WIth highly visible campus protests demanded more diversity in higher education being featured both on traditional media outlets and across social media, it is no surprise that many campus administrations have tried to showcase their efforts to create an inclusive environment. That said, historically, institutions have not produced the most effective action plans addressing diversity.The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured a story, How Do You Create a Diversity Agenda, with suggestions for institutions. Exerpts from the artcile are included here, with the full text and more perspectives available at Chronicle.com.
Take ownership. Too many college leaders presume that their campuses operate well, until it becomes obvious that they don’t. When student protests occur, presidents often seem stunned by the depth of anger.
Involve the entire faculty, not just the usual suspects. Typically, a diversity plan is hammered out by a small set of people. It often includes a disproportionate number of minority faculty members, who may not have seniority, along with the same set of white faculty members who have championed this cause for years. The problem is that this small group doesn’t have the power to execute a campuswide vision.
Engage students. Presidents have sometimes avoided or dismissed student demands if they seem antithetical to how the college operates.
Since 2003, the AMA and AMA Foundation have awarded more than 60 scholarships/grants to students and professors from underrepresented backgrounds in the marketing profession. The AMA has also been a funder of the PhD Project supporting business school faculty diversity.
Have the tough conversations. Fostering diversity and inclusion is not an act of celebration. It’s hard work. Just look at some of the debates taking place on campuses today.
Hold people accountable. Too many diversity plans fail to achieve their goals, yet rarely is anyone held responsible for failure.
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