Diversity at Haas

Diversity Milestones in Our History

In 1898 Cora Jane Flood endowed the School of Commerce. The university’s president vowed that, thanks to the new school, “… students of every race will be attracted to this university. The Occident and the Orient, the past and the present, will here commingle their culture …”

1905Mary Jane Dickson was the first woman graduate of the College of Commerce. Although other women were enrolled at the College of Commerce during that time, Mary was officially the first woman graduate because she graduated a semester early on December 22, 1905.

In 1922 Carrie Virginia Maclay became the first woman to hold a “teaching fellow” position on the Berkeley campus while a PhD student. She studied with, among others, Economics Professor Jessica Peixotto, the school’s first female instructor.

In 1929 Catherine DeMotte Greene was the first person to earn a master’s degree with a specialization in accounting and later became the first female tenure track faculty member at the college.

By 1942 13% of the 5,512 Bachelor of Science degrees in commerce bestowed by the School of Commerce were earned by women.

In the 1950s the idea of a diverse curriculum took hold, as more courses in the social sciences were incorporated into the curriculum, followed quickly by the integration of classes relying on the new field of information science.

The 1960s saw the birth of the free speech movement, anti-war protests and a rising social consciousness across the campus. Students in the School of Business surveyed major Bay Area businesses to see where they stood on the Vietnam War.

In 1984 Dean Miles challenged alumni to generate summer internship opportunities for every interested minority MBA student. It worked. In 1985, the school had the highest overall percentage of MBA minority enrollment among the 10 schools in the Council for Opportunities in Graduate Management Education.

In 1990 the East Bay Outreach Project was founded to strengthen the relationship between the Haas School of Business and nearby economically disadvantaged communities by matching students with local minority business owners, aspiring business owners, and teenagers eager to learn basic business skills.

In 1994 Haas joined the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of graduate business schools seeking to make prospective minority applicants aware of the educational and professional opportunities available through member schools. In 2003, the school had to withdraw to due to California laws banning affirmative action in public higher education.

By 2006 an international aspect of diversity had taken root at the school. Students from 37 countries outside the U.S. made up 31% of the MBA enrollment. They contributed their own cultures and experiences to the classroom and the community.

In 2011 Berkeley-Haas admitted an even more diverse class after rejoining the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. We were able to rejoin after the Consortium changed its mission to recognize that one does not have to be a member of a traditionally underrepresented group to foster diversity in the workplace.

In 2012 Berkeley-Haas hosted the inaugural UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML), for undergraduates at historically black colleges and universities and founded the Haas Alumni Diversity Council.