Pacific’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion continues to grow and gain effectiveness. President Christopher Callahan has worked with Pacific leadership, students, faculty, staff, regents and alumni to create an inaugural cabinet-level Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, install diversity leads in each college and school, introduce scholarships for students of underserved communities, audit policies and procedures and more.
Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, a national thought leader on diversity issues, is Pacific’s inaugural vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. The cabinet-level position was created by President Christopher Callahan to help guide the university’s overall DEI work. “It was time to come home,” said Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, a Stockton native who started on July 1, 2021.
Featured articles about Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi
"Transformative allies and sincere efforts are crucial," Pacific Newsroom, June 28, 2021
"A Culture of Deeper Learning," Comstock's Magazine, June 10, 2021
"'Time for me to come home," Pacific Newsroom, April 8, 2021
Comprised of approximately 40 faculty, staff and students, this committee is a collaborative partner in creating and sustaining a university-wide culture that consistently reflects diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value. The committee also sponsors the Champions of Diversity Awards and helps fund campus DEI work with grants.
Nearly $200,000 in new gifts to support Black students, including $102,792 raised for the new Lift Every Voice Endowed Scholarship, led by Regent Chair Norman Allen, and $87,500 to establish the Diversity and Inclusion Endowed Scholarship for Black Students. Allen said the scholarship effort will support Black students with unmet financial needs and strong leadership traits.
ASuop President Scout Cooper-Wilson says the governing body will emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion. She speaks about her goals and hopes in an interview.
Huerta said growing up in Stockton, where her friends and neighbors were from all corners of the world, and attending Pacific had an impact on her trajectory as an activist and organizer.
“University of Pacific had such a great influence on my life,” she told an online audience in Pacific’s Leading Voices speaker series.
The Division of Student Life has created many DEI-related programs and events during fall semester, with an emphasis on financial aid education, health and wellness, study skills, spiritual life, gender equity and student success for Black, Latino, Native American, Asian American, LGBTQ and first-generation college students.
DEI leads report progress for all colleges, schools
President Christopher Callahan’s goals to improve social justice and diversity and to make University of the Pacific a model anti-racist institution will take the efforts of all members of the university community.
Music with purpose
A collective group of student leaders from Pacific music fraternities, student-run ensembles and the Conservatory of Music Student Senate came together to organize the first Black Lives Matter Solidarity Concerts to raise awareness and support arts in Black and minority communities.
Law school’s strong pledge
McGeorge School of Law faculty unanimously passed a resolution declaring “unequivocally” that “Black Lives Matter” and that the law school will actively work “to become and remain an antiracist institution.”
Conservatory names lead for DEI
Fei-Lin Hsiao, associate professor and program director for music therapy, was named the assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Conservatory of Music.
Board of Regents
The Board of Regents has committed to focusing on these social justice initiatives:
- Increasing diversity in its membership.
- Exploring campus inclusion and racial bias at the university.
- Audits of university policies and practices that impact diversity, inclusion and racial equity.
- Reviewing the university’s history, policies and practices on social justice issues.
Fundraising for the new Lift Every Voice Endowed Scholarship for Black undergraduate students, led by Regents Chair Norman Allen, has surpassed $110,000, with the first recipients to be named in the fall.
The Regents Investment Committee has started research on how to include DEI issues into decision-making on the school’s investment portfolio and the Audit Committee has launched research on best practices at other universities.