During her forum, Barrett, dean of graduate studies at the University of California San Diego since 2006, emphasized the need for diversity.
“Unless everybody cares about diversity and unless everybody is responsible for it, equity, inclusion and diversity don’t happen,” Barrett said.
She said while the University’s efforts are important, the College of Arts and Sciences needs to be making its own.
Barrett is a native of the United Kingdom and was a first-generation college student herself. She believes her experience as a first-generation student has and will continue to help her as a dean.
Barrett has three characteristics that she believes make for a successful college: an emphasis on student learning and engagement, an inclusive community and interdisciplinary initiatives.
“While higher education should not simply be a preparation for the world of work, much as many politicians would like us to make it so, we would be misserving our students and their parents and indeed the public if we don’t provide people with the skills to succeed for a lifetime of career,” Barrett said.
Tina CoyneSmith, director of development and prospect management in the Arts and Sciences Foundation, said she enjoyed Barrett’s presentation.
“I really appreciate your thinking about initiatives that will advance the college,” CoyneSmith said to Barrett.
CoyneSmith also asked about Barrett’s experience and vision regarding funding for the college — a topic Barrett acknowledged as a difficult task for any dean.
“Public universities going forward are going to have to be incredibly entrepreneurial to fulfill the full promise of everything that they can do, and a huge part of that has to be private support,” Barrett said, admitting she did not have a ton of experience in the matter.