UCI News

Making history (1)

Humanities faculty member Douglas Haynes helps UCI become model of diversity

by Kathryn Bold | January 16, 2006
Making history (1)

Douglas Haynes, associate professor of history at UCI, likes to show his students a picture called the “Founding of the American Medical Association,” a rendering of the first meeting of AMA delegates in 1847.

“I’ll ask the students to describe who’s present in the picture,” Haynes says, “and the answer is usually something like, ‘a lot of soberly dressed men.’” In fact, they’re all white, male and dressed “in the uniform of a nascent professional middle class.” Women and African Americans were barred from the AMA in the 19th century.

“It’s a way to get students to think about how organizations are constructed through a process of inclusion and exclusion,” says Haynes, whose latest book project focuses on the AMA’s early years.

When it comes to organizations shutting out people because of race or gender, Haynes is determined that history doesn’t repeat itself. He’s one of 11 members of the UC President’s Task Force on Faculty Diversity, which is reviewing the representation of minorities and women among faculty at each UC campus.

“We’re creating an opportunity for campuses to intensify their leadership in producing a diverse faculty for an increasingly diverse state,” Haynes says.

Recruiting and retaining women and minorities continues to be a challenge for UC campuses, Haynes says, but he’s encouraged by the progress made at UCI.

“The appointment of Chancellor Michael Drake is a powerful illustration of excellence in diversity. He’s the first African American chancellor of a comprehensive campus in the history of the University of California.”

Haynes came to UCI 12 years ago, after completing his doctorate in history at UC Berkeley. The former acting director and an affiliated faculty member of the African American studies program, he serves as UCI’s community equity advisor, working with faculty and administrators to advance excellence by ensuring that minorities and women aren’t left out of the picture.

“Our campus is great because of its continuing commitment to diversity, which makes UCI more responsive to the people of Orange County, the state, and the world,” he says.