Campus Diversity Triumphs: Volume 20

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Table of contents

(18 chapters)

The clarion calls that African-American students are voicing throughout the nation’s predominantly white institutions (PWIs) make it instructive for PWIs to become intentional and exigent about the recruitment, retention, and development of African-American faculty. Too often, PWIs continue the refrain that African-American faculty in their respective disciplines do not exist. This chapter addresses how this happens based on a five-point model that offers strategies for campus leaders to advance diversity and inclusion.

The 2014 Condition of Education Report (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014) revealed that black undergraduate students made up 29% of private for-profit institutions, 13% at private nonprofit institutions, and 12% at public institutions. Comparatively, the number of black full-time instructional faculty at postsecondary institutions was only 6%. As a matter of equity, representation, and the collegiate experience of black students, PWIs are compelled to recruit and yield more Blacks in the professoriate.

Therefore, the author put forth a five-point model that offers systematic strategies for campus leaders to operationalize critical multiculturalism. The five points of the model are perspective, presence, position, promotion, and prosper, as displayed in Table 1.

The first two features of this model pertain to micro individual attitudes, while the latter four apply to macro organizational procedures that support mission-focused values. This model also offers a multitude of counsel that equip campus leaders to listen to students and alleviate institutional practices that stagnate, stymie, stifle, and stop a harvest of African-American faculty.


The Diversity Fellows Program (DFP) was an initiative created within a Division for Diversity (DD) in response to imperatives for campus diversity leadership. In the author’s reflection/perceptions, it brought forward a new paradigm for, Bistro University (BU) (pseudonym), as well as expansions in university–community and statewide relations. The DFP employed a multifaceted approach to climate transformation and was a joint development with the highest level of administration and utilized full, tenured, underrepresented, and women faculty to lead initiatives that engaged faculty in research relationships with students, STEM communities, mentoring, and unit accountability for hiring and retention. The result was the creation of several best-practice initiatives, which showcased unsung and/or underutilized student and faculty research as catalysts for recruitment, retention, and promotion, and improved unit accountability for diversification and campus/community relations. The authors assert that the DFP ultimately represented a multipoint approach to climate transformation rooted in relationship building, measurable accountability, and partnership development. This chapter will expound on the creation and impact the DFP had on BU’s diversity agenda and the DD mission. It will also illuminate the author’s perspectives of successes as well as struggles to be expected while setting standards for excellence in academic diversity innovation. Finally, this chapter challenges senior administrators and academics to increase support and reward innovation associated with cultural competence training, multicultural engagement, and best practices for diversity administration.


Diversity education and training have been a standard in higher education for decades now. While it is widely accepted that they can have significant value and impact, there is much uncertainty in how to build programs that deliver in positive ways for increasingly diverse college campuses. The need for contextual application of diversity education makes it difficult to develop a general framework for building such a program. Still, research shows essential theoretical components of diversity education programs that can be critical to the success of these initiatives. How do we take these larger theoretical concepts and ground them within unique higher education environments in ways that meet specific campus needs – needs that exist in the context of the campus, as well as within the larger social, cultural, and political landscape? The model has to be agile enough to respond to both the internal and external factors that shape the campus climate while being true to its theoretical roots. This chapter presents a programmatic framework for building a diversity education certificate program to enhance progress toward achieving institutional change goals, as well as a case study snapshot that demonstrates the practical implications of implementing the framework. The program can drive campus change supporting diversity and inclusion – change that may have been dormant, not supported, or not articulated in ways that result in effective outcomes.


This evaluation examines the impact of the academic and social connection efforts of the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) Summer Bridge (SB) program on the academic performance and retention of its student participants. Specifically, the SB program incorporates academic and social connection theoretical frameworks provided by Vincent Tinto (1975) and Doug Guiffrida (2006), and this study seeks to ascertain the program’s impact on student performance and retention.

