FIFTY YEARS IN THE MAKING
ast October, UC Riverside received two notable honors. First, the university was named a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution, or HSI, Leader for our work supporting the international exchange program. Next, UCR received the Seal of Excelencia, a certification that recognizes commitment to not just enroll, but serve Latino students and support their success.
These achievements follow our involvement in Crossing Latinidades, a consortium of 16 universities with top doctoral programs and very high research output, designated as R1 HSIs, that seek to further support Latino students in their pursuit of terminal degrees and academic careers. Combined, the three honors place UCR in an elite spot. While there are 569 institutions that qualify as HSIs, UCR is one of only five “Super HSIs” to have received all three designations.
The acknowledgments may be new, however, the work of supporting Latino students is not. For 50 years, UCR’s Chicano Student Programs, or CSP, has rallied around Chicano/Latino students and in this issue of UCR Magazine, we celebrate the department’s 50th anniversary. “Sembraron semillas, crecieron raíces” details the history and milestones that paved the way to current programming.
There’s another birthday to celebrate, too. “Still Rising” marks the 50th anniversary of African Student Programs, or ASP, at UCR. While recounting many of the triumphs for Black students, staff, and faculty over the years, the story also explains how arson destroyed the Black House, a gathering space off campus that was a predecessor to ASP.
Through both articles, several themes emerge. First, the departments exist because faculty, staff, and students were determined to bring them into existence. Second, mentoring and bridge programs are important ways to help underrepresented students build community and find success at UCR.
And finally, the look back reinforces why we need these departments. In recent years, we’ve achieved near parity in graduation rates between underrepresented and non-underrepresented groups — results that are only possible when we recognize the need for services built around student needs and grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thank you to all members of the UCR community who have supported or participated in CSP and ASP. Your involvement has led us to a golden anniversary and a chance to reflect on what more we can do to support our students.
Kim A. Wilcox, Chancellor