The University of California Board of Regents appointed Yvette Gullatt to the new position of vice provost for diversity and engagement on Jan. 21.
In the new position, Gullatt, a UC Berkeley alumna, is tasked with coordinating efforts to promote diversity and inclusion across the system. She has also been working as the UC’s vice provost for educational partnerships, which aims to increase access to higher education for underrepresented students.
In the last year, the UC and UCLA have specifically said they are working to improve their administrative mechanisms to address discrimination reports and increase diversity on campus. Daily Bruin reporter Amanda Schallert talked with Gullatt on Wednesday about her goals for the year and her thoughts on the University’s current diversity.
Daily Bruin: What are your specific goals for the coming year?
Yvette Gullatt: I want us to have an overarching accountability framework for the University. I want to make sure that what we are doing is well-understood by the University community and others … that we understand our assets and our accomplishments and that our diversity assets are seen as a benefit by the University. I think part of that is … assessing our progress in routine ways.
DB: You said you wanted to see a routine assessment – do you plan to initiate any surveys?
YG: I hope we do. … I mean it’s one of the recommendations of the University study group on diversity that was conducted a couple of years ago that we are constantly assessing campus climate.
DB: Do you plan to initiate a report or an investigation in the next year?
YG: The campuses are already in the midst of (studying) the campus climate study that was already done. (The campuses) are studying that data. … We want to look at all of that work and see what progress we are making.
DB: Do you have any plans to look at that information altogether at the UC level?
YG: Each campus is responsible for doing analysis. … I imagine we’ll have an aggregation of (the data) once (they’re) complete.
DB: When do you think that will be?
YG: I don’t know. We started our work on Monday, so there’s a lot I still have to learn.
DB: Have you ever personally experienced discrimination?
YG: I am an African American woman. … I have had experiences where I think there have been biases or interpretations or ways of judging me, my performance and who I am that have had an impact on what opportunities have been available to me.
As you advance through the University, it becomes more challenging, and you confront different kinds of people. … I certainly walk into rooms where I might be the only African American woman. I might be the only African American person, so then my positions and my perspectives and how I put my voice in the room are all determined by that role I play.
DB: When do you expect to have a plan more hashed out to improve the pipeline?
YG: You’ll need to give me a few months. It’s a big system.
DB: In response to the Moreno report, UC President Janet Napolitano issued requirements for each campus last school year. How are those going so far?
YG: I would have to get back to you on the specifics for that one. I would have to do some background work for you on that.
DB: Do you plan to unify different diversity and discrimination-reporting policies across UC campuses?
YG: I think it would depend on what we learn from the individual campus discrimination reports. It’s hard to predict that in advance because we don’t know what the content is just yet. … You might end up with a systemwide policy, you might determine … that local policy is sufficient. It’s not always a given that there is a systemwide policy.
DB: Do you know how much money and manpower your office will have?
YG: I don’t know entirely just yet. … We’re still working out the details of that.
Compiled by Amanda Schallert, Bruin senior staff.