Climate, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

The Economics Department takes very seriously the goal of fostering a departmental climate where all students, faculty, and staff feel respected, welcomed, and supported. This webpage describes some of the resources available to identify and address issues of related to climate, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

 

Codes of Conduct

The Berkeley Honor Code states simply and eloquently: “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.” In addition, both the University of California and the American Economic Association have established more detailed codes of professional conduct. We encourage all members of our community to study them carefully and abide by them.

 

Faculty Committee on Climate, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI)

As part of the Economics Department’s continuing commitment to ensuring a positive climate for all members of our community, it has created the Faculty Committee on Climate, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI). The CEDI Committee gathers information about climate issues, provides opportunities for learning and discussion, and works with the rest of the department to institute reforms when needed.

  • Committee Membership: Committee members are available to discuss general issues of climate, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of us.

Departmental Equity Advisor (Chair): Christina Romer (cromer@berkeley.edu)

Undergraduate Chair: Martha Olney (olney@berkeley.edu)

Graduate Chair: Andres Rodriguez-Clare (arc@berkeley.edu)

Department Chair (ex officio): David Romer (dromer@berkeley.edu)

  • Committee Liaisons: To facilitate communication around climate issues, the committee works with liaisons who are representatives of undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff to identify concerns, devise solutions, and provide information. Our current liaisons and their email addresses are listed here.

 

Responding to Harassment, Discrimination, and Other Climate Issues

The Economics Department is committed to providing support for anyone who has experienced any form of harassment, discrimination, or difficult climate that impedes one’s right to a safe work or learning environment. Below is a list of resources for responding to harassment, discrimination, and other climate issues, along with each resource’s own description of their role and approach.

Please note: Some campus resources are non-confidential and are required to report incidents of harassment to the Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). All faculty members and graduate students in a supervisory capacity (GSIs; research advisors) are "responsible employees" and therefore have a legal requirement to report violations of Title IX policy to OPHD. Other resources are confidential and are not required to report incidents to anyone. If you wish confidentiality, please ask before confiding. The resources denoted with a star (*) below are confidential.

  • The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). “The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) is responsible for ensuring the University provides an environment for faculty, staff, and students that is free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence. OPHD takes reports alleging discrimination and harassment on the basis of categories including race, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation/identity, including allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence.” Contact information: ask_ophd@berkeley.edu; 510-643-7985.
  • The PATH to Care Center *. “The PATH to Care Center provides affirming, empowering, and confidential support for survivors and those who have experienced gendered violence, including: sexual harassment, dating and intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sexual exploitation. Confidential advocates bring a non-judgmental, caring approach to exploring all options, rights, and resources.” Contact information: 510-642-1988.
  • The Division of Equity and Inclusion. “The Division of Equity & Inclusion provides leadership, accountability & inspiration to the UC Berkeley campus in integrating equity, inclusion, and diversity into all aspects of university life.” Contact information: vcei@berkeley.edu; 510-642-7294. Report an Incident. Student and Faculty Resources.
  • Office of Faculty Equity and Welfare. “The Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare (OFEW) is committed to the full participation in academic careers for all scholars, including individuals who are members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education such as women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, and others.” Contact information: ofew@berkeley.edu; 510-642-1935.
  • Social Services Counseling at the Tang Center*. “Our confidential counseling services are topic specific and aim to help students strengthen coping skills, problem solve and identify resources. Social Services is open to all registered UC Berkeley students regardless of your insurance plan.” “Sexual violence encompasses a wide range of non-consensual behaviors including unwanted or coerced sexual behavior, harassment (cyber assaults), stalking, and rape. Social Services strives to provide a safe environment for supportive, non-judgmental counseling, advocacy, resources and referral information. We are a confidential campus resource.” Contact information: 510-642-6074.
  • The Gender Equity Resource Center. “The Gender Equity Resource Center, fondly referred to as GenEq, is a UC Berkeley campus community center committed to fostering an inclusive Cal experience for all. GenEq is the campus location where students, faculty, staff and alumni connect for resources, services, education and leadership programs related to LGBTQ+ and Women's Communities as well as information related to sexual & relationship violence, and hate acts.” Contact information: Billy Curtis, billyc@berkeley.edu, 510-643-0788; Christine Ambrosio, ambrosio@berkeley.edu, 510-643-5727.
  • Disabled Students’ Program. “The Disabled Students' Program promotes an inclusive environment for students with disabilities. We equip students with appropriate accommodations and services to achieve their individual academic goals. We are dedicated to supporting students and collaborating with the campus community to remove barriers to educational access and embrace the University’s values of equity and inclusion.” Contact information: dsp@berkeley.edu; 510-642-0518.
  • American Economic Association Ombudsperson*. “Any AEA member who believes they have suffered harassment or discrimination or any person who believes they have suffered harassment or discrimination by an AEA member or in the context of an AEA-sponsored activity, as well as anyone who has witnessed such conduct, is encouraged to contact the ombudsperson.… All communications with the ombudsperson are strictly confidential.” Contact information: aeaombuds@cjglawfirm.com; 919-937-9382.

