Skip to content

“Our charge is to think widely, curiously and rigorously through the perspectives of our four academic disciplines—ethnic studies, gender studies, disability studies and Pacific Islands studies—about the past, our present moment and the future. We are leading, in Utah and nationally, an intersectional approach to social justice issues that are often at the forefront of public debate. Our goal is to enable our students to research, analyze and understand the cultures, histories and lived experiences of people and groups who have often been marginalized and disenfranchised so, as they leave our campus, they can transform our world.
Ruma Chopra, dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation Meet the Dean

Transform’s story is one of student voices, structural change and collective action. It began with an open dialogue on racial climate, which led to a brand new college which continues to support a two-way flow between community knowledge and academic study.

On Nov. 20, 2015, the U held an “Open Dialogue on Racial Climate” in the ballroom at the A. Ray Olpin Union. Several hundred people, most of them students, showed up to voice their concerns to university leaders. The result was a list of responses and initiatives to address the concerns expressed by students and led to a group of faculty members in the Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies Programs developing a detailed, written proposal for the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. On July 15, 2016, the proposal passed through its sixth and last official body, the Board of Regents, and became a college — without a single negative vote.

Our divisions and programs share cutting-edge concepts, faculty, and space. Our goal is to forge the wave of the future for the study of shifting sexualities, changing genders, dynamic immigrations and emergent struggles against all racist and ableist beliefs.

Award Icon

Innovative Scholarship

  • Interdisciplinary Research
  • Faculty
  • Publications
Teamwork Icon

Coalition Building

  • Policy
  • Service Projects
  • Leadership
  • Community Relationship
Idea Icon

Practical Expertise

  • Types of Courses
  • Praxis
  • Events