News | 26 June 2017

UC Santa Cruz to launch first-generation faculty campaign


Three first generation college graduates

By Matthew Renda

Universities are driven by metrics. They track graduation and retention rates and the number of graduates who secure employment within their field of study.

But public institutions are increasingly focused on another key metric—the degree to which they enable upward mobility.

For many professors, administrators, and outside commentators, it is vital that U.S. higher education afford people from lower income households, and from traditionally underrepresented ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, equitable educational opportunities.

“It is one of the most important things that the United States should be doing in the 21st century,” said interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Martin Berger. “In order to unlock the full potential of the country, you need to do more than educate the same elite population generation after generation. Doing so limits our ability to innovate and problem solve. The more heterogeneous our approach, the more creative our solutions.”

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