Anderson School of Management forms diversity position
By Tarini Kumar
March 13, 2014 1:33 a.m.
The UCLA Anderson School of Management recently approved a new diversity and student inclusion position in a continued effort to increase racial and gender diversity at the school.
Jessica Kimball, a graduate business administration student, was appointed by officials as the Anderson Student Association vice president of diversity and inclusion in late February.
The position is the first at Anderson to serve as a liaison between the administration and student identity groups, such as African American Students in Management and the International Business Association.
Kimball said she approached officials with a proposal to create this position in early February because she thought the issue of ethnic and gender diversity needed to be addressed as a combined effort between the students and the administration.
“I felt that it was important to have a student representative to strive to unite these efforts and show that we, the students, are equally committed to unity,” Kimball said.
Before joining Anderson, Kimball was the program director at the UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders, a fellowship program for historically underrepresented undergraduates who are interested in business.
Kimball said she thinks there needs to be more ethnic and gender diversity at Anderson.
Women make up 34 percent of Anderson’s full-time graduate business administration class of 2015 and 30 percent of the class is minorities students.
Kimball said she wants to increase the number of women and underrepresented students in classrooms and will work in coalition with students from various Anderson student identity groups to discuss ways to increase the number of women and underrepresented students at Anderson.
Some students at Anderson said they thought that the goals outlined by Kimball need to be addressed.
Kunal Gupta, a graduate business administration student from India, said he would like to see an increase in racial diversity and the number of women in Anderson’s classrooms. He said he thinks varied perspectives have contributed to his gaining a more informed global business outlook.
Some other students said they thought there should be limits to how campus officials achieve their diversity goal.
Alejandra Rodriguez, a graduate business administration student from Mexico, said she thinks ethnicity and gender should not influence Anderson’s admissions policy.
“They should just select the most qualified candidates,” Rodriguez said.
Kimball will work with Kimberly Freeman, assistant dean for diversity initiatives and community relations at the Anderson School, to strengthen Anderson’s relationship with professional and community outreach efforts such as the Management Leadership for Tomorrow and Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.
UCLA is currently searching for a candidate to fill theVice Chancellor positionthat UCLA Chancellor Gene Block created to address diversity, equity and inclusion nearly four months ago. Block decided to create the position after an internal report indicated that UCLA’s policies and procedures dealing with claims of racial discrimination among faculty were insufficient.