Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón, Jr. steps down

Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost A. Paul Alivisatos shared this message with the campus community Wednesday:

It is with mixed emotions that we are writing to share that Oscar Dubón, Jr. will be stepping down as vice chancellor for equity and inclusion (VCEI), effective June 30, 2021. Oscar has made significant contributions to the campus during his tenure. Over the past three and a half years, Oscar has led the Division of Equity & Inclusion and supported the campus community through very challenging times, including a divided nation, wildfires, power outages, our country’s and campus’ racial reckoning, financial instability, and a pandemic.

Within the division, Oscar has managed a broad portfolio of equity-centered programs and services and has successfully instituted greater structures of equity, diversity, belonging, and inclusion. Under his leadership the campus saw the greatest gains in African American Initiative Scholars and funding to the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center; the opening of the Robert D. Haas Undocumented Community Resource Center; and the establishment of long-overdue standing committees for the Chicanx/Latinx and Asian American Pacific Islander communities as well as the convening the E&I Native American Advisory Council. These groups have provided immeasurable advice and guidance to campus leadership. In addition, significant gains in support of disabled students were made, including the growth and transformation of the Disabled Students’ Program and the identification of space for a disabled community center. In 2019, the division launched the My Experience survey, the first campus-wide, campus-specific climate survey for faculty, staff and students in the UC system — the results of which have since been used by numerous campus departments and groups.

Since taking the role of vice chancellor, Oscar prioritized the establishment of formal partnerships between the division and other areas. These include the co-stewardship of the Office for Graduate Diversity, which has successfully moved to the Graduate Division; a new partnership in support of greater staff equity, inclusion and belonging within People & Culture; and the formation of the highly successful Student Equity and Diversity (SED) development team in collaboration with University Development and Alumni Relations, Undergraduate Education, and Student Affairs. In addition, he has pursued partnerships in STEM that have led to the establishment of the SEED Scholars Program, and the Berkeley Bridge Graduate Summer Fellowships Program with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The division also forged important partnerships with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and the Office for Undergraduate Admissions, which have led to improvements in meeting our students’ financial needs and to significant strides in the outreach and recruitment of first-generation college goers and low-income students. On the faculty side, Oscar has served as an important partner to the vice provost for the faculty in the pursuit of cluster hiring initiatives to advance faculty diversity.

In response to the pandemic, Oscar stewarded the successful pivot of the Division of Equity & Inclusion to address the needs of and mitigate disparate impact to multiple marginalized communities. Through his leadership, the entire campus was provided an equity lens on the impact of the pandemic at multiple major decision-making points. At the same time, he co-chaired the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Task Force, which provided actionable recommendations to advance UC Berkeley’s goal of achieving HSI designation by 2027. In this past year, Oscar has undertaken an organizational review process to analyze the division’s structures in relation to the campus’ goals for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This work will continue under his leadership in the months to come.

Oscar is committed to working closely with his E&I leadership team and campus leadership to ensure a smooth transition. Upon stepping down, he plans to resume his duties as a faculty member, which he placed on partial hold nine years ago when he took on his first administrative role as an associate dean in the College of Engineering. We deeply appreciate Oscar’s commitment to building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive campus community and wish him well in his future endeavors.

The work of equity and inclusion is critically important to the campus and we plan to move quickly on the search for Oscar’s successor. We continue to uplift the importance of diversity and building community as a strategic and campus-wide priority and will provide the next vice chancellor of equity and inclusion and the division full support as we embark on the next chapter in our journey to becoming a more equitable and inclusive campus. Information about the search will be announced in the new year. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Oscar for his incredible work in his time as the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion.

 

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