 

Resources for Responding to Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues can both be affected by departmental climate and involve issues of stigma and inclusion. Some resources for those with mental health concerns (about themselves or others) are below.

  • University Health Services Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)*: "CAPS offers short term counseling for academic, career, and personal issues and also offers psychiatry services for circumstances when medication can help with counseling. There is no charge to get started, and all registered students can access services regardless of their insurance plan.” Contact Information: 510-642-9494; Counseling after-hours support line: 855-817-5667
  • CAPS Satellite Office for Graduate and Professional Students*. “CPS is opening a new satellite office in the Graduate Assembly Wellness Center, 444 Eshleman. Dr. Amy Honigman, a UC Berkeley alumna and specialist in graduate student wellness, will be available to hold appointments with graduate and professional students in the new space.” Contact information: Contact Dr. Honigman at 510-664-5117 or email ahonigman@berkeley.edu for more information or to request an appointment.
  • Getting Help for Students of Concern. “Whether you are student, faculty, staff or just a concerned friend or loved one, you have many options for helping a student you are concerned about.” Contact information: “If the student you are concerned about demonstrates the following behavior, in addition to contacting CAPS, you should contact the Students of Concern Committee. The Students of Concern Committee is a multi-disciplinary body of stakeholders from across the University which receives referrals pertaining to registered students of concern, collects additional information, and identifies and enacts appropriate strategies for addressing the situation. You may submit a report online.”
  • Gold Folder and Mental Health Handbook for Faculty, Staff, and GSIs. “This resource is designed as a guide to help identify the signs of a distressed or disruptive student, know how to approach and engage the student you are concerned about, and know how to access the appropriate resources to help yourself, the student, and the campus community.”

 

Resources for Responding to Financial Security Issues

Economic diversity is an under-discussed component of overall diversity and departmental climate. It also can have important implications for inclusion and for an individual’s ability to participate fully in the life of the department and the University. Below are some resources for students and other community members who may be dealing with financial insecurity:

  • Short-Term Emergency Loan “The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office offers short-term emergency loans to graduate and undergraduate students. These interest-free loans are designed to help students meet unanticipated expenses directly related to the cost of education." 
  • Food Assistance Program. “Are you a currently enrolled student skipping meals, or eating less because of paying for other expenses, such as rent? Have you exhausted all of the financial aid resources offered to you this academic year? Are you ineligible for financial aid? We can help! UC Berkeley strives to ensure that all students have access to nutritious food. We want you to be able to concentrate on your studies, plan for the rest of the term, and not worry about how you'll get your next meal."

 

Resources Discussing Best Practices

An important goal of the Faculty Committee on Climate, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is to work with our liaisons and others campus offices to collect resources likely to be of help to members of the Economics Department in creating a healthier departmental climate. These resources are just that—resources. The ideas discussed are not intended to be official department or university policy. Rather, they are provided to encourage learning and stimulate discussion. Below are a few resources. More will be added as they come to our attention.

  • Guidance for a Constructive Culture of Exchange in MIT Economics Seminars by Nancy Rose.
  • Diversifying Economic Quality: A Wiki for Instructors and Departments. “Div.E.Q. is an online resource promoting inclusive, innovative, and evidence-based teaching practices in economics. Div.E.Q. is sponsored by the AEA's Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession.”
  • Graduate Student Mental Health: Lessons from American Economics Departments by Paul Barreiray, Matthew Basilicoz, and Valentin Bolotnyy. Abstract: “We study the mental health of graduate students at Economics PhD programs in the U.S. Using clinically validated surveys, we find that 18% of graduate students experience moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety - more than three times the population average - and 11% report suicidal ideation in a two-week period. The average PhD student reports greater feelings of loneliness than does the average retired American. Only 26% of Economics students report feeling that their work is useful always or most of the time, compared with 70% of Economics faculty and 63% of the working age population. Depression and symptoms of anxiety increase with time in the program: 25% of students in years 5+ of their programs experience moderate or severe symptoms of depression or anxiety compared with 14.5% of first-year students. Many students with significant symptoms of mental distress are not in treatment. We provide recommendations for students and faculty on ways to improve student work conditions, productivity, and mental health. 
  • American Economic Association, Best Practices for Improving the Professional Climate in Economics This site presents best practices for economists in four areas of professional conduct.

Acknowledgements: This webpage draws on material prepared by the Department of History and the Department of Astronomy.