The study used an adaptation of the Pascarella and Terenzini (1980) Institutional Integration Scale Survey and focus-group interviews of past SB participants to provide data. Additionally, the study conducted a comparative analysis between SB participant grade point averages and persistence rates with general population students or students of color, a dominant demographic within the MCAS SB program.

The study finds a correlation between the academic and social connection efforts of the center, and the academic performance and retention percentages of its student participants.


Often operating in silos, cultural centers, LGBT resource centers, women’s resource centers, and disability resource centers exacerbate the marginalization felt by queer and trans students of color (QTSOC) through monolithic resources and programs which focus on only one aspect of their identity. QTSOC are increasingly identifying themselves as an intersectional people and no longer identify solely with a racial minority group or simply as queer or transgender. However, institutions have yet to catch up with these changing dynamics and have fallen behind in supporting the ways students are understanding themselves.

This chapter is a commentary that will explore what it means for QTSOC to navigate campus resources which “underline” pieces of them, how institutions can meet the needs of QTSOC, and what the future of intersectional student services can look like. This chapter is intended to disrupt normative understandings of student support services while centering QTSOC through an intersectional model rooted in seeing whole students and their needs.


“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” When Sir Walter Scott penned these words, he probably did not have diversity or universities on his mind. Those of us that are genuinely engaged in diversity, inclusion, equity, social justice, and/or multicultural education work can ruminate on his words and think of how university campuses tout their diversity initiatives and sometimes brag about being the “most diverse” are in actuality deceiving themselves and the constituents they serve. Even though diversity awareness has become an important topic in academe in recent years, so many campuses have largely failed to address it in any substantive way, thus creating an environment where students and even employees sometimes become disengaged. Davies (2007) argues that “university leaders who claim openness to diversity do not acknowledge the presence or participation of Others in activities that are characteristic of a free and democratic society” (p. 154).

Many institutions of higher learning honestly believe that in showcasing a campus program based around food, festival, or fun, they can check the diversity box. Yet, when diversity practitioners push the campus in becoming multicultural competent by addressing diversity outside the proverbial realm of “race,” questions like, “Why are they doing this?” arise. The struggle to sustain a comprehensive and meaningful campus diversity program is real for many agents for change. In order for diversity advocates to have a seat at the table, the campus attitude and practice of “diversity need not apply” cannot continue to exist.

Leaders within academia must be cognizant of their campus culture, which governs the law of the land. More importantly, it is vital to understand that sometimes your campus culture may not be receptive to cultural differences, although university verbiage may state, “We will promote diversity and maintain an environment that celebrates and values the many perspectives, cultures, and […]” Institutions of higher learning in this new millennium (twenty-first century) are deeply entrenched in organizational culture that has become its cornerstone over time, and is resistant to change.

Campus culture is real. Stewart and Dottolo (2005) state that universities should strive to ensure that any groups that fall outside of the traditional culture do not encounter an unwelcoming and threatening institutional environment. However, not every university strives or desires to create a campus climate where diversity is welcomed, celebrated, and/or embraced. It is paramount that educational institutions that serve diverse populations strive to become proficient in multiculturalism (Roach, 2004). Institutions of higher education are socially obligated to provide a learning environment for students with varied backgrounds (Bridges et al., 2008). It is essential that universities take a very close look at how they can contribute to the greater good of society by instilling a sense of worth in all students, regardless of ethnicity and other features of student identities. Williams and Swail (2005) argue that “attending college can be a liberating, developmentally powerful experience with the potential to increase individual productivity and, to some degree, the quality of life of the larger society” (p. 222). This can only occur if or when all aspects of diversity can apply and become an integral part of the university.

