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University of San Diego

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
5998 Alcala Park
Manchester Hall
San Diego, California 92110
(619) 260-4506
Email address
School Information
"The University of San Diego is set at the edge of an international gateway on a campus that's consistently ranked among the nation's most beautiful. Our focus on academic excellence — inspired by faith, infused with contemporary Catholic values and nurtured in a warm, community environment — empowers innovative, confident, original thinkers to make positive contributions by confronting humanity's urgent challenges in places near and far" (Source: The University of San Diego was founded conceptually in 1945, and the first class was held in 1952. Its student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1, and the university hosts a total enrollment of over 8,000 students. 43 Bachelor's degrees, 54 undergraduate minors, and 42 graduate programs are offered at USD.
General Information
The University of San Diego has taken numerous actions in order to promote anti-racism in its institution as part of its response to George Floyd's death. Namely, the university requires all students to take an education course on "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students." Within certain departments, all faculty and staff are required to undergo anti-racism training. Additionally, all course content under the School of Leadership and Education Sciences utilizes the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion. All of the aforementioned school's courses will soon utilize anti-racist curriculum explicitly in the syllabi. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • SOLES stated that, "Admissions processes are under review, implementing actions removing barriers to apply such as the GRE." Already, the MFT program ceased to require the GRE.
  • The Center for Inclusion and Diversity states that USD "endeavors to expand the diversity of our student body, better reflecting the breadth of God’s creation and enhancing academic excellence and learning for all students."
  • The Center for Inclusion and Diversity announced that as part of its Student Access and Recruitment initiatives, USD has "changed its practices to remove standardized tests from the admissions process."
  • The Center for Inclusion and Diversity announced that as part of its Student Access and Recruitment initiatives, USD is "participating in a variety of outreach programs specifically designed for underrepresented students, such as national Hispanic fairs, Cal-SOAP programs, and 100 Black Men of Chicago."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • One of the USD new student orientation days is designated the "Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice, and Changemaking Day." Students will be "engaged in dialogue about the urgent challenges of our day" on this day.
  • The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education offers the Summer Guest Speaker Series. One of these workshops is titled "Anti-racism Education Learning Design. The university states that, "In this session, teachers will be given an overview of how to identify entry points in the curriculum where antiracist learning targets can be designed for use within any content-area.Teachers will learn to implement methods for assessing understanding and awareness of racism, and they will be introduced to a number of student-centered learning activities that will help students grow as they explore anti-racism in the context of subject-area content." This workshop will provide participants with a framework to aid in designing course content.
  • SOLES had 80 of its members attend Groundwater Training which "provides foundational understanding of US-based racism, and analysis of raced-based outcomes across systems of health and education." This training was aimed at faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • For faculty, SOLES held the Fall Faculty Open House with the theme of "Decolonizing Pedagogies and Practices."
  • SOLES held a faculty workshop series that was intended to "improve and sharpen instructional practices related to race, equity and diversity."
  • The programs under SOLES offer numerous anti-racism training programs and each of the departments have released statements of solidarity against anti-racism.
  • The Center for Educational Excellence at USD "offers pedagogical training on inclusive teaching, is part of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversit [sic], and offers racial equity awards."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • For the new student orientation, USD states that, "All first-year and transfer students are required to complete an online education course series." This course series encompasses three two-part courses, one of which is the "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students" Education Course, which covers the subjects of "power and privilege" as well as "oppression bias and unconscious bias," among other concepts.
  • Within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, USD offers the Master of Arts in Leadership Studies Program. The three pillars that guide this program are described as a "development of an international and global mindset," a "prioritization of intercultural sensitivity and competence," and a "commitment to social justice and advocacy."
  • In 2020, the CID created the 2020 Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. As a part of this, the university seeks to "build on and expand curricula that integrate diversity, inclusion and social justice into the student experience, encouraging a diversity of perspectives, research topics and pedagogical styles while advancing a commitment to explore power and privilege through disciplinary lenses using universal design."
  • The Latin American Studies program discusses "conquest, colonialism, and coloniality" as one of the five core concepts. The program calls on students to "explore the relationship between coloniality — the colonial matrix of power that goes beyond the historical period of colonialism — and the rhetoric of modernity in the economic, political, civic and personal/subjective realms."
