Dear Bruin Community:
This past April, the University of California announced the Native American Opportunity Plan, which will ensure that in-state tuition and fees for California students from federally recognized Native American tribes are fully covered by grants or scholarships. The initiative was developed as a part of UC’s larger efforts to advance student diversity and inclusive excellence.
Building upon this moment is vital. As we endeavor to attract Native American and Pacific Islander students to UCLA, we also must deepen our commitment to supporting their academic success and well-being. As a leading public university and a land grant institution, UCLA’s future is connected to its past. We acknowledge the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Channel Islands) and pay our respect to Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging. We celebrate our current and future respectful engagement with the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples.
In this spirit, we are proud to announce the Native American and Pacific Islander Bruins Rising Initiative, which aims to promote lasting change, deepen our support for UCLA’s Native American and Pacific Islander communities, and positively impact our campus.
Developed in collaboration with UCLA’s American Indian and Pacific Islander x Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Group, this initiative will provide a comprehensive approach to furthering equity and inclusivity through efforts to diversify and support our student, faculty and staff populations. As part of the initiative, we are announcing the following initial commitments, grouped into three themes:
- Advance UCLA’s intellectual community devoted to Native American and Pacific Islander peoples
- Increase the number of faculty whose scholarly work — teaching, research and/or mentoring — addresses Native American and/or Pacific Islander experiences over the next seven years, with a goal of achieving a gain of at least eight faculty by the 2028–29 academic year. Among these we will allocate FTE for faculty hiring at the senior level. Resources will be allocated for successful faculty retention as necessary.
- From this growth, provide one FTE for the American Indian Studies Center and one FTE for the Asian American Studies Center (for a scholar in Pacific Islander Studies) for searches to commence in the 2022–23 academic year.
- Provide support for post-doctoral scholars and graduate fellowships.
- Support inclusive and equitable student experiences
- Support inclusive and successful academic student experiences for Native Americans and Pacific Islanders at UCLA.
- Work with the Office of Student Affairs to identify space for Native American and Pacific Islander student resource centers, with a goal of establishing a resource center for each community in the future.
- Work with UCLA admissions staff to augment outreach efforts to prospective Native American and Pacific Islander students, in collaboration with undergraduate, graduate and professional school student organizations.
- Provide meaningful support for staff
- Engage adequate staff support for new efforts associated with this initiative.
- Engage departments to work with UCLA Campus Human Resources and UCLA Health Human Resources to support salary equity and professional advancement opportunities for Native American and Pacific Islander staff.
- Provide new FTE for staff, which could include a new diversity coordinator.
- Invest in appropriate education for staff and managers to provide expertise needed to support efforts associated with this initiative.
We are grateful to those at UCLA and in our broader community who helped formulate these commitments, and are eager to see the ways in which they will help expand and deepen our support for Native American and Pacific Islander communities on our campus. Thank you all for your engagement in these critical efforts.
Gene D. Block
Michael S. Levine
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost