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News Release

Campaign for College Opportunity

New report, Representation Matters, reveals increases in representation for women, Latinx in California higher education governing bodies but other groups, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders remain underrepresented.

Yesterday, the Campaign for College Opportunity released Representation MATTERS: California’s Higher Education Governing Bodies Still Do Not Reflect the Racial and Gender Diversity of California and Its Students, a report that examines the racial/ethnic and gender diversity of appointments to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the University of California (UC) Board of Regents, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees, and the California Student Aid Commission. The report reveals that although 71% of college students in our public colleges and universities are racially/ethnically diverse and 56% are female, that representation is not equitably reflected in California’s higher education governing bodies. The leaders who sit on these governing bodies make critical decisions, including hiring key leadership and faculty, setting budgets and allocating resources, developing policies on admissions, academics, athletics, and more.  

Among the report’s key findings:

  • There are no American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) representatives on any of California’s higher education governing bodies.
  • The California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the California State University Board of Trustees have equitable representation of women. However, women are significantly underrepresented in the University of California’s Board of Regents and in the California Student Aid Commission, which oversees the distribution of over $2.6 billion in financial aid through the Cal Grant program.
  • Only 25% of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors are Latinx, while 45% of the student body is Latinx.
  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) are significantly underrepresented on the University of California Board of Regents, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, and California Student Aid Commission
  • White men are significantly overrepresented on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees. 

Representation MATTERS analyzed Governor Newsom’s 32 appointments since assuming office in 2019 and found the following:

  • He has appointed an almost equal number of women (15) as men (17).
  • Among these 32 appointments, 11 are Latinx (34%), 10 are white (31%); seven are Black (22%), and three are AANHPI (9%).
  • He has not appointed any American Indian or Alaska Native leaders to any of these boards.

The Governor has five more pending or upcoming appointments by December 2022 and, if reelected, he will have 30 additional appointments during a second term in office.

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“Latinx, Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaska Natives, and white communities make up the fabric of our state and deserve to be represented in every place and space,” says Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “As a state, we deserve boards that reflect the wealth of diversity and experience of all Californians. Appointments are an opportunity to demonstrate a real commitment and recognition of the contributions that women and diverse leaders bring with them to our colleges and universities.”

“While there has been important progress by Governor Newsom in ensuring these governing bodies are more inclusive and reflective of our diverse state, there is still more to be done,” says Michele Siqueiros. “In a state where we value and appreciate the important contributions of Californians from all racial/ethnic backgrounds and recognize the value of women’s contributions, the Governor and our state leaders must appoint more women, Latinx, AANHPI and AIAN Californians, ensuring that no one is left out and that equity in all aspects of California higher education is a reality.”

Representation MATTERS is an update to our historic 2018 report, Left Out: California’s Higher Education Governing Boards Do Not Reflect the Racial and Gender Diversity of California and Its Student Body, and is the first in a series that will include analysis of college leaders, faculty, academic senates and local board of trustees for community college districts.

Click here to access the full report: Representation Matters: California’s Higher Education Governing Bodies Still Do Not Reflect the Racial and Gender Diversity of California and Its College Students

About The Campaign for College Opportunity

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a California bipartisan policy and research non-profit organization focused on a single mission: to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy. 

For more information, visit www.CollegeCampaign.org / Facebook.com/CollegeCampaign or follow @CollegeOpp.

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