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UC Merced Joins UC Chicano/Latino Advisory Council

March 21, 2019

Representatives from UC Merced have joined President Janet Napolitano’s newly formed Chicano/Latino Advisory Council for the University of California.

Founding faculty member Professor Rudy Ortiz, chair for the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the School of Natural Sciences, and Andrés Hernández, director of Inclusive Research and Academic Opportunities in the Office of Research and Economic Development, accepted the invitation to serve on the UC Office of the President’s inaugural council. All 10 UC campuses will be represented and the council will meet quarterly.

The council will advise Napolitano and UC Provost Michael T. Brown on a broad range of issues including:

  • Pathways to leadership positions for Chicano/Latino faculty, administrators and students;
  • Preparation, access, recruitment and retention of Chicano/Latino undergraduate and graduate students;
  • UC efforts to diversify the faculty and staff; and
  • Opportunities for greater university engagement with Chicano/Latino communities and stakeholders of California.

In 2010, UC Merced was designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, certifying an enrollment of full-time undergraduate students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. The UC Merced student population is nearly 55 percent Hispanic.

“Our campus community has a place at the table to discuss general UC issues, but also those that affect our campus and students directly,” Hernandez said, citing his and Ortiz’ commitment to promoting UC Merced and its students, faculty and staff.

UC Merced campus demographics will provide valuable input, data and recommendations to the council that can have lasting effects for generations of underrepresented people, he said.

“Our institution is unique in our region, culture, communities, people, and the fact that we are a new and growing campus serving the San Joaquin Valley,” Hernandez said. “These characteristics provide a unique platform by which we can advise the president and provost to advance the purpose of the advisory council.”