Merced County Times Newspaper
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UC Merced Statement – ‘Affirming Diversity, Access and Inclusion’


Editor’s note: The following UC Merced statement was sent to the campus community on June 29 regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that ends affirmative action at colleges. The Court ruled that colleges and universities can no longer take race into consideration as a specific basis in admissions.


Diversity, access, and inclusion remain top priorities of UC Merced and of the entire University of California, as UC President Michael Drake affirmed today.

While our campus was founded long after California voters forbade affirmative action programs, as an institution and as a community UC Merced has achieved excellence in teaching, research and public service while cultivating the well-being of our community members and advancing the interests of all Californians.

We do this with intentionality, honoring and inviting diverse perspectives that stand for and reflect the people of this state, and country. Indeed, research not just in higher education but in private industry has consistently affirmed the value of creating inclusive and diverse communities.


Many advocates will thus be disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling denying universities the ability to use affirmative action as another tool to help further achieve the compelling interest of diversity across the landscape of higher education. The message this ruling sends about how we as a country value diversity of thought, particularly in those venues where thought should be most valued, is distressing.

The Supreme Court decision, though readily perceived as an impediment, does not preclude the path the University has chosen: pursuing academic and research excellence in parallel to building a community of brilliant people from diverse backgrounds who thrive in the context of inclusive values.

We encourage others to join us in this commitment.


  • Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.
  • Marjorie Zatz, Ph.D.
Interim EVC and Provost
  • Betsy Dumont, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Natural Sciences
  • Rakesh Goel, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Engineering
  • Delia Saenz, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Jeffrey Gilger, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
UC Merced Demographics

• 8,344 undergraduates, 760 graduates (9,104 total) – largest student body in UC Merced history

• 99.6% of undergraduates are Californians:
of those, 33.6% from Central Valley, 27% from Southern California; 26.1%from SF Bay Area.

• 52.3% Hispanic, 20.4% Asian, 9.3% White, 4.4% Black

• 50.6% male, 47.9% female

• 58.5% of undergraduates are Pell Grant-eligible


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