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Breaking Barriers in Higher Education – An Interview with Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz

Join this audio interview with University of California (UC) Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, a first-generation college student who became a lifelong advocate for providing education and social mobility for students from underrepresented backgrounds. This interview dives deep into the emergence of new barriers for minority students in the higher education landscape; strategies and goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion; as well as Muñoz’s work with Excelencia in Education as its newest board member and president for Latino Student Success. Tune in now and learn more about Chancellor Muñoz’s efforts towards improving higher education experiences for minority students.

  • Chancellor Muñoz’s experience as a first-generation student.
  • New barriers in higher education since 1985.
  • What is UC Merced doing to support first-generation and underprivileged students, especially in the context of COVID?
  • The key to maintaining and growing student applicant numbers amid a pandemic.
  • Chancellor Muñoz’s work and involvement with Excelencia.
  • Biggest challenges and opportunities facing Hispanic-serving institutions.
  • Long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for UC Merced.


“I do my best to remind myself of both my hope and my possibilities as a young man at that time, as well as those things that serve to obstruct what could have been an even more dynamic and fulfilling experience, and [I] hope to work with people at my institution to remove those barriers for students of ambition, of talent, of promise.”

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