Part II Diversity in Medical Universities and Health Care


Cultural competence is a continual process that is ever expanding. Cultural competence is defined as proficient knowledge, skill development, and the application of that knowledge and skills to demonstrate cultural awareness, understanding, sensitivity, and humility. The objective of a health science-related cultural competence seminar is to provide meaningful and in-depth discourse expounding upon cultural attitudes, expressions, and experiences that shape and direct interactions between patient and health providers, allied health professionals, medical and allied health students, and faculty. The current health care infrastructure is “ill-equipped to provide effective health care to underserved populations in the United States” (Roberts et al., 2015, p. 1408). As such, the Post Baccalaureate Seminar was developed to mitigate the gap between what students know upon entering medical studies versus what they need to know to provide culturally competent care, particularly in medically underserved areas. The Post Baccalaureate Seminar is a 15-week course given during the fall semester of the one-year program in preparation for matriculation into medical school. Students have required readings, small group didactics, and group activities which address professionalism, medical ethics and experimentation, informed consent, cross-cultural communication, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning (LGBTQ + ) concerns, and other aspects of cultural diversity. The required texts were selected as a pedagogical strategy to introduce the constructs of valuing diversity in a holistic manner. Upon completion of the seminar, premedical students indicate increased knowledge and skills for displaying cultural awareness and a greater level of sensitivity for their medical studies.


While there are a number of diversity programs centered on advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives at colleges and universities throughout the country, the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP) is unique because of combination of the longevity of the program, its healthcare focus, its affiliation over the years with multiple institutions, and the scale of its impact. CAHMCP is a pipeline program focused on identifying and recruiting students at any point in their academic development, providing educational programming, and supporting them until they are medical professionals.

Over the course of its nearly 40-year history, CAHMCP has recruited participants as early as elementary school and advised them until they were established in their careers. With its combination of personalized mentoring, classroom teaching, and community healthcare engagement, CAHMCP has succeeded in identifying the needs of the community and its young people. Beyond helping students enhance their academic profile over time, CAHMCP helps youth develop as community leaders. Giving back to the community has been a core principle of the program, so as they are matured, CAHMCP alumni have given back to the program as well as influencing broader healthcare and medical education initiatives. This chapter discusses the unique nature of the CAHMCP program and its successes.


This chapter describes the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), a National Institutes of Health-funded research training program at North Carolina State University (NCSU). IMSD is designed to increase the number and success of student Scholars from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The NCSU-IMSD program provides financial support for both undergraduate and graduate students and utilizes a holistic approach that engages students in both academic and nonacademic professional development activities. Undergraduate IMSD Scholars are placed in research labs with faculty and graduate mentors during the entire academic year as well as the summer, and seeks to create a sense of community across cohorts. Unlike similar programs at other research-extensive universities, NCSU-IMSD is housed in the graduate school and serves students across multiple departments and colleges. This location provides greater opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction between student Scholars and is a model that enhances institutional commitments to diversity in the research sciences. This chapter describes these key program dimensions and provides guidelines for doctoral institutions seeking to enhance the experiences of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.


Underrepresented in medicine individuals have historically been discouraged to consider surgical subspecialties and instead encouraged toward primary care fields thus representing less than 2% of the workforce in these areas. In the last 15 years, the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Research program has worked with medical students, residents, and fellows in preparing them to become ophthalmologists, medical researchers, academicians, or private practice. While the Rabb-Venable program centers on expanding the number of ophthalmologists, pipeline programs exist to enhance the representation of URM individuals in other medical specialties to decrease health disparities.

This chapter discusses the Rabb-Venable program, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the sponsorship of the National Medical Association (NMA), has combined a research competition at the annual meeting of the NMA. The Rabb-Venable program is geared toward increasing the number of (URM) in the field of ophthalmology and increasing the number of URM participants in academic medicine. The program has a twofold mission of supporting the development of the clinical specialty of ophthalmology and creating physician researchers through leadership, academic excellence, professionalism, service, and mentorship. Exploration of the different types of eye diseases that disproportionally affect minority groups are identified. In addition the medical students who have been part of the program and are eligible to apply have had an 84% rate of matching in ophthalmology.

