Who We Are: Over a Decade of Purposeful Change for the ASCCC Organization

ASCCC President
ASCCC Executive Director

In 2009, the delegates to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) spring plenary session passed Resolution 1.02 SP 09, directing the ASCCC to conduct a self-study to “assess the effectiveness of its efforts and the perceptions of the success of these efforts to promote equal opportunity, including collecting data on the inclusion of diverse voices and opinions” and to “report to the body at a future plenary session the results of the self-study.” [1] In 2012, the ASCCC’s Executive Committee conducted such a study and released the demographic information regarding its membership, including information on the Executive Committee during that time. The information gleaned from that self-study showed that in 2012, a majority of the respondents (90%) were full-time faculty, a majority of the respondents from across the community college system identified as white (54%), and 52% identified as women. This data was presented in a Rostrum article that outlined the results of the survey, provided an analysis, and highlighted the efforts of the time to diversify (Townsend-Marino & Smith, 2012).

Over a decade has passed since that original study was published, and much has changed both within the community college system and with the ASCCC. With Resolution 1.01 in Spring 2018, the plenary session delegates adopted the ASCCC’s five-year strategic plan, which included a goal directing the ASCCC to “Engage and empower diverse groups of faculty at all levels of state and local leadership.” Embedded in that goal was a strategy to “Increase the diversity of faculty representation on committees of the ASCCC, including the Executive Committee, and other system consultation bodies to better reflect the diversity of California.” While the ASCCC recognizes that people have varying intersections that make up their identity, consistent with system-wide diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts, the ASCCC’s diversity efforts have been focused on increasing racial diversity in representation on the Executive Committee as well as faculty representation across the state through various committee appointments.   

Executive Committee Survey

Since 2018, the ASCCC Executive Committee, the board that governs the organization, has made remarkable strides to diversify its elected membership. A survey was sent to current and past members of the Executive Committee who served between 2018 and 2023. The results of that survey were distributed in spring 2023 as part of the ASCCC Comprehensive Strategic Plan (ASCCC, 2023). In 2018, a majority of board members—nine—identified as being Caucasian or White. In 2023, that number decreased to 40%, with less than six members of the board identifying as Caucasian or White. Simultaneously, Hispanic/Chicano/Latinx faculty showed an increase from 7%, or one member, in 2018 to 27%, or four members, in 2023. Black or African-American faculty representation remained steady from 2018 to 2022, hovering around three or four members or 20-27%; however, in 2023, a dip in representation occurred to 13% or two members. Significantly, representation of Asian/Pacific Islander/South East Asian increased, with no representation in 2018 to 20% or three members in 2023.

ASCCC Executive Committee Dioversity Graph 2022

Organizational Leadership and Why Representation Matters

The ASCCC’s efforts to increase the diversity of faculty and, importantly, faculty leaders has been driven internally by delegates and Executive Committee leadership consistent with the expectations of students and external groups or organizations. The Campaign for College Opportunity (2018) report Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy pointed to the ASCCC Executive Committee’s observed 2016-2017 composition of primarily white members (73%) with some African-American (20%) and Latinx (7%) representation but no Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander representation. In its entirety, the report examined representation within California’s colleges and universities, drawing attention to the growth in racial and ethnic diversity needed to have faculty, campus leaders, and system leaders representative of the diversity of the students being served.

As the ASCCC continues to monitor and improve its own diversity of leadership and faculty participation on standing committees, the public understandably continues to scrutinize the progress. In January 2024, the system leaders of the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California participated in a panel discussion facilitated by the Campaign for College Opportunity to both celebrate the Campaign’s twenty years of work to influence student-focused higher education policy and to announce the release of a new report, Still Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Continues to Hurt Our Values, Students and Democracy (Campaign for College Opportunity, 2024). As in the 2018 report, the ASCCC was one of many leadership groups reviewed in the 2024 paper along with local academic senates, faculty, administrators, boards of trustees, and the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. All three segments of higher education were then provided a critique of diversity efforts over a five-year range from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021.

As evidenced by its mission, vision, strategic plan, and work, the ASCCC believes in the underlying message of the importance of diversity and representation conveyed in the Campaign for College Opportunity paper. This importance extends beyond the success of students; it is integral for the broader advancement of society. The ASCCC continues to work with intentionality to ensure that the leadership of the organization remains diverse in order to represent many different ideas, thoughts, and viewpoints. Since 2018, the ASCCC has made significant efforts and progress to increase the diversity of faculty representation on committees of the ASCCC, including the Executive Committee, and other system bodies to better reflect the diversity of California and ensure that broad faculty voices, experiences, and viewpoints are represented.

Annually, the ASCCC releases demographic data on faculty appointments to its standing committees and task forces (ASCCC, 2022). The data collected beginning in 2017 demonstrates an overall upward trend of racial diversification of faculty appointments to the standing committees. The Campaign for College Opportunity’s Still Left Out report acknowledges improvements in the ASCCC’s racial diversity, although unfortunately the report fell short of acknowledging the continued diversification through the 2023-2024 board, the most diverse of the ASCCC’s history.

The ASCCC remains committed to its work on diversity and actively ensuring that representation of varied voices and backgrounds continues to be front and center in its operation. The increase of racial diversity on the Executive Committee over the last five years is heartening and reflects the ASCCC’s continued commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, antiracism, and accessibility (IDEAA). To the ASCCC, the concepts, beliefs, and actions captured in IDEAA are not mere words; these concepts and efforts form the very framework on which the organization is built. Recognizing that the need to be intentional remains in the organization’s own diversity and inclusion efforts as well as in its support for similar inclusive, diversity-focused efforts by local academic senates,  the ASCCC retains this commitment to IDEAA as a driving force, propelling the ASCCC and faculty statewide toward a more inclusive and equitable future.


Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. (2022). Committee Composition.

Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. (2023). ASCCC Strategic Plan Comprehensive Report 2018-2023.

Campaign for College Opportunity. (2018, March). Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy.

Campaign for College Opportunity. (2024). Still Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Students and Democracy.

Townsend-Marino, K., & Smith, P. (2012, December). Who We Are: Demographic Survey of ASCCC Committee Members. Senate Rostrum.

1. ASCCC Adopted Resolutions