In 1989 when The Challenge of Diversity was first published, the monograph made the case that the country′s changing demographics required reframing diversity to focus on institutions′ capacity to educate and involve an increasingly diverse student population. Looking at current research, the book pointed to patterns of alienation, not involvment.
Our demographics are indeed different today, but many of the same challenges remain: access and success for historically underrepresented minority groups, but also the basic institutional issues such as curriculum, climate, and hiring. At the same time, the context has changed: nontraditional students (older students, women, and part–timers) are now mainstream, and numbers of some minority groups and multiracial students continues to grow. While higher education has changed profoundly, our institutions still have not yet developed the capacity to successfuly educate the diversity of students present on our campuses today. In addition, we are experiencing a backlash to some diversity initiatives, and societal factors indicate that higher education needs to become more proactive in responding favorably to diversity. If the monograph were first published today, we would call it The Imperative of Diversity.
This is Volume 30 Issue 6 of the Jossey–Bass series ASHE Higher Education Report.
The Context for Diversity Outside of Higher Education.
Framing the Question.
The Status of Diversity.
The Role of Student Characteristics.
The Challenge of Involvement.
Theories of Involvement.
Institutional Responses to Diversity.
Approaches of Successful Institutions.
Implications: An Expanded Focus.
Organizing for Diversity: Fundamental Issues.
Diversification of Faculty and Staff.
Mission and Values.
Dealing with Conflict.
The Quality of Interaction on Campus.
Educating for Diversity.
The Perceived Conflict Between Access and Quality.
The Changing Climate.
Assessment and Implications.
Coordination Among Sectors.
Costs and Commitment.
Appendix: Institutional Characteristics.
Daryl G. Smith is professor of education and psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.
Lisa E. Wolf–Wendel is associate professor of higher education at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.