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University of the Future, NOW! Arts Dean’s DEI Funding for Students

University of the Future, Now!

University of the Future Now! Grant Applications invite our students to imagine new institutions that do not yet exist– using this fund’s resources to create the university of the future.

Deadline to Apply: December 15, 2023

Apply HERE

The University of the Future Now! grants come from Dean Shimizu’s own start-up funds and they are $3000 grants for students to work on re-imagining and re-making our institution of higher education. These grants encourage our students to participate in the division’s aspirations to lead the nation in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) through the arts. All of our DEI action plans from every department and program are now published on our website, making clear our prioritization to all. 

A central question we are answering is what should be in place at UCSC now, in 2025, in 2030 and as the country becomes a majority of people of color in 2045? In fact, we are already here in California. At UCSC, our student body is 69% composed of Chicanx/Latinx, Asian American, African American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and multi-ethnic identities, yet student success and retention needs attention and representation in faculty and leadership still needs to improve. Our division’s success in securing major grants affirms our efforts in rethinking recruitment, retention and promotion of faculty as well as developing leaders in administration.

The overall DEI efforts in the division invite our departments and programs and faculty, staff and students to inventory their ongoing DEI issues and to conduct projects that fulfill the goals of ensuring an inclusive climate, diversifying the faculty, decolonizing the curriculum, and creating pipelines and career paths with and for underserved communities including recruiting and retaining a diverse staff and student body. 

Prompts to inspire our projects at the institutional level and our interpersonal relations include: What are your department /program’s long standing challenges with diversity, equity and inclusion? How are your interpersonal and structural relationships enabling our shared goals through our abundance of differences? 

We hope that students who apply to this program ask: What is your individual relationship and role in the university’s goals of diversity, equity and inclusion so no one faces obstacles to their research, career and education? What steps are you taking on in intellectually interrogating your own personal story and your institution’s history in investigating and generating impactful actions towards DEI? How does your work enable you to make interventions to advance our knowledge and articulate your needs for the university to reach its goals? What institutions do you wish to come into fruition to address the needs of our new demographic realities and relations? 

In crafting your project proposal, you must refer to the literatures and practices that inform your approach to your project. You may describe your experiences and struggles regarding diversity, equity and inclusion at the university and how you know yourself and your situation since our division has enacted its sweeping mandate to create solutions to address our fields’ and disciplines’ challenges? 


The proposal should be no longer than 1-2 pages (or up to 500 words on the application) and should address the following: 

  • Choose a specific problem of DEI that you wish to confront whether it is the lack of representation in the canon of your discipline that you wish to remedy, or a specific voice you wish to bring on campus, mentorship opportunities that do not yet exist, and more. 
  • What literatures enable you to address well your concerns regarding DEI? Reflect on how other scholars and artists help your analysis and how you arrived at your approach. 
  • What is your project—how are you offering to intervene in DEI problems within your studies or research/ practice? 
  • How is your specific method ideal to addressing the problem you identified?


The criteria for evaluating the funding proposal will be evidence of your deep and serious engagement of DEI problems at the university. How are you analyzing and addressing the specific problem? Is the approach you identified thorough and appropriate to the problem? What literatures (scholarship and creative work) are shaping your thinking?

Funds will be awarded as scholarships or fellowships through the financial aid portal.