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Arts Division Statement of Equity and Diversity

Arts Division Statement of Equity and Diversity

A great educational institution lifts and inspires as a partner stakeholder in the community it cultivates. Its ideals and tenets must be broad and far-reaching; inclusive and expansive; subtle and durable; deft and compassionate in addressing the inherent human need to be valued and respected for who we are. Placing front and center concerns for equity, inclusivity, and diversity are indispensable to the vitality and the integrity of the educational mission and artistic life of the Arts Division at UC Santa Cruz. Leadership in the Arts Division advocates for and curates a vibrant campus culture of equal opportunity and fairness that celebrates difference, roots out injustice, and mediates power and status differentials while promoting personal agency and empowerment for all members of our community: faculty, staff and students. The priority is to foster a representative and supportive environment where access and excellence are mutually reinforcing values and within which individuals across all spectrums of society can thrive together and achieve their full potential in a climate free from fear, bias, discrimination, coercion, intimidation or harassment.

Art is a purveyor of the very essence of what it means to be human. At UC Santa Cruz we revere the artist as the purest vessel of that essence. To be at our richest in the possibilities of creative expression and to excel at all human endeavor in our community and in the culture at large, all voices must be heard from and no person or aesthetic, intellectual position or ideological perspective, should be privileged over another based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, culture, gender or non-gender conforming identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, creed, military service, marital choice, social or economic class, or status based on disproportionate power dynamics in our own community. Thus, diversity in the Arts Division at UC Santa Cruz is an aesthetic mission as well as a social one.

Through our commitment to equity and inclusion the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division fulfills its promise to be a leading arts and educational institution dedicated not only to artmaking excellence through experimentalism in form but also through great action, affirming that a multiplicity of aesthetics and perspectives is equally the hallmark of our exceptionalism and innovation. At UC Santa Cruz we recognize that a community anchored in social justice, social and cultural inclusion and access to opportunity maximizes creative potential and excellence, truly demonstrating what it means to be at the vanguard of the arts in the 21st century.

We are committed to providing equal access to and success in our programs for historically underrepresented students in the arts and in higher education through clear and direct action.  And we recognize the need to build the competencies in our students necessary to negotiate the complex human and social demands of our multifaceted world. We know that diversity in our classrooms enriches the educational experience and helps create a campus climate within which everyone feels welcome and empowered – and we must reinforce and articulate this truth at every opportunity. We also know that diversity demonstrated among the ranks of our administrators, faculty and staff effectively models learning experiences (both inside and outside the classroom) that help give our student artists, scholars and creative practitioners the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an increasingly pluralistic society. Moreover, just as our students energize our campus through their varied perspectives, so UC Santa Cruz arts graduates will reshape societal understandings and transform our future. That our campus leaders, faculty, staff and student constituencies must be diverse and culturally competent is not only an aspiration of the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, it is an existential imperative.

The UC Santa Cruz Arts Division supports initiatives to integrate diversity into curriculum content and methodology within the departments and divisional programs. We are committed to providing platforms and programming that allow for underrepresented and historically disempowered voices to be heard, to bring recommendations to address inequities to be acted upon across campus, to help equip students to live and act effectively in a complex and diverse world, and to support the recruitment, development and retention of a more inclusive and representative student body, faculty and staff. We support campus policies that affirm a commitment to an equitable and creative learning environment, and we assiduously work to ensure compliance with accreditation standards, and state and federal regulations (including Title IX).

January 2018

Prepared by Susan Solt, Dean of the Arts