The mission of Occidental College is to provide a gifted and diverse group of students with a total educational experience of the highest quality — one that prepares them for leadership in an increasingly complex, interdependent and pluralistic world. (Oxy website)
“We have to be truthful, on some level, about our commitment to diversity, and we are very diverse … If you’re looking for schools like Occidental, you won’t find more than two schools with more diversity than us. People would die to have the diversity that we have in place.” –Jorge Gonzalez (bold added, accessed Aug. 9, 2013)
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Diversity was the only criteria for which Occidental College reached a position in the top ten lists of US News and World Report; this was in 1998 when it ranked number one. Now in 2013, Occidental College, in the same category, has declined and is tied for the number 12 spot.
Integral to the mission of equity and diversity is faculty composition. Currently in 2013, 71% of the faculty remains Caucasian; 12% Asian; 10% Latino/a; 7% African-American. Is this the diversity people would die for?
In 1979, there was a lone African-American woman; in the fall of 2013, there are three. Is this progress?
* Sources: Beams Team Summer Academy Findings: Recommendations for Latino/a Retention, Sept. 2004; Occidental College, 2013.
At the height of equity in the mid- to late 1990s, incoming classes were over 50% students of color. Currently, it has dropped to approximately 37%. Is this progress? Is this the diversity people would die for?
* Source: 2005 Diversity Scorecard Report to Pres. Ted Mitchell.