Cal Poly to spend $243,000 on diversity consulting

Dr. Damon Williams

Amid a push to change the demographics of the Cal Poly campus, the university is spending $243,000 on a diversity consultant. [Tribune]

Damon A. Williams, an Atlanta-based consultant, and his team will provide Cal Poly a total of 38 days of consulting. About 15 of the 38 days will consist of consulting on the university campus.

Cal Poly held an event on Thursday in which university officials introduced Williams while announcing the launch of their “Inclusive Excellence Action Plan.” The plan is a 12-month initiative intended to accelerate the process of Cal Poly reaching its diversity and inclusion goals.

Last year, the university faced heavy criticism from activists and media over alleged racism on campus and at Cal Poly-related events. In particular, a fraternity blackface incident sparked large protests on campus.

Additionally, Cal Poly was found to have the least racially diverse student population among all universities in California. In 2017, the Cal Poly student body was 54.8 percent white, according to enrollment data released by the CSU and UC systems.

Cal Poly already has an Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, whose director serves as a university vice president and chief diversity officer.

University spokesman Matt Lazier said the funding for Williams’ $243,000 contract will not come out of the general fund, tuition or student fees. It is unclear how the diversity consulting project is being funded.