Part III Institutional Inclusive Excellence


Diversity is a somewhat amorphous concept; however, it is crucial to our growth as a nation, especially the growth and personal development of college and university students. Most college and university campuses are diverse societies, composed of individuals of many ethnicities, religions, ages, sexual identities, and physical abilities. It is not hard to see the diversity on a campus; people of different backgrounds and cultures comprise the vast majority of the campus population. The University Diversity and Inclusion Office commonly has a vice president, an associate provost, or chief diversity officer for diversity who serves as the senior administrative head. This leader has the responsibility to provide educational activities and programs systematically.

This chapter discusses the role that the University Diversity and Inclusion Office plays in educating the campus about global diversity awareness and inclusivity excellence. The chapter outlines a systematic and flexible approach to addressing the demographic shift that is occurring on college and university campuses and how best to deal with campus bias incidents. The components of the University Diversity and Inclusion Office strategic direction are examined with particular attention focused on the role of the office, its leadership, and the mission of the institution. A section on proposed successful campus-wide diversity initiatives is included as examples of an essential endeavor that enhances campus diversity. This organizational structure has won a national (HEED) Higher Education Excellent in Diversity Award.


In 2015, there were many student protests regarding diversity that made many pay attention to the status of diversity on university campuses. However, well before these protests occurred there have been diversity officers at the forefront and behind the scenes doing change management work in the equity, diversity, and inclusion arena. While universities are entrenched systems of privilege that are difficult to change fundamentally, there is hope in that this work can and does make a difference for students, faculty, and staff. So, while universities continue to reflect society and its shortcomings, this work does matter.

In this chapter, I share my personal journey as a Chief Diversity Officer for nine years at public universities in North America, drawing upon that experience I share four areas I believe are vital to the success of any diversity effort. Since I have worked in the US and Canada, I bring to this chapter comparisons across borders that highlight the significance of particular practices, challenges of the twenty-first century and pitfalls along the way.


“Valleys” make for interesting analogies. They are geological depressions that can reflect the struggles and lows sometimes experienced with equity and diversity work. Carved out by ancient glaciers, valleys lend themselves to critical comparisons to the glacial pace that frequently characterizes the change in higher education. But when tagged with the noun “hope,” glaciers represent the work of carving out new forms, shapes, avenues, and their amazing transformative power to change landscapes. The aspiration and desire for change, the wish for something better, and acting intelligently and intentionally on ambitious equity and diversity goals make “Valleys of Hope” an apt analogy of the higher education landscape that describes the University of Minnesota’s equity and diversity journey and successes. Carpe Diem, a Latin phrase frequently translated to mean “seize the day,” is in our chapter title because we felt it appropriately conveyed how two consecutive equity and diversity leaders harnessed the zeitgeist of campus strategic initiatives to rally their campus communities around equity and diversity imperatives. Carpe Diem sometimes connotes a focus on the present versus the future. Yet, in our view visions and initiatives anchored in core values have in fact a surprising omnipresence and permanence over time. We share two leadership “acts” with readers in this chapter.


While academia continuously probes and advocates for a definition of a comprehensive, inclusive ideal, diversity, multiculturalism, and equity are bridging ties elements that must be considered. Currently, liberal arts colleges have the unique opportunity to shape equitable environments for all their members and become role models for other higher educational institutions. If there is an institutional commitment, and people are willing to work for a common goal, small colleges can undoubtedly offer the appropriate academic conditions where all faculty, staff, and students can achieve their highest personal and professional potentials.

This chapter discusses the role of chief diversity officer (CDO) on liberal arts campuses and how the CDO should take the lead as equity advocator and conveyor and help set the desired dialogue conditions. Among the topics examined is the institutional inclusion process which includes innovative and supportive new ideas and programs for equity among all members of the academic community. Also the hiring of underrepresented faculty members is crucial and can support the growth of enrollment and retention of diverse groups of students. Diversity and inclusion create common goals, and liberal arts colleges should rapidly move to allow the best hiring practices during the recruitment of new faculty members. Equitable learning conditions for all are as crucial as the creation of faculty evaluation systems that promote equitable opportunities. Liberal arts colleges have a historic opportunity to lead the way and become exemplary role models in practicing diversity and inclusion on campus.

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Diversity in Higher Education
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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