UC Berkeley is one of the world's great universities for engineering, scholarly rankings show. Yet its engineering department suffers when measured by a different standard: diversity.
Walk into any first-year engineering class at Berkeley, graduate or undergraduate, and you'll find nearly everyone, about 95 percent, is white or Asian American. And the scene is as male as a sports bar in football season: roughly three in four new engineering students are male.
Now, a number of black, brown and female graduate students are speaking out about what they say has been the administration's inattention to recruiting a diverse pool of future engineers. They are demanding that Cal live up to years of promises to admit more women and underrepresented minorities: African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.