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Humboldt State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, California 95521
(707) 826-4402
Email address
School Information
"On June 16, 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed the law establishing 'Humboldt State Normal School, for the training and education of teachers and others in the art of instructing and governing the public schools of this state.' The first classes at Humboldt State Normal School began on April 6, 1914, with 62 students in a small building near the rural bottoms of Arcata. By May of 1915, the school would celebrate its first graduating class of 15 women. The school was established to meet the demand for qualified teachers, which were needed following a state-wide education statute. Accordingly, the school offered four teacher-preparation programs all based on the student’s own experience levels" (Source: The total enrollment is nearly 6,000. 52 majors and 72 minors are offered. The student to faculty ratio is 19 to 1.
General Information
In response to the death of George Floyd, Humboldt State University made numerous changes to its structure and requirements. As of June 1, 2020, Humboldt State University requires that all of its faculty and staff undergoes training for "anti-Black classroom practices." Critical Race Theory is embedded in the core curriculum. All students from HSU are required to take diversity classes as well as classes that discuss anti-racism, white supremacy, and equity, among other topics. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • As part of the DEI Office's "Six Pillars of Inclusive Excellence," pillar two, "Equitable Opportunities and Outcomes," is described as follows: "Assess equity of access and outcomes across all constituencies and across diverse backgrounds, with particular focus on minoritized populations; develop intentional pathways to broaden the diversity of the student body, as well as, that of faculty, staff and administrators; develop and implement campus-wide strategies to retain students and employees from minoritized groups."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The HSU University Senate developed an Anti-Racist Strategic Action Plan in 2021-2026 on April 13, 2021. This involved a plan to "collaborate with DEIC to train leadership on assessing and building policy applying a racial equity lens." In addition to this, "The Senate will advocate for 100% senator and committee member participation within the first 2 weeks of the terms of at least one anti-racist campus or professional association workshop (e.g. microagression training, bystander intervention, anti-racist pedagogy)."
  • On August 18, 2023, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Humboldt hosted a professional development day titled "Future Forward: Leveraging Anti-Racism for Cultural Transformation." The event included "break-out sessions to reflect upon how the Cal Poly Humboldt community can work together to be anti-racist and socially equitable."
  • As part of Humboldt's "continued commitment to support the wellbeing and success of BIPOC students and faculty," the university announced that it has "joined the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) as an Institutional Member." The NCFDD is a "nationally-recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty (both tenure-line and non tenure-line), post-docs, and graduate students."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As of June 1, 2020, the university will be "expanding our capacities for inclusive pedagogy and expanding anti-racist curriculum."
  • As part of the School of Education's Statement in Support of Anti-Racist Education, the university commits to utilizing Critical Race Theory interwoven throughout its curriculum.
  • All HSU students are required to take six units of "Diversity and Common Ground" courses. The university states that, "the content of these courses focuses on the complexity of diversity through the perspective of differential power and privilege, identity politics, and/or multicultural studies."
  • All students are required to take a distribution requirement of "Ethnic Studies" courses which "analyze and articulate concepts such as race and racism, racialization, ethnicity, equity, ethno-centrism, eurocentrism, white supremacy, self-determination, liberation, decolonization, sovereignty, imperialism, settler colonialism, and anti-racism."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • As of June 1, 2020, the university will "train all faculty to eliminate anti-Black classroom practices."
Program and Research Funding
  • The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Grant Program is open to all campus community members for 2024. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award Committee "invites Cal Poly Humboldt students, student organizations, staff, and faculty to submit proposals for programs offered on campus to the university community that cultivate awareness and inclusivity of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)." Faculty and staff may receive grants up to $5,000 whereas students may receive grants up to $1,000.
  • On September 12, 2023, "Humboldt Now" news announced that one of its Biology Professors, Jianmin Zhong, launched Cal Poly Humboldt’s Healthcare Career Pathways Program. The program "aims to inspire students—especially those from traditionally underrepresented communities—to pursue healthcare careers" and "aims to diversify the workforce."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • On April 25, 2021, the university released a statement responding to the verdict of Derek Chauvin's trial. The president indicated that numerous police reforms will take place, such as the implementation of "a Civilian Services Specialist position to respond to calls when an armed, uniformed officer isn’t necessary."
  • The university holds an annual Campus and Community Dialogue on Race event that can count as a course credit as ES 480 Campus and Community Dialogue on Race. The 2021 theme is "Dismantle and Heal: Building Coalition Against Forced Division."
  • The Humboldt library offers numerous resources for "whiteness and anti-racism."
  • The Humboldt State University library offers numerous "SkillShops" events for anti-racism.
  • Humboldt offers students discussions and events as a supportive resource to discuss anti-racism.
  • In collaboration with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Humboldt offers credential programs that are "dedicated to social justice-oriented and anti-racist teach and learning."
  • The School of Education hopes to be "making financial and material resources and support more available to minoritized and underrepresented students."
  • The university offers a minor in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
  • Humboldt published its 2023 calendar of "Diversity & Inclusion Events."
  • On October 27, 2023, Humboldt's Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion Center hosted an event titled "Unpacking Racism in Science: Is Science Racist?" which is described as follows: "This workshop interrogates the relationships between race, racism, and science, exploring various frameworks for making sense of the interplay between these concepts in various contexts and STEM disciplines."
  • The Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Center at Humboldt "strives to create a safe space for Cal Poly Humboldt students to engage, learn, be heard, and be inspired."
  • In the Spring of 2023, "a campus task force was convened to review and update Cal Poly Humboldt's Institutional Anti-Racism Action Plan by engaging a broad consultative process with the campus community throughout the 2023/2024 Academic Year." Areas of focus include policies, admissions, curriculum, and training.
  • Through the Office of Diversity, the Equity Advocate Program "adds a layer of awareness and consistency to the search and deliberative process that allows the search committee to focus on content expertise while minimizing the cognitive and structural impact of implicit bias."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 1, 2020, the HSU University Senate Executive Committee released a Statement in Support of Black Lives in the United States of American in order to express "solidarity with a global movement demanding an end to white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence against and murder of the Black community."
Last updated November 13th, 2023
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