African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

By Kassie Freeman | Go to book overview

commitment of those currently holding the authority to make institutional policy decisions to function as change agents in order to facilitate the identification and recruitment of African American leaders to the policy process is a step in the right direction. However, since there are so few African Americans in institutional leadership positions and so few in, and completing, the educational pipeline leading to policymaking positions in higher education, this could be a yeoman's task. Still, with the investment of patience on the part of institutional policymakers, along with the investment of time and institutional resources, improving the involvement of African Americans in the decision-making process is more than possible; it is probable.

Enhancing African American involvement in the policy process is not the sole responsibility of those already christened with the authority to make decisions on behalf of large numbers of people. African Americans share this responsibility and should assertively seek opportunities to become involved. By actively studying policy issues and the policy process and by acquiring appropriate credentials to merit policy leadership roles, African Americans can make meaningful contributions to institutional policy decisions.

The strategy put forth here to foster African Americans' meaningful involvement in decisions regarding institutional policy, practice, and performance is complex and comprehensive. The shared responsibility model calls for behavior changes on the part of both those who are experienced policymakers and African Americans who strive to become future policymakers. Nonetheless, the idea of "shared responsibility" does not place responsibility or blame on anyone in particular for the underrepresentation of African Americans in the policy process. Rather, the strategy looks to the future by focusing on the importance of the collaborative efforts to foster inclusiveness in higher education decisions. The effective and efficient use of research methods, in both the quantitative and qualitative paradigms, provides a sound foundation for policy decisions at all levels (federal, system, and institutional) and in all domains of the policy process (development, implementation, and evaluation/assessment). More importantly, the skillful use of data and the effective realization of shared responsibility are invaluable tools for empowering African Americans to help tie bundles in higher education policy.


REFERENCES

Anderson J. A. ( 1975). Public policymaking, ( 3rd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Bardach E. ( 1977). The implementation game: What happens after a bill becomes a law? Cambridge: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bell J. C. ( 1995). Famous Black quotations. New York: Warner Books.

Bolman L. G., & Deal T. E. ( 1991). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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