Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Another Legacy to Overcome: Achieving a Diverse Administrative Body

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Another Legacy to Overcome: Achieving a Diverse Administrative Body

Article excerpt

Today, with race-conscious scholarships under scrutiny, affirmative action being tested, and efforts to achieve student and faculty diversity in higher education under siege, yet another theme of urgency emerges: Faculty of color are still not evenly distributed or represented across institutional types, disciplines and academic ranks.

And although many would say that gone are the days of overt racism and exclusionary practices that barred the door to a diverse faculty entrance in academia, there does exist a "chilly climate" in higher education for faculty of color. The White-male-dominated institutional culture can subtly undervalue and undermine the contributions of diverse faculty or the presence of people of color with false notions of objective decision making related to promotion within the institution. It is not surprising that many of these faculty members describe a lack of respect, lack of publication opportunities and a lack of recognition for their scholarship, which can minimize even the opportunity to obtain an administrative rank in higher education.

Certainly the arguments lot administrative diversity in the form of race mad ethnic difference ha higher education are as compelling as the need for student and faculty diversity. A diverse administrative body means that issues of access and success for all students can be addressed from multiple perceptions. Additionally, the impact of diverse leadership for creating genuine academic communities can make a critical difference in the way institutions effectively educate and prepare future faculty and students to occupy their positions in the larger society. Hence, along with the need to value the scholarship of faculty of color, there is an urgency to recognize, nurture and capitalize on the potential administrator of color.

For me, a mid-career faculty member, the journey toward higher education administration began with a mixture of excitement, emotional misgivings and strong apprehension. …

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