  • The university states that, "The CID engages with curricular and co-curricular efforts to problematize how difference and unity operate in the larger world through scholarship, engagement, and advocacy."
  • SOLES calls upon its faculty to conduct syllabi reviews "through the lens of equity and issues impacting BIPOC communities."
  • Both the MFT Program and the Counseling Program have conducted anti-racism training for students and faculty, and there also is SOLES DEI Training which all faculty and staff attended. According to the Department of Learning and Teaching, "all courses include curriculum components of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion." The department explicitly stated that, "Faculty will conduct a course audit to embed Anti-Racist/ism topics, books, curriculum, and assignments in all course syllabi."
  • As part of its Core Curriculum requirements, USD students are "required to complete two courses that carry the Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (DISJ) flag."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The Center for Inclusion and Diversity states, "Search committees are required to complete implicit bias training prior to participating in a search process."
  • The Knauss School of Business at USD "requires all applicants for faculty positions to provide a summary of their respective commitment to DEI."
Program and Research Funding
  • USD hosts a Center for Inclusion and Diversity which is "committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive and collaborative community and values students, faculty and staff from different backgrounds and faith traditions." The CID was founded in 2010 based off of values conceptualized in the early 2000s.
  • The Center for Inclusion and Diversity provides a list definitions for various terms such as diversity and inclusion. These terms represent core values of USD, as the university explains.
  • The CID provides university members with "Dialogues and Action" which "serves as a resource for members of our community, providing information and opportunities for engagement on important issues facing our university, our community, the nation and the broader world having to do with diversity, inclusion and social justice."
  • Another facet of the 2020 Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence is seen in how the CID committed to adopting "a regular routine to measure campus culture and climate at fixed intervals."
  • SOLES is conducting "Conversations of Color Events" which provide resources to students of color.
  • SOLES provides numerous resources for anti-racism on its social justice site.
  • The university offers "EDUC 601: Critical Theory and Educational Research."
  • In February 2022, there was an event titled, "Using the Critical Race Tools of Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations to Examine Everyday Racism in Academic and Social Spaces"
  • The Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life published a September 2021 report titled “The Woke Takeover at University of San Diego,” which discusses how Critical Race Theory (Critical Social Justice) has been implemented under the "guise" of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The report's executive summary states the following: "USD now weaves CSJ/DEI into its hiring policy, student orientation, curriculum, and mandatory trainings for faculty and students. USD is beginning a DEI hiring spree throughout its administration. Fealty to this ideology is becoming a prerequisite for working there. Routinely students and faculty are berated for their 'white privilege' and forced to pledge allegiance to the CSJ narrative."
  • USD hosts an "admitted student fly-in program for admitted Black and Hispanic students."
Symbolic Actions
  • The CID hosts the monthly event, "Sweet Celebration," which the university believes will "contribute to a campus culture that can sustain and bolster diversity and interaction across difference, which are necessary for an inclusive campus environment."
  • As per the 2020 Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, the university stated that it wishes to "foster a campus culture in which all members of the community, especially those from underrepresented groups: (1) feel safe, respected and valued; (2) are invited to participate fully, sharing their unique gifts, talents and backgrounds; (3) increasingly recognize the value of perspectives that differ from their own; and (4) agree that diversity and inclusion are key priorities of the university."
  • Following the death of George Floyd, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences stated that, "Under the new leadership of Interim Dean Joi Spencer, PhD and alongside dedicated faculty, staff and students; SOLES has taken anti-racism initiatives seriously."
  • SOLES created a program titled "SOLES Takes Anti-Racism Seriously" with the goal of "supporting those who are victims of racist language and behavior."
  • An end of the year report for SOLES was released. The anti-racism strategy partly focused on "Navy-wide dialogue about race relations and inclusion in America. In particular, this discourse focused on how to actively strive for strong measures of diversity and inclusion in the U.S. Navy." The Department of Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy and Department of Learning and Teaching have also implemented DEI training.
Last updated February 26th, 2024
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