Anita Madrid has been appointed to coordinate the Berkeley Pledge, the campus's newly launched effort to work with the state's K-12 leaders to preserve diversity at Berkeley by assuring there are highly qualified graduating seniors of all races and ethnicities in future years.
"My job is to try to pull together all the groups that want to engage in the pledge effort, both internally and externally," said Madrid, who noted that much of the undertaking is still taking shape.
In her new role, Madrid reports to Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ. She is working closely with Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs, and Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, who heads a chancellor's task force to review the campus's outreach efforts.
The Berkeley Pledge was announced in September as a response to the Board of Regents' decision to eliminate race, ethnicity and gender from consideration in student admissions by 1997. The chancellor committed $1 million of his discretionary funds to get the project underway.
"This position taps on every job I've ever had," said Madrid, who for the past few years has served with Ella Wheaton as one of two staff ombudspersons. Wheaton will now handle those duties on her own, but with additional staff support.
Before Madrid joined the campus, she was a K-12 teacher. During her 22 years here, she's served as an admissions officer, a recruitment counselor and as a director of the Academic Senate's Professional Development Program's high school and undergraduate research programs.
"The pledge is a means to diversify our campus, but it is not the end. The chancellor's goal is to maintain diversity," said Madrid. In that regard, there is both a short-term and long-term focus to the effort, she said.
The immediate concern is how the campus will deal with fall '97 freshman admissions, the first class that will be admitted under the Regents' new policy. The outreach task force led by Sanchez-Jankowski will provide fairly immediate guidance, she said.
The longer focus is to strengthen K-12 and decrease the inequities that occur between California's poor schools and its rich schools, said Madrid. "If we can come up with a model that works and changes these inequities, why wouldn't other universities follow it?" she says.
She noted that not everyone on campus believes this fits in with Berkeley's mission. But Madrid sees it differently. Berkeley, she said, was founded as a land grant university aimed at helping farmers.
"We are harvesting students now, not just corn. I think that fits in with the land grant mission," said Madrid.
She encourages those who want to show support for the undertaking to contribute to the Berkeley Pledge through this fall's Charitable Campaign.
Madrid said those on campus who wish to reach her with questions or comments about the Berkeley Pledge may email her at Anita_Madrid@ maillink. The staff ombuds office can be reached at 642-staf.