational Graduate Education, a NSF-funded National Research Training grant in Intelligent Adaptive Systems, a Center for Research Excellence in Science and Engineering (CREST) training grant in Cellular and Biomolecular Machinery, and a NASA funded training grant, Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES).

In addition, we participate in a NIH Bridges to the Doctorate program in the Biological and Behavioral Sciences and in Cal-Bridges, which is a CSU-UC systemwide program designed to bring underrepresented students into doctoral studies in physics and astronomy, and NSF CAHSI INCLUDES Alliance designed to increase the number of Hispanics going into careers (industry or academia) in computer science.

Beyond this, the campus also offers a professional development course in the fall for graduate students, dissertation bootcamp, fellowship writing workshops, peer mentorship, and summer bridge programs. Please see https://graduatedivision.ucmerced.edu/GRC for more information on all of these programs. Summer bridge is designed explicitly for members of underrepresented and under-served populations.

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.