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Summer 2003 CalBusiness  
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From the Dean

By the end of June, the US Supreme Court will have decided the fate of affirmative action programs in the nation’s universities by ruling in two cases that involve admissions policies at the University of Michigan’s undergraduate program and its law school. Whatever the outcome, the court’s decision will not affect admissions policies at the University of California and the Haas School. Our school is subject to Proposition 209, a state law passed by voters in 1996 that ended all preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

Both the impending court ruling and Prop. 209 were featured in recent Business Week stories on diversity at the nation’s business schools, with a focus on Haas. Whether or not you saw the articles, I want to give you the facts on the issues as they affect our school.
First, diversity is an important value at the Haas School, and one that I fully support. I pledge to do everything I can do within UC policy and California state law to ensure that Haas achieves a diverse and excellent student body, faculty, and staff. It is beneficial for our students to learn in a campus community that exposes them to all the elements of diversity that they will find in the working world. We are stronger because of a variety of talents and abilities, of work experiences, of educational and personal backgrounds. And we are enriched by men and women, people of every race and ethnic background, religious affiliation, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, life experiences, business backgrounds, educations… every way in which each of us is unique.

This issue has been in the spotlight recently because the school has had to change its association with the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM), a national group that offers networking and scholarships to underrepresented minorities who apply to MBA programs. The change was necessary because of an opinion issued by the UC Office of Legal Counsel, which found the school’s affiliation with CSGM was not in compliance with state law. The Consortium acted to exclude Haas from continued membership before we had an opportunity to explore ways to restructure the relationship. I remain hopeful that something can be worked out.

I have submitted a proposal to CSGM seeking “associate status” and suggesting ways for Haas to work with the group while still complying with California law. For example, the Consortium provides scholarships to minority MBA students from its own funds, and from funds provided by business schools that are members of the group. By law, Haas is not permitted to provide its own funds to these scholarships because they are based on race. However, if the sources of funds for Consortium scholarships at Haas came from outside the university, there is no legal impediment to those scholarships being administered at Haas. The key is that the source of the funds be from an entity outside the university. I have also suggested that alumni or students could serve on the Consortium Board where an official representative of the Haas School formerly had been serving, so long as the representative was not a formal designee of the school.

In addition, I have also launched a major expansion of the Haas School’s scholarships awarded to students who have overcome substantial barriers to achieve the record of accomplishment that entitles them to admission to the Haas School.

Finally, I have just formed three new groups at the school that will help us work through the issues of achieving and welcoming diversity at Haas. The groups include a permanent committee to review and make recommendations on all aspects of race as they affect students, including policies on admissions and scholarships, curriculum, mentoring, and alumni relationships. Panel members will include students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The other groups include a faculty task force to deal with barriers to the hiring and advancement of faculty on the basis of race and gender, and a staff committee to review issues of race and national origin that affect Haas staff members. (A staff committee regarding gender had already been constituted and has issued its recommendations.)

I would like to hear your thoughts on all aspects of this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly and I will benefit from your advice.

With kind regards,

Tom Campbell
BankAmerica Dean

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Tom Campbell

Tom Campbell
BankAmerica Dean

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