Oxy vs. LA?

We’re urban—we won’t suddenly wake up to find ourselves in a cornfield in Iowa. (Jonathan Veitch, “Rolling in the Deep,” Occidental Magazine, Summer 2012)

The atmosphere is, in a word, idyllic –students visit and never want to leave. Somehow the L.A. traffic seems miles away, though the city is really just outside our door. An urban oasis if there was one. (bold added; Oxy website)

• • • • •

Occidental College is one of a handful to be located in a major urban environment. In addition to the mission, Oxy’s location places it above its peers. This is acknowledged by the Oxy administration. Then, why does it seek to insulate Oxy from the diversity and richness of Los Angeles?


LOS ANGELES: a global city with 28% Caucasian and 70% people of color

OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: 71% Caucasian faculty and 29% faculty of color.

Compare this with the percentage of Caucasian faculty at:

  • Kenyon College:  Gambier, Ohio, 76%
  • Whitman College: Walla Walla, Washington, 68%
  • Pomona College: Claremont, California, 65%
  • Bates College: Lewiston, Massachusetts, 75%
  • Ft. Lewis College: Durango, Colorado, 74%
  • Carleton College: Northfield, Minnesota, 75%

Walla Walla, Durango, Ohio, Oxy: all the same?

Fac Div by Campus & Community

So how is Occidental different from Iowa?


An urban oasis if there was one.”

National Imperative

Is Occidental really preparing our students for leadership in an increasingly complex, interdependent and pluralistic world?


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