Talk Is Cheap: The Prospects and Problems with Campus Conversations on Race

Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe

ISBN: 978-1-78973-608-3, eISBN: 978-1-78973-607-6

ISSN: 1479-3644

Publication date: 30 May 2019

Abstract

This study draws on three major findings. First, the chapter explores why the presidential commission structure is a powerful mechanism for improving dialogue about racial and ethnic issues on campus. Former commissioners discuss its potential for addressing the complex and interlocking concerns of faculty, staff, and students of color. Second, although the commission’s structure is promising, we present numerous problems that require further attention. We discuss how the emphasis on dialogue and less dedication to targeted actions and policies may actually undermine the goals of commissions like these and further frustrate aggrieved faculty, staff, and students. Third, the chapter highlights successful and unsuccessful strategies for sustaining fruitful dialogue that lead to an increased understanding and acceptance of diverse viewpoints and perspectives. These findings have specific relevance for international faculty and faculty of color interested in ways to be more proactive in shaping existing programs, policies, and approaches to meet the diverse needs of university life.

Keywords

Citation

Figueroa, N.L. and Vaught, S. (2019), "Talk Is Cheap: The Prospects and Problems with Campus Conversations on Race", Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 23), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 7-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-364420190000023003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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